Sports Brief: JV coach trying to help build young men

Renita Woodard-Barkley, Correspondent

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) –Coach Adolph Toussaint is no stranger to public school football programs. He was the head football coach at Raa Middle School for five years. 

He left Raa and landed at Leon High in 2010 as an assistant JV coach. He moved into the JV head coaching role for five years then back to a JV assistant coach. 

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Coach Adolph Toussaint

Toussaint said his standards have never changed in all of his years of coaching. 

“I expect what is expected every year- greatness in the classroom, on the field and in the community, in that order.”

He said his goal is to mold and mentor these young men while in his care to make sure the greatness is instilled in them. Toussaint chose Leon because of their tradition and being one of the oldest high schools in the state of Florida.

“The opportunity presented itself and it was too great to pass up.”

Fisher is still optimistic as Game 5 approaches

Brianna Biancardi, Correspondent (@BriBiancardiFS on Twitter)

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) –The Florida State-Miami rivalry continued last Saturday at Doak
Campbell Stadium, as the two teams squared off for the 62nd time.

The Miami Hurricanes (4-0, 1-0 in the American Coast Conference) trailed by three points in the fourth quarter, but the Seminoles (1-3, 1-2 in the American Coast Conference) were unable to hang
on for the win.

With only six seconds remaining in the game, the Hurricanes’ redshirt junior QB Malik Rosier threw a
23-yard touchdown pass to redshirt junior WR Darrell Langham to put an end to Florida State’s seven-game winning streak against the Hurricanes.

“It was a great physical football game,” Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher said. “Unfortunately, they made one more play than we did.”

After scoring three touchdowns in the final quarter, the Hurricanes came out victorious, defeating the Seminoles 24-20.

“Miami is a good team,” Fisher continued. “I give them credit, but at the same time we had opportunities and we just have to do things a little bit better.”

The Seminoles continue their ACC season on Saturday, as they head North to take on Duke (4-2, 1-2 in the American Coast Conference) at Wallace Wade Stadium at noon

Duke enters the game having lost back-to-back games and two of their three in-conference matchups. Despite their record, the Blue Devils rushing defense ranks seventh in the NCAA.

“They are a good football team,” Fisher said. “They are right on the verge of winning all of their games defensively.”

Meanwhile, the Seminoles have increased their rushing totals with each game, posting 203 yards in last Saturday’s contest. Going into this weekend’s matchup, Fisher hopes to lead his team to
victory after their 1-3 start to the season.

“It’s about us,” Fisher said. “We’re all in this together.”
Things to know about this game:

● James Blackman became the first true freshman starting quarterback for the Florida State Seminoles. Blackman has completed 50 of his 87 passes so far this season for the
Seminoles, leading to 602 yards and four touchdowns. He completed 60.7 percent of his passes in last week’s game, which was a career-high for the young quarterback.
● It is not often that these two teams face one another, but the Seminoles have won all 17 of their previous matchups against the Blue Devils.
● Most famously, in 2013, Florida State defeated Duke 45-7 in the ACC Championship game thanks to three touchdown passes from Jameis Winston.

FAMU Football Notebook

Calvin Sykes, Florida A&M Correspondent (@CSykesSportsU on Twitter)

Tallahassee, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – Underdog?

Some of the greatest sports stories came from a single person or a team, it is these underdogs that have shaped the sports world one at a time.

Florida A&M is in the position of the underdog against one of the top-ranked Historically Black College and University (HBCU) teams in the nation.

The Rattlers have had to tolerate losing to North Carolina in back-to-back years during the Alex Wood era.

Numbers Don’t Lie  

Florida A&M is currently on a two-game losing streak.  The overall concern with the team is the penalties and turnovers, and Wood called the performance “very frustrating”.

North Carolina A&T is undefeated, with three Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference victories against Morgan State, South Carolina State, and Delaware State.

One positive that has come during the losing streak is the rushing game.  The Rattler offense finished with 250 yards on the ground on Saturday against Norfolk State, the most since 2012.

“We had a good plan,” Wood said. “The kids executed that phase of the plan really well. Our offensive line did a good job of securing the line of scrimmage to create lanes for the runners to run in. Those guys did a good job getting yards after contact.”

Coach Wood hopes that this performance will continue against a North Carolina A&T defense who allow 10.2 points per game. North Carolina A&T’s well-balanced offense averages 41.7 points per game.

The positive for this underdog Rattler team is Wood has won every homecoming game thus far.

