Bucs Outlast Trojans in Kick-off Classic

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Friday, August 18, 2023, the lights were bright and the weather was perfect as the JEAG Sports Kick-off Classic game of the week went underway. The First Coast Buccaneers and the Ribault Trojans went head-to-head in a well known rivalry across the Northside of Jacksonville, Florida. This game is considered a rivalry because most of these players have known eachother since their Pop Warner days. Receiving the ball first, the Trojan offense had a rough start as they went 3 and out on the opening drive. However, it was their defense that had other plans. Trojan defensive back Jucoby Marion intercepted a pass from First Coast Quarterback Rodney Tisdale and nearly scored a touchdown before he was tackled near the 5 yard line. The following play, running back Jamal Bailey punched it in for a 5 yard touchdown. For the point after, the Trojans were successful as Quarterback Timothy Cole showed his mobility to cross the goal line.

The second drive for the Buccaneers started off slow as they had given up a sack to the Trojan defense. Following a crucial penalty committed by Ribault, the momentum had shifted back to First Coast. Senior Quarterback Rodney Tisdale hit JEAG Sports Fab 50 top player Thomas Jackson for a 19 yard score to end the drive. The Bucs immediately went right back to Jackson for the 2 point conversion, which was successful. With the game tied at 8 points, Ribault had to strike back. They regained the lead on a 20 yard pass from Quarterback Timothy Cole to receiver Maurice Daniels. Stopping the Trojan on a 2 point conversion, the Bucs defense were able to breathe some life into their entire team as the offense took the field. The First Coast Buccaneers put together their most impressive drive of the game, which ended on a 2 yard touchdown run by running back Auston Harris. The most pivotal play of the game was a second 2 point conversion to “Mr. Reliable”,  Thomas Jackson to put the Bucs on top 16-14. Shortly after the half, the game was canceled due to violent crowd activity.

Some key players in this game were First Coast’s  Auston Harris, who led the Bucs down the field for a rushing touchdown on the winning drive and receiver Thomas Jackson who scored an early touchdown and two 2-point conversions, one of which sealed the victory for the Bucs. For the Trojans, it was Jamal Bailey who scored on a 5 yard run. He also got credit for  two of  three sacks recorded by the defense in the first half. This week First Coast will face off against the Bishop Kenny Crusaders while Ribault goes head to head with the Sandalwood Saints on Friday, August 25, 2023. Both teams have some work to do, but this was a good game to see how well they look against competition. 

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Vaughn Foster