Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

It's Test Time for Mandarin's 2 Football Teams

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

It's Test Time for Mandarin's 2 Football Teams

Article excerpt

Byline: Mark Boleky

The two Mandarin high school football teams have had no problem putting up points this year, but the real test starts this weekend.

Mandarin High is averaging 28.4 points per game and off to a 3-2 start at the 6A (big school) level. Mandarin Christian is putting up 38.5 through four games with a 2-2 record at the 1B (small school) level.

The Mustangs rolled off wins in their first three contests, scoring 35, 41 and 35 points against Forrest, Creekside and Parker.

"We maybe just ran 10 plays in those first three games. We wanted to keep it real simple, and we were successful doing that," said first-year head coach Robert Dean.

In the fourth game, however, five turnovers were the undoing in a 35-17 loss to Fletcher. Another loss came when Mandarin was simply outmatched Oct. 1 at First Coast, 32-14.

On the season, RB Kenny Glover has been the steady scoring machine, with 264 yards and five touchdowns, while RB Ben Lampley is the big-play guy, racking up 254 yards on the ground against Creekside alone.

District play started Friday night, with a game against Ocala Forest (check the Times-Union sports section today for results). Over the next month, the Mustangs will also play district mates Sandalwood and Orange Park to determine which teams make the playoffs.

Mandarin Christian also had a "huge" game Friday night, according to head coach Dennis Thompson. The Eagles hosted district foe Lafayette. A win would mean a 3-1 record in the district and a great shot at the playoffs.

The one constant for Mandarin Christian has been scoring. See 42-0 and 67-23 wins over Aucilla Christian and Oak Hall for that proof. Through the first four games, the Eagles have averaged 430 yards of offense, and it's been a balanced attack of run-and-pass. QB Oshay Carter, a transfer from Arlington Country Day, has thrown for 693 yards and five touchdowns in the three games he's played. RB Kyle Smoot and Hootie Sheppard have led on the ground with 446 yards rushing combined. WR Trey Tiencken and Travis Makauskas have caught the most balls, totaling 26 grabs for 623 yards.

"We had a ton of success this summer in 7-on-7 tournaments," said Thompson. …

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