ORANGE PARK – Orange Park High sophomores Alex Collier and Vinny Walker almost delivered a victory for Orange Park on Senior Night, but the duo’s heroics could not overcome 624 yards of offense …
ORANGE PARK – Orange Park High sophomores Alex Collier and Vinny Walker almost delivered a victory for Orange Park on Senior Night, but the duo’s heroics could not overcome 624 yards of offense generated by Pedro Menendez in a 50-39 District 5-5A loss Friday night at Orange Park High School.
The suspensions of five starters and the absence of a starting running back forced Collier and Walker into their first varsity action of the season. Collier responded with 194 yards and three touchdowns on 19 carries. When Menendez seized a 21-0 lead in the first quarter, it was Collier who brought the crowd back into the game with an electrifying 70 yard touchdown run right up the middle of the field. He burst through a gaping hole and then outran the Falcons’ secondary to the goal line. Collier was effective despite not yet having memorized the offensive playbook.
Walker threw for 90 yards and a touchdown while directing the Raiders’ spread offense. . He found a comfort level with Marquise Brown, who had five receptions for 44 yards. And his touchdown throw to Elijah Jones, a 33 yard bomb that fell into Jones’ arms between two defenders, showed excellent touch.
“For anybody watching tonight, we showed what the future of Orange Park can be,” said Orange Park coach Tom MacPherson.
Aside from their 34-22 victory over Middleburg in Week 4, the Raiders had not scored more than 15 points in a game all season. Thus, it was improbable that they would have their best offensive night of the season against a Falcons team that had held Ponte Vedra to 14 points, shut out Palatka and needed to beat the Raiders to maintain their hopes of getting into the playoffs as a wild card. .