Creekside 52, Nease 29
Sophomore wide receiver Jack Goodrich caught three long touchdown passes from senior quarterback Tai Lavatai as the Creekside offense continued to roll, pulling away in the second half for a 52-29 home victory over St. Johns County rival Nease (0-5).
Creekside (4-1) was led by Lavatai’s two rushing TDs and three TD passes to Goodrich, who totaled 185 yards on three TD receptions and is averaging 39 yards per catch this season.With the score tied at 21 late in the first half, Creekside went into the half ahead 24-21 on Brandon Marchand’s 32-yard field goal.
After holding Nease to a three and out to start the second half, Lavatai found Goodrich open over the middle for a 74-yard score. Creekside then recovered an on-side kick and scored three plays later on Jalen Hines’ 30-yard run for a 38-21 lead.
Creekside forced six Nease turnovers (three interceptions, two fumble recoveries, on-side kick recovery). Senior DB Conan Mueller had two interceptions, sophomore DB Jack O’Brien had a fumble recovery on a botched Nease fake punt and an interception. Senior LB Evan Wiley had a fumble recovery.
Lavatai has accounted for 23 TDs this season (18 passing, five rushing). Goodrich has 15 catches (seven for TDs) for 589 yards, including four TD grabs of more than 60 yards in the last two games.“ Jack Goodrich has tremendous ball skills when the ball is in the air. He’s also a baseball player, so those skills really show when he gets a chance on those long passes from Tai,” Creekside coach Sean McIntyre said.Nease junior QB Joseph Nieves rushed for 121 yards and three TDs and passed for 117 yards.
Creekside’s 4-1 start is its best since starting 6-1 in 2011 when the Knights went 8-4 and advanced to the second round of the Class 5A playoffs. Creekside leads the series 5-4 against Nease.
The two schools are located 9 miles apart.The Knights begin District 3-7A play next week at home against rival Bartram Trail. Nease has lost six consecutive games dating to the 2017 season finale.
Creekside defeated Episcopal in high school football Friday.
Star of the game: Creekside senior QB Tai Lavatai passed for five TDs and ran for a sixth as the Knights (3-1) won a 72-40 shootout at Episcopal (2-2). The Navy commitment passed for 384 yards and scores to five different receivers to counter a three-TD night from Episcopal WR Davis Ellis.
Creekside’s Lavatai accounts for 7 TDs
On a night when he was crowned Homecoming King, senior QB Tai Lavatai passed for six touchdowns and ran for a seventh score as Creekside improved to 2-1 with a 48-16 victory over Paxon (1-2).
Lavatai tossed scoring passes to four different receivers, including two apiece to senior Blake Scott and junior Christian Williams.
Scoreless late in the first quarter, Creekside senior linebacker Abe Cates forced a fumble on a sack and Creekside scored five plays later on Lavatai’s first TD pass, a 9-yarder to Scott.
On the ensuing Paxon possession, Creekside’s Jack O’Brien blocked a punt and the Knights scored two plays later on Lavatai’s second TD pass, a 15-yarder to junior wide receiver Quinn Sieger, during a 28-point second quarter.
Creekside forced four Paxon turnovers, including three in the first half. The Knights held the Golden Eagles to 88 yards of total offense with minus-10 yards rushing (four sacks of Paxon QB Bryce Tompkins).
Paxon’s Jaquan Jaudon intercepted Lavatai in the first half and returned the ball 38 yards to the Creekside 37. But Lavatai (12-24, 146 yards), a Navy commitment, has passed for 10 TDs and run for two TDs in three games — all of the Knights’ TDs so far this season. Last season at Paxon, he accounted for five first-half TDs in a 56-12 victory.
Creekside freshman RB Preston Strope rushed for 132 yards on 19 carries as the Knights had 240 yards on the ground.“Tai’s got to carry the load a lot of nights. With a lot of young guys around him, he’s got to make those guys better. When he does that we can be pretty good on offense,” Creekside coach Sean McIntyre said.
— Ward Clayton
Creekside will integrate a handful of fresh faces on the offensive side of the football. Quarterback, and Navy commitment, Tai Lavatai is not one of them.
