HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL
Raiders' turnovers prove costly in loss to Colts
Published: Thursday, October 24, 2013 at 11:00 p.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, October 24, 2013 at 11:35 p.m.
ALACHUA — Shortly after a district loss that all but ended Santa Fe's state playoff hopes, second-year coach Bill Wiles shared a brief embrace with senior receiver Tim Deen.
“I feel for our kids because they fought their hearts out,” Wiles said. “We just didn't take advantage of some of the opportunities we had.”
For a half, the Raiders had visiting North Marion flustered. But three turnovers, including two in the first half, proved costly as North Marion rallied in the second half to beat Santa Fe 14-7.
The Raiders (4-4, 2-3 District 5-5A) jumped ahead 7-0 in the first quarter on a 23-yard Jermari Ford touchdown run. The play was set up by an interception from linebacker Lee Washington in North Marion territory.
Santa Fe kept playing stellar defense throughout the first half, holding North Marion to just 2 yards rushing and one first down in the game's first two quarters. But in the third quarter, a change at quarterback sparked the Colts (6-2, 5-1 District 5-5A). Caleb Seiler, replacing ineffective starter Jake Roddenberry, connected with receiver Freddie Swain on an 85-yard touchdown pass that tied the score at 7. On the play, Swain caught a slant pattern in stride and weaved his way behind Santa Fe's secondary.
“An underneath guy didn't get where he needed to get,” Wiles said. “That happens sometimes when you coach 15, 16 and 17-year olds.”
Offensively, it was a night of missed opportunities for the Raiders. Santa Fe fumbled the ball away at North Marion's 18-yard line late in the second quarter, stalling a potential scoring drive. In the third quarter, Santa Fe lost a fumble at midfield. For the game, Santa Fe had five fumbles, losing two.
“We put the ball on the ground too many times,” Wiles said.
North Marion sealed the win when Shaq Autry scored on a 10-yard TD run with 2:07 left in the fourth quarter.
“We felt like going into the game we could play with them,” Wiles said. “It was just a very disappointing outcome for us.'”