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Leesburg Yellow Jackets vs. Tavares Bulldogs, High School Football Game
Tavares takes 47-42 barnburner over Leesburg
By Benjamin Roode
October 24, 2009
Updated: Saturday, April 1, 2017, 6:08 p.m.
LEESBURG -- A heaping helping of running -- mostly to the left, mostly via the reverse, put Tavares
ahead of Leesburg for good Friday night at H.O. Dabney Stadium.
The Bulldogs beat the Yellow Jackets, 47-42, on the legs of junior running back Dacquan Victor, who
ran 13 times for 108 yards and three rushing touchdowns. Junior running back Dawson Shreiner had
60 yards on 9 carries and a score, and senior fullback Kyle Howard had 110 yards on 19 carries.
Tavares improves to 5-3 and 2-3 in district 3A-6. Leesburg evens out a 4-4 and 2-3 in the same district.
Tavares incorporated several wrinkles into their option offense this week specifically for Leesburg,
head coach Gavin Jones said. It was a given that the ball would go to the left. How and when it got
there -- whether via the reverse or off-tackle fullback runs -- was up to an offense ready to grind it on
"We planned all week to go left," Jones said after the win that soured Leesburg's Senior Night
Both teams wanted to control the ball on the ground, and in the first quarter, it looked like a
knock-down, drag-out slog fest was on.
The Jackets opened the night with a nine-play, 76-yard drive -- all rushing out of the single-wing
offense -- capped by a 2-yard touchdown run by junior running back Luther McDowell. Tavares
answered with drives of five and six rushing plays to go up 10-7 at the end of the first quarter.
Leesburg took the lead back and went up 21-10 in the second quarter after capitalizing on two Tavares
But it was Tavares that stole the lead for good after giving the Jackets a taste of their own medicine,
forcing two Leesburg fumbles and jumping to a 32-21 half-time lead.
It was the turnovers that eventually put the Jackets out of the game, said coach Charles Nassar.
"Way too many turnovers," Nassar said.
Leesburg had their share of big plays, including a pair of 65-yard touchdown plays in the third quarter
-- one a pass caught by D'Mauri Jones and one a run by McDowell. The crowd-rousing scores brought
the Jackets within three points late in the quarter.
But another fumble let Tavares go up 44-35 and eat more clock in the fourth quarter. One late
touchdown for Leesburg by McDowell, who ran 17 times for 195 yards and two scores, was not
enough when the Bulldogs recovered the ensuing onside kick.
Tavares hosts Dunnellon next week, and Leesburg travels to Crystal River in a pair of district matches.