Though Jabir Frye was shaking up District 1-6A with the Escambia Gators less than a year ago, he has quickly found his place and excelled at his new home as a true freshman.
The Troy Trojan has played in all five games this season, and was named Sun Belt special teams player of the week following Troy’s win over New Mexico State.
In that game Frye blocked a punt that was recovered for a Troy touchdown, before breaking the game open with a 100-yard kick return TD before Troy won 52-6.
As a running back, Frye has gained 97 yards (6.9 yards-per-carry) and found the end zone once.
His rushing touchdown was one of the bigger plays on Saturday of Week 2, as the Trojans threatened to upset Clemson before falling by six points.
On fourth-and-one, Frye took a sweep 61 yards to the house to help bring Troy to a three-point deficit entering halftime.
Frye was just as excellent of a teammate as a competitor in high school, and though Escambia head coach Mike Davis and current Gators have been wowed by Frye’s successes, they aren’t surprised.
“It’s really cool (what Frye is doing), our guys Skype and talk to Frye pretty regularly,” Davis said. “Frye was a good teammate and we get to see him on TV a lot which is really cool. And he is only gonna get better. Troy got a steal in getting Frye. We are excited for him and hope he continues to get better.”
Catholic’s defense sets tone for first victory in District 1-3A play
Though the Catholic Crusaders have allowed more than 30 points twice this season, defense paved the way to a win when it meant the most.
Playing host in their first of two district games, it was essentially a must-win for the Crusaders.
Catholic fired on all cylinders, as its defense matched it best performance of the season — when the Crusaders topped Milton 28-7 — with a 26-7 win over Florida High.
Defensive back Colin Acromite gave the defense a huge spark, snagging an interception early in the contest.
“(For the interception) I saw the quarterback staring at the receiver with his eyes real big,” Acromite said. “We had been watching film on Florida High, all they do is throw the ball up. I was sitting there waiting. I just got back in my drop and the pass was there.
“Defense played great the whole game. Everybody was making tackles and everybody was in their coverages.”
Dolphins rebound strong from first loss, still control playoff destiny
The Gulf Breeze Dolphins seemed to carry over momentum from a thrilling finish with West Florida in Week 5 and proceeded to jump out on Milton for a 36-3 win in District 2-6A play.
But with the unbeaten Navarre Raiders and the tough Pace Patriots remaining on the Dolphins district schedule, Gulf Breeze coach Bobby Clayton didn’t let the Dolphins celebration go past the weekend.
“We will see how (the district win) sets up our future,” Clayton said. “This week we play Walton at home, then turn around and play Pace (district rival). Our next goal will be, win the next district game and let the rest of it settle in the dust. We just have to keep playing and keep winning and let everything else take care of itself. But obviously, being 1-0 is a lot better than being 0-1 in our district.”
But the Dolphins believe that they are a threat in not only their district, but the PNJ area and will aim to continue to ride the wave of what has been a magical start to their season.
“It has been the best season I have ever had,” said senior quarterback Tyler Phelps, who’s ranked No. 5 in Florida with 1,485 passing yards. “Having coach Clayton come in and having all of the guys finally believe in us has been amazing. We’re 3-0 at home this year. Before this season, we hadn’t won a home game in two years. It has been huge.”
Long-time friends, superior running backs compete again last Friday at Pace
After Friday’s 42-28 win over Pace, the Navarre Raiders are halfway through a two-consecutive road games against 6A teams.
The match-up between Navarre and Pace featured two of Florida’s Class 6A Top-5 rushers (Michael Carter, No. 5; Anthony Johnson Jr., No. 1), who happened to hold a lengthy friendship.
“Anthony is like my brother, I grew up playing against him and it’s always fun playing against each other,” Carter said. “We motivate each other. It is always fun to compete against your friends. If you ask him (Johnson Jr.), he probably keeps it in the back of his mind too.”
This week, the Raiders will head into Escambia for a rematch of the 2014 regional quarterfinals.
While it won’t be a consecutive district game, the Gators offer a potential playoff preview for this season.
“At the end of the day the big picture is the team,” Carter said. “Anything I can do to help the team is my focus.”
Navarre coach Jay Walls said: “Next week (Friday) we are on the road again. After a big district win on the road, you hope that helps our guys know that they are in the hunt. District 2-6A is wide open. It’s gonna be very competitive and I said that from the get go.”