Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Shutout Shows Raiders' Potential

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Shutout Shows Raiders' Potential

Article excerpt

Byline: Stephen Kindland, Clay County Line sports writer

Orange Park coach Ted Leasor said only two words when asked what he liked most about his team's performance against Bishop Kenny in last week's preseason game.

"The win," he said.

Orange Park's 37-0 victory in front of about 1,500 fans was more than just a technical tune-up for Friday's season opener at Ridgeview. Leasor has been saying all along that his players -- some of whom played on the school's 2-8 teams each of the last two seasons -- need to experience winning to break negative thought patterns.

And if quarterback Landan Talley, tight end Tony Smith and running backs Terrance Pollock and Carey Grant continue playing as they did Thursday, that will happen sooner than later.

Although the Raider offense built up a 16-0 halftime lead and stretched it to 23-0 before Leasor began substituting freely in the third period, it was Orange Park's defense that made the bigger impression.

Aside from putting constant pressure on Kenny quarterbacks Jason King and Don Buckley, senior defensive end Sean Scott recovered a forced fumble to set up one score, Smith blocked a punt to set up another and Jacob Willis pounced on a loose ball to end a late Kenny threat and preserve the shutout.

But the defensive play of the game came with 1:45 left in the first half when defensive back Joe Allen, a senior transfer from South Carolina, leaped high in the air to make a one-handed interception at his own 19-yard line to kill a Kenny drive.

Orange Park went into the locker room with a 16-0 lead after Larry Hurlbut kicked a 17-yard field goal to cap the Raiders' opening drive. Talley set up the score when he connected with Smith on a 36-yard pass on the Raiders' first play of the game.

Talley then raced 40 yards on an option play for his team's first touchdown, and Pollock ran in from 8 yards out midway through the second period after Smith blocked a Kenny punt at the Crusaders' 12-yard line. …

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