Injuries

LB Emillo Gibbs and RB Ricky Henrilus will return for the game against North Carolina A&T. The two missed Norfolk State game due to injury.

FAMU Football Update

Ashley Van Slyck, Correspondent (@AVanSlyckFS on Twitter)

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – The Florida A&M University Rattlers football team began their season with a win over Texas Southern, 29-7, but have struggled to secure many wins since.

With an average score of 18.5 points per game, the Rattlers hold a 2-4 Overall record and a 1-2 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference record. They defeated Texas Southern and Savannah State. Last season, FAMU held its best record since 2012, ending the season 4-7.

Quarterback Ryan Stanley has completed 103 of his 161 passing attempts this season, averaging 212.8 passing yards per game. Running back Devin Bowers leads the team in rushing, averaging 68.3 yards per game on the ground.

In the Rattlers upcoming game, they will face the North Carolina A&T Aggies for their homecoming game in Bragg Memorial Stadium on Saturday, kickoff at 3 p.m.

Florida High to host Wakulla

Dimetry Dixon, Correspondent (@DimetryDixonFS on Twitter)

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) –

The Florida State High School Seminoles football team will take on the Wakulla War Eagles Friday at Florida High stadium at 7:30 p.m.

Both teams are coming off wins from last week. The Seminoles (4-2) took on North Florida Christian (5-1)  and gave them their first loss of the season. Florida high won 28-18. Wakulla (5-2) took on

Wakulla (5-2) took on Leon (0-6) and won by a score of 44-7. Both teams have played well on offense, with sophomore quarterback
Bryson Hill leading the Seminoles. Last week, he had 13
completions on 19 attempts for 269 yards with 2 touchdowns and an interception. Senior Kevin Sawyer Jr. had 10 carries for 96 rushing yards. He also contributed catching the ball, with four catches for 37 yards.

Leading the Eagles offense, sophomore quarterback Jaylan Worsham had 13 completions on 21 attempts for 249 passing yards and four touchdowns last week.  Senior wide receiver Cephus Greene hauled in four catches for 88 yards and two touchdowns. 

Wakulla tops Leon in a blowout

Sean Bin, Correspondent (@SeanBinFS on Twitter)

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – The Wakulla War Eagles secured a win against the Leon Lions with a  44-7 blowout on a Thursday night at Gene Cox Stadium.

Wakulla (4-2) received the ball first but sophomore quarterback Jaylon Worsham threw an interception on the War Eagles’ opening drive.

Wakulla started their second drive on their own 8-yard line after a Leon (0-5) punt.  The War Eagles found the end zone, thanks to a 26-yard jet sweep play on a fourth down by Chris Beverly, a senior wingback.

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It didn’t take long for Wakulla to find the end zone for the second time after another Leon punt. A 60-yard touchdown pass from Worsham to Jordan Bolden, a sophomore running back gave Wakulla a 14-point lead. Wakulla was able to score one more touchdown before the end of first quarter, on a 4-yard touchdown pass from Worsham to Cephus Greene, a senior running back.

Leon’s next drive was ended on an interception thrown by senior quarterback John Carey. Wakulla scored another touchdown with a 9-yard run by Worsham. Leon got an interception from senior cornerback Raequon Greene, but couldn’t turn it into any points.

Wakulla’s offense kept on putting points on the board, with an 18-yard touchdown pass from Worsham to Hezekiah Gross, a senior running back. Wakulla snagged another touchdown before the end of first half with a 20-yard touchdown pass from Worsham to Greene.

“The holes were opening and teammates were getting open so I was able to complete the passes. The O-Line was blocking as well,” Worsham said after 4 touchdown passes and a rushing touchdown.

The third quarter began with a 62-yard kickoff return by Queze Brutton, a senior kick returner for Leon. Leon scored their first touchdown of the game with a 2-yard run by Josh Johnson, a senior running back.

Wakulla started their back-ups for the rest of the game but they still managed to put points on the board. A 34-yard field goal by Hunter Busen, a junior kicker, increased the lead to 37 points.

 “I stayed focused, believed in my quarterback, line, and just made plays like I always do,” Greene said. 

“We came out really well. We had a rough game last week. We came out tonight very focused,” Wakulla head coach Barry Klees said. “Offensively, we threw the ball really well, spread them out and the defense was really physical. Special teams were great also so it was a good overall game tonight.” 

