published: Friday, October 12, 2012
Leesburg hammers Lake Minneola, 50-26
FRANK JOLLEY | Staff Writer
The Leesburg High School football team has been hampered by slow starts for most of the season.
Despite having a potentially potent offense, the Yellow Jackets have been forced to play catch-up against opponents this year, shrinking their playbook and making themselves more predictable.
Leesburg may have gone a long way on Friday toward solving its sluggish starts and giving fans an opportunity to see the various weapons at coach Randy Trivers' disposal.
The Yellow Jackets jumped out to a 21-7 lead in the second quarter and overpowered Lake Minneola in the second half en route to a 50-26 win in a Class 7A-District 4 contest.
Bryant Benton scored three touchdowns for Leesburg including two in the fourth quarter to seal the Hawks' fate.
Benton was economical - he produced his scoring runs as part of his 14-carry night. The diminutive junior led the Yellow Jackets with 168 yards on the ground. He also caught four passes for 50 yards.
Benton and Leesburg quarterback Undra Mitchem provided much of the offense for Leesburg. Mitchem connected on his first seven passes and finished the game 12-of-15 with 119 yards. The senior also had a one-yard touchdown run.
That was basically three quarters worth of work for Mitchem, his job for much of the final frame was simply to hand the ball off and let the Yellow Jackets' running game wear down the Hawks.
Leesburg's defense dominated most of the second half, particularly in the fourth quarter. The Yellow Jackets broke open a 21-14 game at halftime when Jordan Tucker recovered a fumble in the end zone off a bad snap. Later, in the fourth quarter, the Yellow Jackets blocked a punt and set
up a five-yard scoring run by Lee Bennett.
Leesburg also scored a defensive touchdown in the second quarter when Demetric Blue returned an interception 34 yards for a score.
Still, untill the Yellow Jackets took control of the game in the second half, the game was much closer than the final score.
Going into the fourth quarter, Leesburg's advantage was only
Lake Minneola got scores from Anthony Boney, Terry Jernigan, Walteze Collier and quarterback Andrew Jones, who completed a 25-yard pass for Jernigan's score. Jones' final score, a one-yard run late in the fourth quarter, was a window-dressing touchdown that produced the final outcome.
Coming into the game, Lake Minneola had won two straight games, shutting out Poinciana and Orlando Lake Nona. They were hoping the Yellow Jackets would not only be a homecoming-game win, but the team's first win in district play.
Collier led Lake Minneola's ground attack with 77 yards on
26 carries. Boney had 57 yards, including a 45-yard touchdown run.
Jones completed 13-of-30 passes for the Hawks for 194 yards and a touchdown. He also tossed two interceptions. With the win, Leesburg improves to 4-2 overall and 1-1 in Class 7A-4.
Lake Minneola dropped to 2-3 overall and 0-1 in Class 7A-4.
Other areas games included East Ridge dropping a 27-14 decision to Orlando Evans in a Class 7A-4 contest, and South Lake falling to Daytona Beach Seabreeze 52-0. Montverde Academy hosted Orlando Christian Prep and fell 49-6.