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Leesburg Yellow Jackets vs. Ocala Forest Wildcats, High School Football Game
Leesburg falls in a final minute to Forest
By Derek Gonsoulin
Daily Commercial Staff Writer
October 12, 2001
Updated: Saturday, November 12, 2016, 1:29 p.m.
Ocala Forest proved itself worthy of its unbeaten record, and Leesburg likely played its way out of the
Class 4A-District 4 race as the Wildcats won a wild, 17-10 battle Friday night.
Ocala Forest (7-0, 3-0 in the district) scored two touchdowns in the final 6 minutes and 27 seconds to
rally against the Yellow Jackets (4-3, 1-2).
The game-winner came on a hook-and-ladder play with 1:02 to play. Wildcats' quarterback Beau
Yancy hit Steven Baker with a 2-yard pass at the Leesburg 27-yard line. Baker then pitched the ball to
Adrain Smith, who ran the final yardage untouched for the score.
Leesburg seemed to have regained the momentum moments earlier. The Yellow Jackets went on an
11-play, 71-yard drive covering five minutes. The drive set up Stephen Malinda's 27-yard field goal that
tied the score at 10 with 1:30 to play.
Leesburg decided on a short kickoff, but the Wildcats' Ralph Murphy caught the squib and ran 35
yards to the Yellow Jackets' 45. Murphy took in a 16-yard pass on the first play of the drive. Two plays
later, Forest had the lead.
"They just set it up before that -- they threw a stop route and set it up real well," Leesburg coach Bud
O'Hara said. "They almost beat us on that play last year. It was a great play."
The defenses dominated the first three quarters. Forest struck first with a 14-play, 64-yard drive that
ended in a 32-yard field goal from Jason Roberts. The eight-minute drive put the Wildcats up, 3-0.
The Yellow Jackets' Corrie Kelly answered on the first play of the next series. The senior ran off right
tackle for an 80-yard touchdown to put Leesburg up 7-3 with 3:33 to play in the first half.
The score remained that way until the fourth quarter when both teams traded fumbles at midfield. The
last fumble came as Brandon Hooks was flipped in the air and the nose of the football brushed the
ground, knocking it loose.
The Wildcats took over at Leesburg's 49 and five plays later scored the go-ahead touchdown. Yancy
shook off two pass rushers on a 3rd-and-16 from the 45 before hitting Matt Fabian at the 10-yard line.
Fabian ran the ball in from there to put his team up 10-7 with 6:27 to play.
Forest coach Wayne Yancey said his team proved itself Friday night. With Ocala Vanguard's loss to
Belleview Friday, Yancey's team is in good shape to win the district title.
"It's big," Yancey said. "We beat Belleview, who beat Vanguard, who beat Leesburg. We're not as good
as Leesburg athletically from side-to-side, but our kids played. We didn't change much. We just did
what we could do."