BALDWIN – Two long passes from quarterback Liz Fogarty fueled the Clay High quick-strike offense to a 26-13 district 4-1A championship win over Orange Park High Wed., May 3 at Baldwin High School. …
BALDWIN – Two long passes from quarterback Liz Fogarty fueled the Clay High quick-strike offense to a 26-13 district 4-1A championship win over Orange Park High Wed., May 3 at Baldwin High School.
Clay, ranked seventh statewide in Class 1A and unbeaten in 11 games, will host Terry Parker High, ranked eighth at 12-0, on Fri., May 12 in their region opener. With a win, Clay will face the winner of No. 2-Choctawhatchee in Fort Walton Beach (12-0) vs. No. 9-FAMU High of Tallahassee (10-4).
Fogarty, able to roam sideline to sideline in search of her pass targets, first found wideout Lea Plante all alone on the right side of the Raider defense with a 10 yard strike that Hawkins took 45 yards to paydirt with just 70 seconds off the game clock. A point after pass to running back Alexis Stilianou put the score at 7-0 before the Raiders could get their breath back.
Clay High, ranked in the top 10 of the Pinkos state polls, fended off a strong pass attack by the Raiders led by quarterback Harlee Sharp and wideout Katie Berlin with running back She’najah Williams, a Hershel Walker-type power back for coach Matt Boyack.
After Clay’s initial score, the Raiders knocked off nearly the entire first quarter clock with a 15 play drive sprinkled with passes to Berlin and Denise Davis getting the Raiders inside the Clay five yard line. On a fourth and inches to goal play for the Raiders, Clay defender Lynette Quinones chased Sharp into a faulty pass that ended the scoring threat with 1:42 left in the first quarter.
Fogarty, heading to Mississippi State on a soccer scholarship, ran a simple pass/run option attack from coaches Jared Moses and John Stilianou that kept the ball moving downfield.
Into the second quarter, Fogarty kept the pressure on the corners of the Raider defense with a 15 yard scoring run pushing the score to 13-0, 14-0 with a PAT pass to Kristin Mitchell.
Orange Park continued to stake bits and pieces of the field as Sharp moved the ball downfield with deft passes to Katie Berlin and a nifty lateral to J.C. Ankrom turning into a first down at the Clay 20. From there, Williams powered behind a V-formation blocking attack by the Raiders to set up a first down at the Clay four yard line.
Clay’s defense, with a blitze on fourth down stopped the drive just an inch from paydirt.
With 2:00 left in the half, Fogarty took over and hit soccer teammate Brooke Green, one of the fastest forwards in northeast Florida, with a lofted pass downfield that Green hit the jets on and tracked down for a 55 yard scoring play to up the score to 20-0.
After the half, Orange Park found success in Sharp to Berlin passes on the sideline and figured a way to score with the strategy on fourth and six to close the gap to 20-6.
Orange Park’s defense, with Larickya Cummings on one side started trapping Fogarty in the backfield, but Fogarty, on the first play of the fourth quarter, retaliated with a scramble away from Cummings finding green grass for a six yard score and a 26-6 Clay lead.
Orange Park ended the scoring with three passes to Berlin and a Williams’ dump pass giving Sharp position to score on a scrambe from the Clay five yard line to end the game at 26-13.