Sub-sational


Eastside's Tim Shankle replaced quarterback Micguel Johnson, who was suspended for the shootout for disciplinary reasons.

AARON DAYE/The Gainesville Sun
Published: Tuesday, November 1, 2005 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, November 1, 2005 at 1:58 a.m.
It wasn't exactly a typical Monday for Tim Shankle.
A rarity, he and his Eastside teammates were scheduled to compete in a shootout with Belleview and Leesburg to determine the District 6-4A champion. But that he knew already.
However, not long after the final school bell of the day rang, Shankle was told starting quarterback Micguel Johnson was suspended for the shootout by Eastside's administration for disciplinary reasons. That meant Shankle, a tailback/safety, was needed to play quarterback.
No matter.
Despite getting what he estimated is between 10 to 20 percent of the snaps in practice each week as the backup quarterback, Shankle looked like a smooth veteran Monday night at Citizen's Field.
In leading the ninth-ranked Rams to a 14-0 second-quarter victory against Leesburg, Shankle - with an 8-yard passing touchdown to Jake Tragash and a 1-yard rushing touchdown - helped deliver Eastside its second straight district championship.
And this one meant a little more to the senior.
"Last year I had an ankle injury (that kept me out the first seven games) and I was only at about 50 percent when I came back, so I wasn't able to help out as much," said Shankle, who is being recruited by Iowa State, Clemson and Indiana, among others. "This year I was more a part of everything and it feels great."
Shankle's moonlighting at quarterback probably will be only a one-night deal, as coach Kent Johnson said he expected Micguel Johnson to be in uniform Friday when the Rams face Gainesville.
Still, it was nice for the coach to see he has a versatile second option in Shankle.
"Tim is the type of guy who can play every skill position on the field," Kent Johnson said. "We try to go three deep at quarterback, and like when (former starter) Austin Mowry went down (at Union County around midseason) and Micguel had to step in, Tim did the same for us tonight."
Leesburg reached the decisive quarter using a 2-yard touchdown run from Tory Harrison and a 56-yard touchdown run by quarterback Mark Smith to defeat Belleview, 14-0, in the opening quarter.
The win earned the Yellow Jackets a playoff berth with the result against Eastside determining whether Leesburg would be the district champion or runner-up.
The shootout was necessitated by each team going 1-1 against each other (the road team won every game) and splitting the 6-4A title in the regular season with 7-2 overall records.
First, Belleview beat Eastside, 52-51 in four overtimes, on Thursday of Week Seven. Eight days later, Leesburg topped the Rattlers, 24-21 in overtime. And last Friday the Rams defeated the Yellow Jackets, 21-9.
As a result of the shootout, when the playoffs begin Nov. 11, Eastside will host Orange Park Ridgeview and Leesburg will travel to face highly recruited quarterback Tim Tebow and District 5-4A champion St. Augustine Nease.

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