Lincoln Falls Short to Trinity Christian, 35-21

Ashley Van Slyck, Correspondent (@AVanSlyckFS on Twitter)

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – The Lincoln high school football team threw an interception on the opening drive of the game, setting the tone for their loss to Trinity Christian, 35-21, Friday night at Gene Cox Stadium.

On the second drive of the game, Conquerors’ (5-2, District 2-0) quarterback Winston Sweeting ran 15 yards into the end zone, giving them a 7-0 lead. The Trojans (4-3, District 2-0) responded with a quick drive into their end zone through a 34-yard pass from quarterback Chris Beard to wide receiver Derek Curry,  tying the game with 8:36 remaining in the first quarter.

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The rest of the first quarter brought a muffed punt and long drives for each team that resulted in no points. The first quarter ended with the game still a tied 7-7.

The second quarter opened with a 24-yard touchdown run by Trinity Christian’s Marcus Crowley, giving them a 14-7 lead. Beard responded with a two-yard touchdown pass to Kamari Morales with 4:16 remaining in the half to tie the score 14-14.

The Trojans forced a fumble on Trinity Christian’s next possession but came away with no points. Lincoln head coach Quinn Gray said the team needs to capitalize on those opportunities.

“We have to work harder in practice. Everything that has happened to us thus far this season has been somewhat a mistake we’ve seen in practice,” Gray said. “Until we understand that practice translates to the field were going continue to make the mistakes that were making out here on the game field. So we’re going to go back to the drawing board on Monday and we’re going to correct those mistakes.”

The first half ended a tie game, 14-14.

Trinity Christian opened the second half with a touchdown, again giving them the lead 21-14. Lincoln’s first drive of the second half began with a 15-yard pass to Caleb Matthews. Then, two penalties against Trinity Christian; face mask and encroachment. The Trojans were unable to complete the drive for a touchdown when a poor snap on third down forced them to turn the ball over.

Lincoln completed a 42-yard touchdown pass to Stanton Johnson to tie the game 21-21 after a stalled Conquerors’ drive.

Trinity Christian responded with a touchdown, bringing the score to 28-21. The Conquerors blocked the Trojan’s punt on their next drive 10.5 seconds remaining in the third quarter.

With 5:38 remaining in the fourth, Crowley scored a touchdown from one yard out, increasing Trinity Christian’s lead 35-21.

The game ended when the Lincoln Trojan’s threw for an interception, giving Trinity Christian the opportunity to run the clock out.

“Everything that we get, we’re going to earn. That’s from winning to playing time and everything,” Gray said. “If you’re going to play here at Lincoln, it’s going to be earned on the practice field and in the classroom. Bottom line.”

NFC drops first game of the season to Florida High

Rebecca Sweeney, Correspondent

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – The Florida State High School football team played North Florida Christian in hopes of adding another win to their 3-2 season. The Seminoles ended up with a 28-18 victory.

The first quarter started off strong for the Seminoles with their first touchdown of the night with 10:18 left on the clock. After making the field goal they led 7-0. There were no other scores in the quarter. 

Florida high scored a touchdown with 11:51 on the clock, making the score at 14-0. NFC scored their first touchdown of the night with 1:05 on the clock, making the score 14-6. Florida High scored another touchdown with 29 seconds left in the half, increasing their lead to 21-6 until the end of the first half.

The Eagles fought back in the third quarter with Florida High only scoring one touchdown to put the score at 28-6. NFC’s Jonathan Railey scored the team’s second touchdown of the night, making the score at 28-12.

Near the end of the fourth quarter, NFC scored their final touchdown of the night. The loss put an end to North Florida Christian’s Undefeated season.

“I thought we did a good job of coming out and setting the tone early. We did a really good job, of making plays early. It is a really good football team we played tonight and we got a good win,” Florida High head coach Jarrod Hickman said.

 Florida High is now 4-2 this season with 4 more games left in the season. The Seminoles will take on the Wakulla War Eagles next week.

 “Get better,” Hickman said. “We have to clean up some of our things because they are a really good football team. They can run it and throw it and their coach is a really good coach.”

Noles to Host Hurricanes

Alec Chessari, Correspondent (@AlecChessariFS on Twitter)

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – The Miami Hurricanes will be making their way to Doak Campbell Stadium as they get ready for the Florida State Seminoles at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday.

The Seminoles (1-2, 1-1 ACC) are heading into this week’s matchup against the Hurricanes (3-0, 1-0) unranked for the first time in more than five years under head coach Jimbo Fisher. The Seminoles have beaten the Hurricanes the past seven years. Miami is still leading the all-time series 31-30.

