Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Crusaders Carry the Day; Wolford Throws 4 TD Passes against Ribault; Kenny Defense Clamps Down to Secure Victory

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Crusaders Carry the Day; Wolford Throws 4 TD Passes against Ribault; Kenny Defense Clamps Down to Secure Victory

Article excerpt

Byline: Justin Barney

John Wolford was as good as advertised.

The Bishop Kenny defense? Much better than anyone thought.

Wolford threw four touchdown passes and outdueled Super 11 counterpart D.J. Gillins in a showcase of the area's top two quarterbacks, but it was the Crusaders' defense that sealed a 42-29 win over Ribault on Friday night in a district separator.

The victory gives Kenny, at least temporarily, front-runner status alongside Yulee in what's setting up as another wild ride in District 3-5A. Ribault, which has already knocked off reigning district champ Baker County, is also very much alive in the race.

"It was great individual efforts by all of our guys. Our kids those last four minutes were worn out," Kenny coach Mark Thorson said.

Locked in a 28-21 game in the second half, the Crusaders (4-0, 3-0 in 3-5A) worked in a pair of rushing touchdowns, one by Wolford, the other by Cam Singletary, and then handed the reins to the defense.

It put the brakes on Ribault (3-2, 2-1) in a hurry.

Kenny put more and more pressure on Gillins as the game wore on, forcing him to scramble out of the pocket, backward, sideways, all over the field, trying to make plays. The success in doing so pushed the Trojans well out of their comfort zone and swung control of things to the Crusaders.

"We wanted to get that pressure on him, and if breaks containment, we wanted to get guys to the football," Thorson said.

Ribault went three and out, lost a fumble and then turned it over on downs on back-to-back possessions in the second half. Kenny sacked Gillins four times in that span. By the time the Trojans managed to pick up their second first down of the second half, Kenny was already in clock-burning mode with running back Singletary banging away at the Trojans defense.

"I thought we ran the ball well [in the second half], and our defense just kept holding them," said Wolford, who was 18 of 27 for 251 yards passing and added 101 yards and a touchdown rushing on 14 carries. …

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