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Leesburg Drops 3rd Straight In Loss To Vanguard
Lake sports - HIGH SCHOOL ROUNDUP
After Giving Up A Kickoff Return For A Touchdown To Start The Game, The Yellow Jackets Never
October 9, 1999|By Robert Pincus, Sentinel Correspondent
OCALA - It only took 15 seconds Friday night for the struggling Leesburg football team to continue its
spiral out of the Class 4A, District 5 race.
Vanguard's Dwan Thomas took the second opening kickoff and broke down the left sideline to give
the Knights a 7-0 lead with 11:45 left in the first quarter.
The first time Leesburg (3-3, 1-2) tried to kick off the ball, Deleon Dawson's kick went out of bounds,
allowing the Knights (3-2, 2-1) an extra five yards that helped Thomas.
The Yellow Jackets wound up with their third consecutive loss, falling to Vanguard 17-12.
After Vanguard's opening score, Leesburg looked like it would tie the game when quarterback Eric
Wilson went around the left side of the line for a 7-yard score.
But when things are going bad, they are going bad. Jason Custer's extra point attempt was blocked,
making it 7-6.
In the first quarter, Leesburg employed a two-quarterback system. By the start of the second quarter,
Leesburg coach Bud O'Hara had benched starter Ronnie Joe Franklin for the rest of the night and put
in Wilson, who finished the night 7-of-15 with 136 yards passing and one touchdown.
O'Hara annointed Wilson his quarterback for the remainder of the season.
``Wilson is our quarterback,'' O'Hara said. ``He made a lot of mistakes, but he's a 10th-grader, and I
will have him for two more years.''
Fumbles also killed Leesburg rallies late in the second quarter. Jermaine Orr and Wilson fumbled
the ball deep in Knight territory - one after a big 25-yard run by Jon Landis.
Leesburg was also hurt by penalties. The Yellow Jackets committed 17 penalties for 110 yards in the
``They were just small mistakes made by kids who have never played,'' O'Hara said. ``I couldn't have
been prouder of my team for playing hard.''
Vanguard took the second turnover down the field and scored on a Kyle Howie 40-yard field goal to
lead 10-6 at the half.
Late in the fourth quarter, the two teams traded touchdowns. Vanguard's Jason Gray scored on a
2-yard run with Howie connecting on the kick.
Leesburg's Adam McRae caught an 18-yard pass from Wilson for the Yellow Jackets' last score.
Wilson's pass on the two-point conversion fell incomplete.