Senior QB Jake Forcier found senior WR and best friend J.T. Wood on a 10-yard fade route TD with 30 seconds remaining as Creekside (4-4, 1-2) upset Fleming Island (6-2, 2-2) in a Region 3-7A game at Creekside. Forcier passed for 368 yards and three TDs while Wood had 146 receiving yards and the winning score.
CREEKSIDE 48EPISCOPAL 13
Stars of the game: Seniors Vance Bennett and Jake Forcier stepped in for injured teammates with three touchdowns apiece and more than 500 yards of offense as Creekside (3-3) rolled to a home victory over Episcopal (2-3). Forcier passed for 256 yards and three first-half TDs and Bennett scored the game’s first two TDs en route to 240 yards rushing.
Turning point: With junior QB Tai Lavatai and senior WR/RB J.T. Wood out with injuries, Bennett — normally a starting cornerback — started at RB for the first time since junior varsity. He scored on a 61-yard run on Creekside’s third play and added a 4-yard TD run midway through the first quarter for a 14-0 lead.
EPISCOPAL AT CREEKSIDE
Kickoff: 7 p.m.
Radio: 1010 AM
Records: Episcopal 2-2, Creekside 2-3
Last Year: Did not play
Last Week: Episcopal beat Hilliard 42-0; Creekside lost to Bartram Trail 49-0.
Players to Watch: Episcopal – RB Cameron Rawls scored a pair of touchdowns in last week’s filleting of the Red Flashes. Creekside — DB Vance Bennett is one of the senior leaders on a defense that has will need to rise to the challenge of a run-oriented attack.
Game Info: Episcopal has won two straight since returning to the field after Hurricane Irma. Though Eagle’s View and Hilliard are both .500 programs at the midway point of the season, the Knights have far more depth than any team Episcopal has faced this season. Creekside has been gashed on the ground in recent weeks — but that was by a pair of large public schools with college prospects toting the football. More than 60 percent of Episcopal’s yardage has come on the ground this year. Rawls leads the way with 404 rushing yards and seven touchdowns, but the Eagles can throw the football as evidenced by Jackson Westberry completing 11 of 16 passes for 168 yards and two touchdowns last week. The last time the two schools played was on Sept. 28, 2012, when Creekside won 48-14.
Sept. 28, 2017
IRVING, Texas – Vanderbilt’s four-year starting kicker Tommy Openshaw has been named as a semifinalist for the 2017 William V. Campbell Trophy®, presented by Fidelity Investments®.
Openshaw, a first-year graduate student from Jacksonville, Fla (Creekside High School), is among 181 distinguished student-athletes across the nation named by The National Football Foundation (NFF) & College Hall of Fame.
CREEKSIDE AT BARTRAM TRAIL
Kickoff: 7 p.m.
Records: Creekside 2-2, 0-0 District 3-7A; Bartram Trail 2-2 0-0 District 3-7A
Last Year: Bartram Trail won 63-7
Last Week: Nease beat Creekside 49-37; St. Augustine beat Bartram Trail 31-28
Players to Watch: Creekside — QB Tai Lavatai accounted for 326 yards of offense and five touchdowns last week. He threw for 206 yards and two scores and ran 21 times for 120 yards and three touchdowns. Bartram Trail — Junior RB Devin Ellison has run for 100 yards in each of the last two games, including 128 on 21 carries against St. Augustine last week.
Game info: The Bears have won eight of nine in this series including a 56-point win last year and a 31-0 triumph two years ago. The last time Creekside made the short drive to visit its neighbor, in 2015, the game was scoreless at halftime. Considering the firepower in Bartram Trail’s backfield and the fact Lavatai has accounted for 17 touchdowns in four games, expect a plethora of points in the district opener for both schools.
Anyone who has time on his hands should ask the boys on the Creekside and Bartram Trail football teams how many players on the opposing sideline are friends of theirs.
“It’s all talk until we get to the field and then show them how we do things,” Wood said with a sly grin. “It’s really highly anticipated.”