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Leesburg Yellow Jackets top Eustis Panthers with a last-minute defensive hold
Varsity Football: Week 5 - Leesburg 16, Eustis 13
October 4, 2008|By Joe Williams, Sentinel Staff Writer
LEESBURG -- It took one big play by Leesburg's offense and several big plays by its defense Friday
night, but the Yellow Jackets came away with a 16-13 homecoming victory over rival Eustis at Memorial
The big play on offense was a 59-yard touchdown run by Marques Austin with 2:59 remaining in the
third quarter. The big defensive plays included two defensive series inside the 10-yard line that turned
Eustis away without scores and two interceptions around the goal line by P.J. Foster late in the fourth
"We knew we would be a solid defensive team this year and we were hoping to have caretaker
offense, one that didn't turn over the ball," Leesburg Coach Charles Nassar said.
Neither team did a good job of taking care of the ball as each committed six turnovers in the game.
Though Austin had the big play in the game -- and Leesburg amassed 245 yards on the ground -- the
winning points came off the foot of Leesburg kicker Dennis Williams, who hit a 27-yard field goal with
23 seconds remaining in the third quarter, giving Leesburg a 16-6 lead.
Leesburg's Darius Lightfoot had about as big of a first half as any player could have had. Lightfoot
recovered an onside kick that Leesburg used to open the game after it bounced off two Eustis players.
He also scored the Yellow Jackets' only touchdown of the half on a 3-yard carry, and then made two
huge stops on defense following one of three interceptions by Eustis' defense in the half.
After Eustis' Javon Nelson intercepted a pass by Leesburg quarterback Luther McDowell at the 38 and
returned it 37 yards to the 1, Leesburg's defense put up a big goal line stand. Eustis ended up losing
19 yards on the next four plays with Lightfoot, who plays running back and inside linebacker, tackling
Eustis running back C.J. Brown for a 7-yard loss on third down and sacking quarterback Kelsei Brown
as he rolled out for another 7-yard loss on fourth down.
But Eustis had its own defensive hero in the first half with defensive back Antonio Goodson twice
intercepting passes on the goal line on two successive Leesburg possessions. One interception
came with 1:27 left in the half and -- after Leesburg's Ryan Rivera intercepted a Kelsei Brown pass,
caused when Brown was hit by Trey McKinney as he released the ball. The other came with 16
The halftime score ended tied at 6 as kickers for both teams had trouble converting point after kicks,
although Eustis kicker Nick Sellers did make his first try before a holding penalty.
FIRST -- L: Lightfoot 3 run (kick failed). SECOND -- E: C.J. Brown 5 run (kick failed). THIRD -- L: Austin
59 run (Williams kick); L: FG Williams 27. FOURTH -- E: Nelson 18 pass from Webber (Sellers kick).