The Rundown: Florida High avoids errors, routs NFC

The Rundown: Florida High avoids errors, routs NFC


The Rundown: Florida High avoids errors, routs NFC


While a touchdown is typically the single defining play of a football game, more often than not, the game is won on statistics that rarely grace a box score.

Coaches call those elements “execution.” How many turnovers? How many dropped passes? How many penalties? Lost yardage and missed opportunities are always found in those categories and a few others, and can easily swing a game’s result.

When Florida High (4-2) lost its season opener, 37-14 to Wakulla, it turned the ball over four times and failed miserably on third down. But in their 28-24 win over North Florida Christian last Friday, the Seminoles displayed the progress they have made to reel off four straight wins.

Florida High converted 9 of 14 third down opportunities, turned the ball over just once and manufactured timely drives behind the cool presence of quarterback Ronnie Harrison and hard running of 5-foot-9-inch tailback Jay Robinson.

“Ronnie is growing up every snap, and Jay, whatever size he looks like, that sucker can flat play football,” Seminoles coach Jarrod Hickman said.

“I’m so proud of our kids in every phase. We had to make plays. When these opportunities, these moments come alive, your kids can do one of two things, and our kids stood up tall to it.”

The Eagles (5-1), immensely talented, never turned the ball over but did put the ball on the ground six times, which though they recovered every loose ball, displayed less crispness than to which they’re accustomed.

Still, NFC put itself in contention with a superb run game, allowing its offense to accrue 24 first downs on 10 possessions.

With all the back and forth, the result was decided on the final play, one which Harrison hoped would never come, though as a defensive back he had to endure firsthand.

“It was scary, real scary, watching a special team like that,” said Harrison about NFC’s final drive. “You have to keep everything in front of you and make tackles.”

But because Florida High didn’t shoot itself in the foot, and moved the ball to an average of two first downs per possession, it limited the damage NFC incurred prior. And now the Seminoles have a signature win that gives them a legit shot in their four remaining games to achieve the first goal they set this season.

They are at home on Friday in a District 1-4A game.

“We’re very proud of ourselves, but we know we have work to do because we didn’t make the playoffs last year,” Harrison said. “We have to keep winning games to do that.”

And that starts with execution.

Tailgate party

Commissioner Bill Proctor will host a Unity Come Together Tailgate prior to tonight’s Godby-Rickards game at Cox Stadium.

The event will be held from 4 to 6:45 p.m. on the South Front Lawn of Cox Stadium. The purpose is to unite the Parents of Godby and Rickards Students and Alumni in fellowship before the game.

Like father, like daughter

In a way, Maclay’s Kolby McWilliams kept medalist honors in Tuesday’s District 3-1A tournament at Hilaman Golf Course in the family.

McWilliams fired a 76 to edge Teresa Conroy of John Paul II by two strokes.

While the Panthers beat the Marauders for the team title in a one-hole playoff, McWilliams followed in her father’s footsteps when she won the individual crown.

Shannon McWilliams was a two-time district champion at Aucilla Christian (1985) and North Florida Christian (1986), firing a 71 in ’86.

McWilliams attended Florida Southern in Lakeland and played golf for the Mocs. Not surprisingly, he has been his daughter’s primary instructor and caddy over the years.

Interestingly, Kolby plans to follow her father’s footsteps in college, too.

She has verbally committed to attend Florida Southern and plans to sign with the Division-II school in November.


More USA TODAY High School Sports