Eagles’ run platoon crunches Blue Devils

By Ray Dimonda Correspondent
Posted 8/31/22

GREEN COVE SPRINGS - With FSU commit Sam Singleton flashing some of his brilliance to Fleming Island fans with two scintillating touchdowns; one with a soaring from-the-five dive to the pylon, the …

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Eagles’ run platoon crunches Blue Devils


GREEN COVE SPRINGS - With FSU commit Sam Singleton flashing some of his brilliance to Fleming Island fans with two scintillating touchdowns; one with a soaring from-the-five dive to the pylon, the Golden Eagles executed a rugged ground game with half a dozen ball carriers to dominate rival Clay High 49-7 with a 35-0 halftime score bringing a running clock for the annual slugfest.
Commenting on the mid-season form the Fleming Island Golden Eagles came out of the box with, Head Coach Damenyum Springs said “This team has played more live repetitions together than any teams we had in past seasons. We feel like we have more athletes on paper than we’ve had in past seasons. All of these guys have been starters the last one or two years.”

Fleming Island (1-0) at
Tallahassee Rickards
Tallahassee Rickards got a playoff berth last year but matched up in round one against eventual state runnerup Pensacola Pine Forest who lost 35-29 to Tampa Jesuit for the Class 6A title. Rickards opened 2022 with a 35-33 loss to St. John Paul II with St. Johns, a Class 2A region semifinal finisher last year (lost 44-7 to 2A champion Trinity Christian Academy), scoring 14 fourth quarter points for the win.
Rickards’ key guy is Oklahoma commit wide receiver Keyon Brown, also a track standout, who blitzed St. John for three scores. Rickards missed a late field goal that could have won the game.
Fleming Island flexed a bit of run game muscle against a graduation-weakened lineup with Singleton relinquishing his game time with the game in hand early.

Opening game jitters
The only thing that Fleming Island couldn’t control were the opening game jitters which contributed to several penalties. Several holding and false starts were the early issues. “It’s a thing we’ve been working on the last year,” said Springs. “I think this was more nerves than not ready to be out there.”
Fleming Island received the opening kickoff and couldn’t stop stepping on their own feet. With several penalties, the Golden Eagles would use their only punt, only to have the snap sail over the kickers head. With a first and goal to go, it looked like money in the bank to Clay, only to go three and out, and from the four, have a field goal attempt blocked. It was that kind of night for Clay.
On the counter from the Clay 20, sophomore Golden Eagle Quarterback Cibastian Broughton connected with senior Wide Receiver Brenden Cook for an 85 yard touchdown that began the Golden Eagle onslaught. Until the fourth quarter, each Clay possession finished with a punt or a turnover.

Back in action on the second, Fleming Island drive was Senior Running Back Sam Singleton. From 25 yards out, Singleton went through the left side of the offensive line and began a sprint to the corner with Clay Senior Linebacker D’wonya Williams in pursuit. Singleton would challenge Williams to the goal line, getting upended as he went across the line for score number two of the first quarter to put the Golden Eagles ahead 14-0. Fleming Island Senior Kicker Austin Tucker was perfect on all seven point after attempts.
Singleton would add another rushing touchdown, followed by Broughton with a 41 yard rushing touchdown after losing yards in a Clay sack. The first half scoring was topped off by Senior Running Back Tay’Shaun Smith with a 25 yard sprint to the endzone just before the teams headed to the locker rooms.
Clay was dealing with more than just a lack of experience on the varsity bench. “We had our starting running back out there with a bum ankle. It was black and blue all week,” said Blue Devils Head Coach Kyle Kennard, referencing Chandler Thomas. “Our backup running back has a shoulder issue and we were using our Middle Linebacker who never carried a single time this season, to run the ball.”

Clay (0-1) at Ridgeview (0-1)
Both teams got smarted in their openers and one will get a bit of breathing room with the Panthers losing a 43-0 spot to Pedro Menendez on Friday.
A 150 yard, three touchdown effort in rainy conditions by the Pedro Menendez High run game kept the ball away from the Ridgeview offense as the Falcons rolled to a 43-0 win over Ridgeview Friday night at Menendez High.
Menendez sophomore Christian Coleman rumbled for 146 yards with scores of 27 and 25 yards for the Falcon shutout. Menendez also got a 31 yard score and a 60 yarder.
The Blue Devils showed deep dedication to their school and one another as they powered through in the fourth quarter to find themselves in a second and goal situation. Sophomore Quarterback Merrick Rapoza tacked on a few more yards for his 68 of the night when he found Junior Payton Dykas for a two yard touchdown keep the Blue Devils from being shut out on opening night. In the end, Fleming Island’s experienced bench was too much for the young Clay team with the final, 49-7.


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