Last year’s matchup ended with the Seminoles blocking the Hurricanes PAT to win 20-19. Also, the Seminoles had Dalvin Cook in the backfield, who carried the ball 27 times for 150 yards. This year’s matchup will feature true freshman quarterback James Blackman under the center for FSU.

Last Saturday, Blackman and the Seminoles traveled to Wake Forrest for an in-conference game. Blackman accounted for 121 yards while completing 11 of 21 passes and a touchdown.

Miami played an away conference game against Duke last Friday and won 31-6. The Hurricanes defense did not allow a touchdown the entire game. Miami’s quarterback Malik Rosier accounted for 270 yards while completing 15 of 26 passes for two touchdowns and one rushing touchdown.

Some key players for the Florida State Seminoles are:

Derwin James (Defensive Back)

James was sidelined due to an injury last season which forced him to watch the game from a different perspective. This year he is healthy and will be a key factor for the Seminoles to win the game. James has 18 total tackles, 12 solo tackles and six assisted tackles.  

James Blackman (Quarterback)

Blackman is a true freshman starting for the Seminoles after an injury sidelined Deondre Francios for the season. Blackman has completed 33 of his 59 passes so far for the Seminoles, racking up 399-yards and two touchdowns.

Auden Tate (Wide Receiver)

Tate is a 6-foot-5-inches target that can go up and get the ball. Tate has 13 catches for 226 yards and three touchdowns this season, including the game-winning touchdown against Wake Forest last week.

Some key players for the Miami Hurricanes entering this game:

Malik Rosier (Quarterback)

Rosier is a junior for the Hurricanes and has completed 59 of 90 attempts for 820 yards and eight touchdowns in three games this season. Rosier has the patience to stay in the pocket and also the legs to keep the chains moving.

Ahmmon Richards (Wide Receiver)

Richards is a sophomore and although he hasn’t started the season like he did last year he will be a key player for Rosier in this matchup against the Seminoles. He has three catches for 109 yards and one touchdown.

Shaquille Quarterman (Linebacker)

Quarterman was ranked as one of the top linebackers in the ACC last season as a freshman. This season he has accounted for 21 tackles, 13 solo tackles and eight assisted.

 

 

 

GODBY HIGH SCHOOL WINS AGAINST WAKULLA HIGH SCHOOL ON HOMECOMING NIGHT

Sean Bin, Correspondent

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – 

The Godby High School football team defeated Wakulla War Eagles 21-6 on their homecoming night for their sixth straight win.

Both teams had trouble putting scores on the board during the first quarter, with back-to-back drives ending up in punts. Godby who broke the ice when senior running back Jerry Ray, found the end zone with a 26-yard run. Wakulla tried to answer back but ended up having to punt for the third straight time. It wasn’t until the end of first quarter that Wakulla was able to get a field goal.

The second quarter started out rough with a fumble from the Godby quarterback Rasean Mckay. Fortunately for Godby, it was recovered in their favor. Right after the fumble, running back Tony Street broke out for a 45-yard run to put the ball in Wakulla’s 37 yard line. Mckay finished the drive with a 2-yard run for a touchdown, bringing the score to 14-3 with Godby in the lead. 

Wakulla received the ball at the start of the third quarter but ended up punting again. Godby started their drive at their own 48 yard line.  Godby was able to increase the lead by 18 points thanks to a 10-yard pass from Mckay to Tyler Pye for a touchdown.

It wasn’t until the fourth quarter that Wakulla scored another field goal to make the score 21-6. Wakulla tried to get the momentum going but the time wasn’t in their favor as the clock ran out.

 

Trojans Offense Overpowers Chiles

Ashley Van Slyck, Correspondent

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – 

On their first drive of the game, the Lincoln high school football team drove the ball down the field to score a touchdown for a fast start to their win over Chiles, 47-21.

With 3:14 left in the first quarter, Lincoln made another quick drive down the field to further their lead 14-0. The Trojan’s very next drive led to another touchdown, as the seemingly untouchable Trojans now dominated Chiles 21-0. 

Things finally began to look up for Chiles when their quarterback, Garrett Greene, threw a 35-yard pass to wide receiver Dillon Haire, who caught the pass with one hand. The drive ended in Chiles’ first touchdown of the game. Lincoln, however, fought back with a touchdown on their next drive just before halftime. Both teams ran into the locker rooms with Lincoln up 28-7.

