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Jackson lifts Lake Minneola
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Jackson lifts Lake Minneola
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Jackson lifts Lake Minneola
Jackson lifts Lake Minneola
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2017 Leesburg Yellow Jackets Football Archives
Leesburg’s Andre “AJ” Graham (9) makes a carry during a game between Leesburg High School
and Lake Minneola High School in Leesburg on Friday. [Paul Ryan / Correspondent]
Carver Heights Quarterback Club, Leesburg High School, Leesburg, Florida
Leesburg Yellow Jackets vs. Minneola Lake Minneola Hawks, High School
Football Game

Jackson lifts Lake Minneola to win over Leesburg

By Paul Jenkins
Daily Commercial
Friday, November 3, 2017
Updated: Sunday, November 5, 2017, 2:37 p.m.

LEESBURG — Wyatt Rector was up to his usual heroics one last time at Leesburg’s H.O. Dabney
Stadium on Friday night, right down to throwing for a touchdown on the final pass of his high school
career.

The trouble was, even Rector was no match for the incredible night turned in by Lake Minneola running
back Fred Jackson.

Jackson rushed for 454 yards and four touchdowns on 42 carries to lift the Hawks to a 55-47 victory.

The win allows Lake Minneola to finish the season at 5-5 while the Yellow Jackets wrap up their first
year under coach Mark Oates with a 4-6 record.

Leesburg had trouble against the run all season and Jackson made sure that trend continued right
until the end. His four touchdowns came on runs of 34, 13, 65 and 54 yards.

Rector countered with five touchdown passes while completing 15 of 38 throws for 237 yards with two
interceptions. He also rushed for 145 yards and a touchdown on 10 carries.

The biggest problem for Leesburg was that it rarely had the ball and Lake Minneola controlled the clock
throughout the game. The Yellow Jackets came up with big strikes to stay close, but it wasn’t enough.

Lake Minneola had the ball for the majority of the first half, but needed two touchdowns in the final 57
seconds of the half to go into the locker room with a 27-14 lead.

The Hawks ran 46 plays in the first half to just 20 for Leesburg and jumped in front of the Yellow
Jackets with two long scoring drives.

Lake Minneola went 73 yards in eight plays, getting a 19-yard scoring pass from Devon Cole to Tyler
Smith for the opening score with 5:56 to go in the first quarter.

An interception by Kahil Allen gave the Hawks the ball at their own 1 and Lake Minneola went 99 yards
on 10 plays, moving down the field methodically until Jackson put a quick end to the drive with a 34-
yard scoring run right up the middle. That put the Hawks in front 14-0 with 11:54 remaining in the
second quarter.

Leesburg answered with two big plays from AJ Graham. First, he caught a Rector pass in traffic and
took it 46 yards for the score. Then he intercepted a pass to halt another long Lake Minneola drive and
returned it to the Lake Minneola 28. Three plays later Rector ran in from 3 yards out to tie the score at
14 with 5:32 to go in the half.

Lake Minneola came right back with another long drive, going 83 yards in 11 plays. Jackson finished it
off with a run around the right side from 13 yards out for the score to make it 21-14 with 57 seconds left
in the half.

The Hawks then recovered the ensuing kickoff at the Leesburg 36 and used six straight running plays
to get back in the end zone. Alfonzo Smith took it in from the 6 on the final play of the half to send Lake
Minneola into the locker room with a 27-14 lead.

The two teams traded scores on the first five possessions of the second half with a 13-yard scoring
pass from Rector to Cordrayious Graham cutting Lake Minneola’s lead to 39-34 with 1:46 to go in the
third quarter.

After Lake Minneola was stopped on their next possession, Kennan Johnson intercepted Rector at the
Hawks’ 4. Lake Minneola used seven straight runs to move out near midfield and Jackson went 54
yards up the middle on a fourth-and-1 against a stacked line to give the Hawks a 47-34 lead with 8:06
left in the game.

After stopping Leesburg on downs, Cole hit Jacob Johnson with a 73-yard touchdown pass to make it
55-34 with 5:23 to go.

Rector needed only 35 seconds before hitting Graham for a 21-yard score with Graham making a nice
one-handed catch in the end zone.

After stopping the Hawks, Rector went back to work and threw a 15-yard touchdown pass to Jatavian
Solomon for the final points of the night with 44 seconds left.

Leesburg couldn’t recover the ensuing onside kick and the Hawks only had to take a knee to end the
game.



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