Roundup: Bobcats pull off the upset in OT

Published: Friday, November 16, 2012 at 11:56 p.m.
Last Modified: Friday, November 16, 2012 at 11:56 p.m.

Staff report

JACKSONVILLE — Senior placekicker Grant Godwin connected on a 40-yard field goal in overtime Friday to help Buchholz shock No. 2 and previously undefeated First Coast with a 10-7 defeat in the Class 7A, Region 1 quarterfinal.

Buchholz (6-5) will play at Tallahassee Lincoln in the regional semifinals on Friday. First Coast sees its season end at 10-1.

“If you think about the quality of opponents we played this season — Lincoln, Gainesville, Vanguard — we were so beat up,” Buchholz coach Mark Whittemore said. “We were missing a quarterback. Tonight, we were as close to full strength as we have been all season. It gave us a little more of a chance to compete against a team like First Coast.”

The turning point came after Buchholz grabbed the 10-7 lead, the Buccaneers' tried a 22-yard field goal but the attempt was blocked by senior cornerback Kevin Pinder to seal the victory.

“The defense was unbelievable tonight, beating the No. 2 team in the state,” Whittemore said. “We were all over the quarterback all night, harassing him all night.”

James Tomlinson had an interception while defensive end Rakeem Wiggins had two sacks and eight tackles for the Bobcats. Darius Whitty and Xavier George each recorded interceptions for the Buccaneers.

'It really hurts right now," said First Coast head coach Marty Lee. "When it is all said and done this team can look back and be proud of what they accomplished."

Whittemore, meanwhile, is enjoying another week of the season.

“The kids are just playing hard-nosed defensive football right now,” Whittemore said. ”The defense is playing so outstanding and keeping us in the ballgame against a quality opponent like First Coast. When we started the season we put a real emphasis on tackling and toughness. We felt that was something that has been lacking in the program. They showed it tonight.”

Class 1A, Region 4: At Wildwood, Newberry defeated its host 16-10 on Friday in its first playoff game since 2008. The Panthers (9-3) advance to the region finals Friday at No. 2 Union County (11-0).

Ra'kheem Hoyt scored two one-yard rushing touchdowns, including the game winner. He finished the night with 25 carries for 128 yards and those two touchdowns.

The Panthers' other score came on a 25-yard field goal from Alex Files. The leading tackler for Newberry was Mike Hicks, who recorded three solo tackles and six assisted tackles.

Class 1A, Region 3: At Lafayette, the Hornets won their eighth straight game to improve to 9-2 with the 56-14 win over Hilliard (7-4) in the state quarterfinal.

The Hornets jumped out to a 49-0 lead before finishing the Flashes (7-4).

“We really took control of the game early. They had two first downs in the first half,” said Lafayette coach Joey Pearson. “That allowed us to cruise from that point on.”

The Hornets' J.R. Bass, the area's leading rusher for the second straight season, finished with 130 yards and three touchdowns off just eight carries. Meanwhile, sophomore quarterback Brycen Lee went 7-for-9 passing for 153 yards and three touchdowns of his own.

“We try to be as balanced as we can, and we were as good as we've been doin' that tonight,” Pearson said. “We have to continue to do that through the playoffs.”

Next up, Lafayette will travel to top-ranked Trenton (11-0) in the region finals on Friday.

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