The third quarter began with Trojans quarterback, Christopher Beard, throwing an interception to Chiles safety Nicholas Clayton. The Timberwolves carried that momentum over to the offense. Greene recovered a Dillon Giesecke fumble and ran it in for a score, cutting Lincoln’s lead to 14.

With 8:25 left in the third quarter, tensions began to rise between coaches, players and the refs, which lead to a flag on the Lincoln Trojans and unnecessary roughness calls on Chiles.

“It got a little out of control, but at the end of the day it’s football, you don’t take anything personal,” Lincoln head coach Quinn Gray said on the third quarter rumble.

The third quarter continued with an intentional grounding penalty on Chiles forcing them to punt from their own 3-yard line. The punt ended after a poor snap hit the goal post, resulting in a safety. On Lincoln’s next drive, Beard ran the ball in for another Trojan touchdown to end the third quarter.

“The young quarterback is doing a great job,” Gray said.

At the start of the fourth quarter, Lincoln recovered the ensuing on-side kick and drove down the field to score another touchdown, bringing the score to 44-14.

Lincoln added a 43-yard field goal and the Timberwolves managed another score before the end of the game. 

Lincoln head coach said the key to the team’s success was that “we were able to keep our composure at the right times and

“We were able to keep our composure at the right times and that just serves as a testament to our guys,” Gray said.  “Overall, I’m proud of my kids and how they composed themselves.”

 

 

Column: Is this the new FAMU football team?

Royal A. Shepherd (RoyalShepherdFS on Twitter), Production Director

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – You know, I can’t remember the last time Florida A&M’s football team drove down the field into their opponents redzone on its first three drives. Then again, I can’t remember the last time the Rattler’s defense suffocated a team into submission by halftime. Or at least I couldn’t remember.

Head coach Alex Woods and the Rattlers did both on Saturday. The team was both efficient on offense and stingy on defense for their noon kickoff against Texas Southern University.  It resulted in a pretty convincing 29-7 victory for FAMU in its first home opener since 2011.

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Vincent Jefferies carries the ball into the end zone during the third quarter of Florida A&M’s season opener. The Rattlers won 29-7.

FAMU’s opening drive started off promising. Behind a good mix of passing and running plays, the Rattlers marched down the field only to miss a relatively short field goal attempt. Of course, everyone was thinking the same thinking the same thing at this point: “You have to make those count. You never know how many chances they’ll have in the red zone.”

The answer was several.

In fact, the team got into the red zone on each of its first three possessions. Devin Bowers and Ricky Henrilus were extremely impressive in the game. They were able to give FAMU a solid ground game as a change of pace option. It looked like the type of dual-back tandem the team can lean on going forward. Bowers ended the game with 41 yards on 15 carries, while Henrilus had 14 carries for 81 yards. The team ended with 193 total yards on the ground.

The Rattler’s next drive was also a thing of beauty. Back-to-back spectacular runs after the catch by Marcus Williams, the redshirt sophomore out of Miami, set up a nine-yard QB keeper for a touchdown by Ryan Stanley. 

Let’s pause for a second and talk about Mr. Stanley, or as he will now be known, Sunshine.

 

 

 

Stanley was an absolute monster in this game, finishing 19-32 for 214 yards and a touchdown. He also had three rushes for 21 yards and a touchdown. It wasn’t just his numbers that were impressive, it was his general command of every situation presented to him on the field. It led to some interesting notions about a certain end of the year award.

 

His performance was only outshined by his hair, which reminded me of Billy Ray Cyrus a little.

The Rattlers’ hurry-up offense kept Texas Southern off balance every time they went to it. FAMU looked like a well-oiled machine throughout the first two quarters. TSU players, however, were gassed by the end of the half. They were a team that was beaten and knew it. 

FAMU’s defense played a big role in that feeling of helplessness. Although TSU accounted for 202 yards on offense, they struggled for everyone. The Tigers didn’t cross midfield until the fourth quarter with FAMU up four scores. The Rattler defense only allowed 62 rushing yards on 18 carries and 140 passing yards. They also came away with three sacks and an interception on the day.

The Tigers lone touchdown, a 30-yard hookup between quarterback Jay Christophe to Darvin Kirby, came when the game was already out of reach. 

FAMU needed all the momentum they could gather heading into Thursday’s game against the Arkansas Razorbacks on Thursday. This was a surefire way to gain some of that confidence. We’ll just have to see if they can keep it up all season. But for now, job well done Rattlers.

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