Bears shut down Eagles

By Ray Dimonda Correspondent
Posted 10/12/22

ST JOHNS – Walking into the Bear’s den of Bartram Trail High School, the Fleming Island Golden Eagles football tea knew they had their work cut out for them with the Bears coming in undefeated. …

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Bears shut down Eagles

Posted

ST JOHNS – Walking into the Bear’s den of Bartram Trail High School, the Fleming Island Golden Eagles football tea knew they had their work cut out for them with the Bears coming in undefeated.

With a scoreless first quarter, the tension was building like a heavyweight prize fight; who would land the first blow on the other to make them stumble?

With 3:09 left until the half, the Golden Eagles looked ready to draw first blood as they moved down the field and were working inside the Bear’s redzone. An endzone pass from quarterback Cibastain Broughton to Brenden Cook was just short. Picked off by Bartram’s Sergio Lanzas, he ran the ball out to the Bear’s 19 yard line. On first down, with a 57 yard pass play from Bartram’s Riley Trujillo, the Bears set themselves up for a 38 yard field goal to land the first hard blow to the Golden Eagles, 3-0 with 1:05 to play until the half. Fleming Island drove the field and attempted an Austin Allred 37 yard field goal with :01 remaining until half which would tie the game and shift momentum, but the ball fell well short as the Bears continued to hold the Golden Eagles scoreless on the 17-0 road shutout.

“With Bartram Trail, you cannot keep going three and out, three and out on offense,” said Fleming Island Head Coach Damenyum Springs. “You have to give the defense a break. They were on the field all night stopping and stopping what is a very good offense. They were bend, bending, bending and not breaking most of the night. Then they broke a little bit. But at the end of the day, Coach Coultis and his defense did a great job. When you make the stops, you have to go right back with a high power offense. It’s tough to stop Bartram Trail all night.”

Prior to the Bartram Trail game, the Golden Eagles last matchup was a home loss to cross town rival Oakleaf Knights as they went into a bye week. With hurricane Ian messing up the schedule, the two off weeks may have taken its toll on timing and rhythm. Each drive the Golden Eagles looked to get momentum; the Bears found a way to knock them off track.

The third quarter was only two Fleming Island and one Bartram Trail possessions to eat up the clock. All night, the Bears kickoffs went into the endzone having the Golden Eagles begin at their 20 yard line.

In the first Golden Eagle third quarter drive, it was a steady mix of Sam Singleton runs, backed with Musthafa Marshall, and plenty of air time from Broughton, with loads of Broughton rushes that kept the drives alive. That was until a 15 yard sack had the Golden Eagles facing a third down with 28 to go. The drive ended with another Fleming Island punt.

“This week we have to go back and work on us,” said Springs. “We always have to work on us. We have to work on how we need to put the ball in the endzone. We just have to figure it out.”

The Bears took over with 5:36 left, running and passing their way to the Fleming Island 15 yard line. A Trujillo pass to Jack Cremen down the middle would add another score as the Bears opened it up 10-0 with :46.5 seconds to play in the quarter.

On the kickoff, the Golden Eagles again began the drive from the 20.

In the final quarter, the Golden Eagle drive fizzled out quickly and resulted with a punt out of bounds at the 50, setting the Bears up at mid-field. The Bears drive looked to get halted with a field goal attempt that was good from 39 yards. But a Fleming Island personal foul during the kick allowed the drive to continue. With first down and goal to go, Bartram’s Laython Biddle punched it in for the final 17-0 score. The Golden Eagles had one last drive that ended in another Broughton sack and punt.

The Bears, getting the ball back with 3:56 to play, went into clock killer mode and closed out the game with runs and a first down. “We’ll just keep on harping on the small things, working on the small things and keep playing football. Hopefully they’ll keep playing for each other.”

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