Spring soccer practice ended for the four teams who attended a jamboree at West Port High School Thursday night.
Belleview, Forest, Bushnell South Sumter and West Port collided on the gridiron. There were the usual missed tasks and mistakes that need to be corrected, but plenty of positives for any team to build on as they head into their summer conditioning program.
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Forest 14, Westhafen 6
After a scoreless first quarter, West Port junior Korey Coats recovered at the Wildcats 30 from a Forest fumble.
West Port wasted no time capitalizing on the turnover and excellent field position when second jam Dedrick Grady scurried around the left end for a 30-yard touchdown run. The extra point failed and the wolf pack led 6:0 in the second and final quarter with 10:39 to go.
FHS responded with a solid drive, sparked by the accurate passing of second quarterback Vimel Poole Jr., capped by Noah Ingram’s 14-yard touchdown rush as a sophomore. Freshman kicker Paul Lee’s extra point gave the Wildcats a 7-6 lead midway through the final period.
West Port’s next possession ended with an interception by Forest second cornerback Elian Godin at Wolf Pack 42.
Forest used Ingram’s strong run to move the chains and junior running back Brandon Cave carved his way into the end zone from five yards out. The extra point gave the Wildcats a 14-6 lead with less than a minute left in the game.
West Port marched down the field as junior quarterback Sebastian Histed completed passes from 22 yards to Clayton Williams and 44 yards to wide receiver Daryn Belle to give the Wolf Pack a first-and-goal from the Forest 3-yard in under 10 seconds -Line left to play with.
West Port had time for two games and attempted two passes, but both fell incomplete after time was up.
“We’ve been a bit sloppy and a bit out of shape so we’ve got a lot to do this summer,” said Forest first-year coach Eoghan Cullen, who was previously a coach at Lake Weir. “We played our older guys in the first quarter and the younger guys in the second and we have room for improvement.”
Williston native WPHS first-year coach Greg Harper saw a number of improvements the Wolf Pack can make.
“Typical first spring,” Harper said. “There have been some good things and some bad things and the kids are still learning how we want them to do things. It was good to see us compete against someone in a different colored jersey and mix it up a bit. I thought, “Our kids fought pretty hard, but when it’s 0-0 after the first quarter, and that’s the varsity borough, everyone’s a little depressed. We have a lot of our young kids involved, so it’ll be one for us give a good assessment of where we are at.”
South Sumter 31, Forest 0
South Sumter looked in midseason form as four different players scored touchdowns and a swarming Raiders defense had an interception and three sacks in a 31-0 win over Forest.
South Sumter scored on his first possession when Abisai Mejia-Lopez launched a 30-yard field goal to give the Raiders a 3-0 lead.
FHS picked up a first down but had to punt. South Sumter marched 64 yards, senior quarterback Eian Finkley hit from five yards. The extra point made it 10-0 at the end of the first quarter.
Forest had their next possession with an interception at the SSHS 30. Ja’kyrin Turner picked up a handoff and sped down the touchline for a 70-yard touchdown run. The point after that made it 17:0.
Forest marched down the field before his drive faltered and Lee’s 43-yard field goal fell short.
South Sumter made two touchdowns for the final score.
28 South Sumter, Belleview 0
South Sumter kept rolling in his second game when Finkley connected with Stanley Young on a 32-yard touchdown pass. The extra point made it 7-0 in the first section early on.
Belleview had a promising drive end with a fumble recovered by the Raiders. Finkley broke down a 41-yard run before Elijiah Adams hit a 15-yard run to take a 14-0 lead midway through the opening stanza.
The Rattlers moved the ball to the floor, with Jaheem Shannon grabbing a couple of first downs. Quarterback Brittin Stevens had several strong runs, but the Rattlers didn’t get on the scoreboard.
South Sumter added two touchdowns in the second quarter to earn the ultimate win.
Belleview 14, West Harbor 0
Belleview scored on his second possession when Erik McLaughlin fired into the end zone from two yards to give the Rattlers a 6-0 lead.
West Port drove the ball inside the BHS 5-yard line before Histed’s pass was intercepted in the end zone by Belleview’s Reece Dennis.
BHS sealed the win when Stevens hit Ernest Flythe with a 40-yard touchdown pass with less than four minutes left in the game.
“I thought it was a good night of work,” said Brian Lane, the Rattlers’ first-year coach, who graduated from Belleview in 2003 and had to move up.
“We played hard against a good South Sumter team and I thought we showed some resilience with a good performance against West Port.”
Next for these teams
Belleview will star in his fall classic Lake Weir and West Port. The Rattlers open the regular season with a home game against Lecanto.
West Port stars Belleview and Lake Weir in its fall classic. The Wolf Pack will open the season with a game in Dunnellon. Forest hosts Orlando Evans for his fall classic. The Wildcats open the season in North Marion.
More spring football
With 13 points behind Weeki Wachee and just 6:30 to play, the Lake Weir Football Team scored the final two touchdowns of the game to earn a 21-20 Spring Classic victory Thursday night.
Julius Livingston and Alcarlos Richard each had sizzling touchdowns for the Hurricanes.
LWHS meets Belleview and West Port in a jamboree on August 18 before opening the 2022 season in Interlachen a week later.
Wildwood 45, Dunnellon 2: In the spring game at DHS, the Tigers ended on 38 yards offense and handed three touchdown passes to WHS’s Jonathan Harding and a pick-6, two rushing touchdowns and a receiving touchdown to Lo Simmons.
Dunnellon will open the 2022 season on August 26 against West Port’s visit.