PREP FOOTBALL: Indians trample Tigers in classic
FORT WHITE — The Fort White Indians shutout their neighbors from the south, the Trenton Tigers, 27-0, Friday night in the Preseason Kickoff Classic — the final dress rehearsal for the upcoming season.
The Indians' offensive fire power apparently overwhelmed the visiting Tigers, who only mounted one real scoring threat during the contest.
Even though the Indians collected a 27-point, blowout win, the home team had five touchdowns — 30 points, taken off the board from penalties.
The hometown Indians were dominant on both sides of the ball: The offensive line gave Indian signal caller Dylan Blair time to look at multiple down field receivers, while the Indians defense constantly hassled the Tiger's ball carriers. When the Tigers were finally able to see a little daylight down field, they were often greeted with jarring hits from the Indians defensive unit.
Demetric Jackson, Indians' head coach said, quarterback Dylan Blair has got to get more confidence in the team's young receiving corps.
"He's got to get some confidence in our guys offensively and be more aggressive with our approach," Jackson said. "Our game plan is aggressive, but guys offensively are not coming out aggressive."
The Indians turned the ball over on downs for the first possession of the game, but quickly rebounded on the second possession with a one play scoring drive after a Trenton fumble. Blair hit Kanell Stewart for a five-yard touchdown pass with 6:08 in the first quarter, giving the Indians a 7-0 lead, after the Matt Dimauro point after kick.
Following a Trenton punt, the Indians again put up points.
After two plays with no yards, Blair hit Stewart on a slip screen, and Stewart took the ball to the inside of the field, where he was able to outrun the Tiger defense for a 76-yard touchdown. The point after attempt by Caleb May was no good, but the Indians had a 13-0 lead with 3:08 remaining in the first quarter.
After getting the ball back, the Trenton offense ran three plays and punted, giving Fort White the ball with 1:15 in the first stanza at its 36 yard line.
After consecutive holding calls, and an incomplete pass, Indians' running back Brayden Summers took a handoff, scooted around the left side and tight-roped the left side line until he hit the endzone on a 76-yard rushing touchdown with 0:08 seconds left in the first quarter. The score gave the Indians a 20-0 lead, with a successful point after attempt.
The Indians' final varsity score of the of the night came on a punt 77-yard punt return by Deondre Cray. The successful point after kick gave the Indians a 27-0 lead with 11:16 remaining in the second quarter.
"Defensively, we're playing pretty good," Jackson said of the shutout victory. "With Suwannee we'll do somethings that are going to be a little more challenging. We've just got to sure up our discipline aspect of the game. That's kind of what hurt us. Once we get that, we think we have a chance of playing with anybody."
Jackson acknowledged the Indians left some plays and points on the field.
"When you have five touchdowns called back... that's frustrating," he said. "We've got to do better than that. The effort is there. It's just correcting things — you've got to know when the whistle blows to stop. Overall the effort was great."
As Jackson gave his initial critique of the game, without the aid of fame film, he said the Indians' strong suit appears to be its' defense.
"Our defense is pretty good," he said. "We had a couple of guys out tonight. We had one that was sick and another that had a root canal done, so we only played with nine starters and we'll be excited to get those two guys back."
Jackson was pleased the Indians didn't lose any conventional turnovers on interceptions or fumbles.
"That's what we're preaching," he said. "Our running backs need to run with a forward lean and the quarterbacks should do a good job of not turning the ball over and I thought they did that. I really liked the way our defense swarmed and created turnovers."