HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL

Fletcher capatilizes on Buchholz mistakes


Bobcats running back Gerald Donald is tackled by a host of Fletcher defenders on Thursday. Fletcher defeated Buchholz 31-24.

Matt Stamey/Staff photographer
Published: Thursday, October 24, 2013 at 11:00 p.m.
Last Modified: Friday, October 25, 2013 at 12:23 a.m.

With some timely turnovers and a big play on offense, Neptune Beach Fletcher was able to overcome an early deficit and beat Buchholz 31-24 in a key District 3-7A matchup.

The loss eliminates the Bobcats (3-5, 0-3) from playoff contention.

“I feel bad for these guys, because we had some guys really lay it on the line tonight,” Buchholz coach Mark Whittemore said. “Right now, we have to turn right around to get ready to finish the season strong.”

The Bobcats built a 17-3 lead early despite losing starting quarterback Jackson White in the first quarter on a hard sack. White never returned to the game.

Even though backup Quinlan Washington, who also got hurt late in the game, played the majority of the game, Whittemore does not think that injuries cost his team.

“The bottom line is that both quarterbacks played well,” Whittemore said. “Quinlan has got a lot of snaps this season, so it's not like he was coming in with no experience. We just got some bad breaks tonight.”

The biggest problem for the Bobcats came in the form of three key turnovers caused by Fletcher (6-2, 2-1) in the second half.

After trailing 17-10 at the break, the Senators evened the score when Chris Washington picked up a fumble and ran it 15 yards to paydirt.

It looked like Buchholz would recover from that, as the Bobcats drove deep into Fletcher territory looking to regain the lead. The drive went awry when a Washington pass caromed off a receiver to Fletcher defensive back R.J. Raymond, who took it back 84-yards for a score near the start of the fourth quarter.

Buchholz almost tied it up after that, but Gerald Donald fumbled just before he crossed the goal line for the tying score and the Senators were able to win the battle in the pile to recover the fumble.

Two plays later, Luke Medlock all but put the game away with a 97-yard touchdown pass up the sideline to Kalif Jackson. Despite an erratic 7-for-17 passing day, Medlock still managed to rack up 226 yards.

— J.L. Kirby

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