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Leesburg Yellow Jackets vs. Tavares Bulldogs, High School Football Games
Tavares blanks Leesburg
By Rick Reed
Daily Commercial Staff Writer
October 11, 2003
Updated: Saturday, November 19, 2016, 1:54 p.m.
TAVARES - Three fumbles in the first half slowed down a determined Tavares squad but Leesburg
never capitalized on the mistakes as the Bulldogs keep plugging away to shutout the Yellow Jackets
22-0 in a non-district game at Argin A. Boggus Field Friday night.
In fact, it was Tavares (4-2) that capitalized on a Leesburg turnover to get on the scoreboard first. The
Bulldogs scored three plays after sophomore cornerback Chap Gaines picked off a Brett Pitchford
pass and returned it 42 yards to the Leesburg (3-3) six-yard-line.
"It was a big interception," said Tavares coach George Sneed. "That sure changed it. Chap Gaines
made an excellent break on the play."
The play first looked like a mixed blessing for the Bulldogs because star junior running back
Dominique Rocker was injured during the return and had to sit out the remainder of the half.
Brandon Lewis took Rocker's place and scored on a 23-yard carry.
"I'm real proud of Brandon," Sneed said.
Rocker was hard to replace. He had already accumulated 65 rushing yards on 14 first-half carries.
Thirty-six of those yards came during the Bulldogs' opening drive that ate up more than 8 minutes of
play. But the 14-play drive stalled when Rocker fumbled the ball at the Leesburg 26.
Tavares recovered a Leesburg fumble to start the second quarter and moved the ball 58 yards to the
Leesburg 27 before another Rocker fumble stopped the drive. But Gaines made his big pick five plays
The Bulldogs coughed up a third fumble with two minutes left in the first half but once again Leesburg
failed to take advantage of the miscue.
Sneed was surprised at all the mistakes and said it wasn't characteristic of his squad.
"Three fumbles - where'd that come from?" he said. "We haven't fumbled the ball three times all
Rocker was able to return in the second half and helped Tavares control the ball, which was just what
Sneed wanted his team to do.
Rocker picked up 85 second half yards on just 10 carries. T.C. Smith also added 23 yards on four
carries. And Kyle Bernier picked up some big yards, gaining 32 yards on just two carries. His running
helped set up Rocker's 34 yard-touchdown run with 1:59 left in the third quarter.
Quarterback Steven Brooker faked the ball to Bernier, setting up Rocker's long run.
Brooker teamed up with Bernier on a 22-yard touchdown pass with 5:15 left in the game to close the
scoring for Tavares.
Sneed was proud of the offensive line anchored by Greg Raczkowski, who also got an interception; and
the defensive effort.
Pitchford finished the night with 56 yards on 11 carries and Mike Jenkins had 59 yards on 16 carries.