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Knights earn first victory
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Knights earn first victory
Knights earn first victory
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Leesburg Yellow Jackets vs. Clermont East Ridge, High School Football Game

Knights earn first victory - Offensive line plays well to give
quarterback Dye time to throw in return against Leesburg

By Adam Minichino
Daily Commercial
September 17, 2007
Updated: Sunday, February 5, 2017, 3:41 p.m.

LEESBURG - The East Ridge High School football team owes a game ball to Ryan Pederson.

Trouble is, Pederson probably wouldn't be able to hold that ball too long before quarterback Tyler Dye
grabbed it to find an open receiver for a big gain.

Buoyed by the help from his trainer and solid work from his offensive line, Dye returned to the lineup to
throw for more than 200 yards and two touchdowns Friday to lead East Ridge to a 27-10 victory against
Leesburg.

An ankle sprain kept Dye out of the lineup last week in East Ridge's 44-3 loss to Kissimmee Osceola.

In fact, the sophomore right-hander didn't practice until Tuesday of this week. After the game, he
credited Pederson for working with him to get him ready to go.

"He did a very good job on it because I really didn't feel it at all," Dye said. "I was able to do what I can
do when my foot feels fine, so once again I thank Ryan the trainer for everything."

Dye played gunslinger from the opening snap. Donald Toldson made a diving catch on a 23-yard
touchdown pass in the left corner of the end zone to give the Knights the lead with 3 minutes, 33
seconds to play in the first quarter. Donahue Malvo's kick made it 7-0.

Leesburg's Lineil Graham answered on the next possession. He rushed for 7 yards on the first two
carries and then broke two tackles and cut back at the 10-yard line for a 66-yard touchdown run that tied
the game at 7.

But Dye's quick-strike ability also opened holes for running back Jeremy Wright. The junior scored on a
46-yard run on the Knights' first drive of the second quarter to help make it 14-7. He scored again on a
4-yard run later in the quarter to extend the lead to 20-7.

"My trainer has been getting me to work good and he has been making me do exercises and ice (my
foot)," said Dye, who was 11 of 23 for 218 yards. "I am back to normal now."

Dye hit Toldson with an 11-yard fade for a touchdown on the first possession of the second half to
make it 27-7.

"The sky is the limit with him," East Ridge coach Bud O'Hara said. "He changed plays at the line of
scrimmage for us, and he has a chance to be a great one."

O'Hara didn't think Dye would be able to play Friday. He said the Knights were blessed with rain
Monday that helped keep Dye out of practice. Dye only practiced Tuesday and Wednesday.

O'Hara also credited his offensive line for shutting down an athletic opponent.

"We were worried that we were going to have so much pressure and that we weren't going to be able to
block them because they are so good at stunting," O'Hara said. "Our offensive line played well, and our
defense finally showed up."

Dye said he felt all right on Tuesday and he improved each day in the week. You wouldn't have known
Dye missed any time because he looked crisp in sprinting to the left and to the right in the Knights'
up-tempo offense.

"He was the difference," Leesburg coach Nassar said of Dye.

Nassar knew not to pay attention to the videotape of the Knights' loss to Kissimmee Osceola. He said
he saw enough from Dye in East Ridge's 66-42 loss to South Sumter to know that his defense was
going to be tested.

Nassar's worst fears were realized Friday as the Knights limited penetration and shut down the Yellow
Jackets' attacking corps of linebackers.

"(The offensive line) played great. We are a blitzing, slanting, stunting team, and we didn't get anywhere
near (Dye)," Nassar said. "When we did get near him, he rolled away and made great throws."

Nassar said his offense found itself in first-and-15 situations five times, which he said can't happen if
an option team is going to be

successful.

Still, Graham rushed for 167 yards on 23 carries.

In all, Leesburg (2-1) rushed for 238 yards, but East Ridge rushed for 162 and threw for 218 (380 total).

Leesburg added a 21-yard field goal in the third quarter, but it fumbled on its final two possessions.
The Yellow Jackets also had a key fumble in the first quarter, but Nassar said a touchdown on that
drive only would have been window dressing to the final score.

"That is a good old-fashioned butt whuppin'," Nassar said. "That is a good football team that ran into
one of the best teams in the state with their backup quarterback. You think Dye made a little difference."



This article was provided by Gerald Lacey
Gerald Lacey is the senior sports writer covering Leesburg High School Sports for the Carver Heights
Quarterback Club. You can reach him at:
geraldlacey@leesburgyellowjacketsfootball.com