ORANGE PARK - A back and forth first half that ended with Wilkinson Junior taking an 18-14 lead on a 38 yard scoring pass to Jordan Wells with less than a minute to the break became a 32-22 Northeast …
ORANGE PARK - A back and forth first half that ended with Wilkinson Junior taking an 18-14 lead on a 38 yard scoring pass to Jordan Wells with less than a minute to the break became a 32-22 Northeast Florida Athletic Conference championship win for the Eagles and long-time coach Trent Smith who defeated Orange Park Junior High Monday at Orange Park High School.
Smith, who orchestrated a string of half dozen titles in the early 1990s as head coach for Wilkinson, returned three years ago out of retirement and has continued his prowess of a championship game winner.
“This one will go to the Wall of Fame at the school with all the others,” said Smith told his team after the game. “We have a lot of history here with my two Padgett boys; Luke and Logan Padgett kin to three former players; Jason, Josh and Daniel who all played for me in the championship days in the 1990s all here on the same field. That makes tonight special.”
In the first half, Wilkinson struck first with Luke Padgett rumbling in from eight yards out with 1:38 left in the first quarter. Orange Park answered right back after the ensuing kickoff with slot back Darion Domenick taking a swing pass 65 yards to paydirt on the Wildcats first play after the kickoff.
After Domenick scored his second touchdown on a right sweep from 44 yards out to put the Wildcats up 14-12, Wilkinson rallied for two touchdown passes with tailback Rashaun Floyd getting a downfield block from wideout Jordan Wells to score from 35 yards to put Wilkinson up 18-14 with 1:18 to the break before Wells got free for a 26 yard scoring pass to end the half with Wilkinson up 18-14.
In the third, Logan Padgett dove off right tackle then cut back to score from five yards out and Xavier Harris rumbled 12 yards on a jet sweep to the five.
Up 24-14, the Wilkinson defense, led all night by Wyatt Underwood and Dyllon Ware stuffed the Wildcats on downs inside the Orange Park five yard line to put the Eagles at first down from the five with less than two minutes.
Luke Padgett scored on a plunge to up the score to 32-14.
Smith emptied his bench for the final minute and Orange Park scored to end the game at 32-22.