Northeast Florida Sports Jacksonville

First Coast Forces Overtime; Ribault Forces Turnovers!!

With just seconds left in the game Derias McGoogin lined up to attempt a game winning field goal for the visiting Ribault Trojans against First Coast on Friday Night. The Trojans had just recovered a muffed punt by First Coast, and possessed the ball deep in Buccaneer territory. The snap was good, the hold was perfect, but #8 Quintin Montgomery rushed through the left side of the offensive’s line and blocked the punt. #11 Brandon Thomas of Ribault picked up the ball and attempted to race to the endzone but was tackled at the five yard line forcing overtime.

In Overtime, Ribault attempted a pass on first down to which Quarterback Jhamaal Marsh had the awareness to avoid the pass rush and throw the ball away. On second down Coach Anthony Flynn deployed  Ribault’s power package as Brandon Thomas took it off tackle and powered through the left side of the line and into the endzone for the go ahead score.

The PAT was good and it was First Coast’s turn on offense. First Coast Head Coach Marty Lee didn’t like what he saw initially and would call timeout. On the ensuing play the Buccaneers had exactly what they were looking for in matchups as Quarterback #5 Jevaro Hardy found is target in the flats on a short pass reception. The wide receiver advanced the ball to the five yard line and attempted to turn the corner for the endzone but Ribault’s  #24 Jakeem Gelsey tackled the ball carrier, forcing the ball to spurt out of Mallory’s hands and through the back of the endzone. Because the ball was fumbled through the back of the endzone  by rule possession was turned over to Ribault which meant the game was over.

Ribault and First Coast traded blows all night in the defensive battle. First Coast’s Khalil Bryant recovered a backwards pass in the endzone for a defensive touchdown to tie the game at 13-13. Terry Stripling intercepted a pass by Hardy to thwart a potential go ahead score. In the second half, running lanes closed quickly, and receivers struggled to create separation. But in the first half both teams were able to get on the board.

Ribault scored on a 5 yard pass from Marsh to Antonio Hagans to score their 13th point of the game. Before that, Ribault’s DeSean McNair reeled off big runs including a 47 yard run on his first carry. This along with a touchdown reception by First Coast Keion Johnson, had many believing the game would be an offensive showcase. However the game would end like it began, with a defensive play. Ribault began the game with an interception return for a touchdown, they ended the game with a forced fumble to prevent a touchdown.

First Coast will look back on this game acknowledging the mistakes that impacted their chances to win. WR Kevin Stepherson had a big return to set up their only offensive score on the night. But he also made a costly play attempting to field a short punt late in the game that bounced erratically and eluded his grasp. Stepherson no doubt attempted to make a unscheduled play for his team that found it hard to execute its scheduled offense. One must admire and respect the Bucs for their effort in such an emotionally competitive environment. Admiration is also afforded to Coach Marty Lee who after the game made his way into the Ribault post game circle and congratulated the entire Trojan team for their win. A classy gesture by the highly successful coach, who’s team will bounce back from this loss.

Ribault’s emotion in the game didn’t come from their opponent, but from the talk of a disappointing start to their season. After going 0-3, the Trojans heard the criticism from outside the locker room. But they stayed together and knew the talent they had on the team. And with a win against a top program like First Coast, (their second win in a row) now everyone else is reminded of their talent too.

Check back with Duval Sports for Post game interviews of this game!

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