Posted: Saturday, August 31, 2013 9:00 am
Mark Fisher Special to the Daily Commercial | 0 comments
Special to the Daily Commercial
The Leesburg Yellow Jackets exploded offensively in the second half to
convincingly begin the regular season with a victory 41-14 over the Tavares
Bulldogs 41 - 14 Friday night at H.O. Dabney Stadium.
Although Leesburg dominated field possession throughout the contest, twice
obtaining the ball inside the red zone in the first quarter, they were only able to
scrape out a 13 - 0 advantage at the half. The Yellow Jackets capitalized by
recovering an early Bulldog turnover on their second play from scrimmage.
From the 12- yard-line, arun by Bryant Benton, followed by a Dunham pass to
Dunham hit Adrian Falconer from 7 yards out for the touchdonw and James
Eldridge’s point after gave Leesburg an early lead that they would never surrender.
Two possessions later, another Bulldog miscue gave Leesburg first and goal at the
9 but the Tavares defense and a holding penalty forced the Yellow Jackets to try
for a Eldridge field goal. But the attempt rocketed under the goal post. The teams
then settled into a defensive struggle with neither team able to mount a lengthy
drive until late in the second quarter when Bryan Jefferson returned a David
Buckner punt 37 yards to the Bulldog 21 yard line. Two successive penalties
backed Leesburg to the 31 before Dunham took over. A quick pass to Lee Bennett
was followed by a quarterback keeper that the quarterback took to the goal line. He
was able to sneak it in on the following play and after a missed point after attempt
Leesburg was ahead 13 - 0, the score by which they led at the half.
Taking the second half kickoff, the Tavares offense finally got untracked as the
Bulldogs engineered a 12-play drive running their no huddle offense to perfection
and narrowing the Yellow Jacket advantage to 13 - 7 when John Perdue bowled
over from 3 yards out and David Buckner’s point after was good.
Tavares signal caller Christian Sears, Jr. was sharp throughout the drive, hitting
Osirus Munn for a short gain and then alternating with Perdue, Demetrius Ramirez
and Ezekiel Thomas in the Bulldog run option to notch five first downs on the 80-
yard drive capped by the Perdue touchdown.
After forcing Leesburg to punt, Tavares was about to establish control but a
promising drive was killed by a holding penalty. After taking the punt at the Bulldog
45, Leesburg used a roughing call to move to the 30 where Dunham hit four
consecutive passes, including two-point conversion toss to Lee Bennett to put
Leesburg ahead 21 - 7 as the game entered the fourth quarter.
Tavares looked to answer the score when it constructed another lengthy 13-play
drive but stalled and turned the ball over on downs deep in Yellow Jacket territory.
Leesburg struck immediately when Bryant Benton broke off an 81 yard touchdown
run to put the hosts up 28 - 7 with 7 minutes remaining. Playing in the defensive
back field Jabari Dunham shut down another long Bulldog drive when he stepped
in front of a Sears pass at the Leesburg goal line.
Returning to his offensive duties Dunham and company marched the length of the
field on 8 plays with Anfernee Scott rushing the final 37 yards for the touchdown
and the 35 -7 advantage. A quick payback touchdown run of 70 yards by Ezekiel
Thomas briefly lifted Tavares 35 - 14 but Leesburg responded with a quick drive
after the onside kick and Keionte Lattimore scrambled in from 4 yards out for the
Yellow Jackets final points as time expired and providing Leesburg at 41 - 14
victory in its regular season opener.