Scott, Raiders cruise against Bulldogs
CRESCENT CITY – Umatilla High School’s defense was charged up enough to keep Naykee Scott from running amok on Friday night.
And if it meant holding the Crescent City High School quarterback from getting 400 yards in the air like he almost did in his two previous games, mission accomplished.
That still didn’t stop Scott from making his impact.
Scott threw for 248 yards and five touchdowns as the Raiders defeated Umatilla, 48-7, at Wisnoski Field at Wiltcher Stadium in a North Central Florida Football Conference matchup.
The win improved the Raiders to 5-1 overall and 4-0 in the conference, while Umatilla slipped to 1-6 overall and 0-4 in the NCFFC.
“When it comes to the offense, I leave it to my coordinator,” said first-year Raiders head coach Clarence “Pooh Bear” Williams, nodding in assistant Sean Delaney’s direction. The Raiders finished with 312 yards of total offense. “He coaches how he feels about what he sees.”
Delaney picked his moments with Scott and the offense. Scott, who threw for school records of 393 and 395 yards in his last two outings against The Villages and Keystone Heights, respectively, finished 15-of-23 passing with an interception.
But that came after Scott had spread scoring strikes around like Santa on Christmas Eve. The first score of the game was a 28-yard strike to a wide-open Zayne Whipple on a fourth-and-10 play. He added a 13-yard scoring pass to Bernard Wright and a perfectly placed 32-yard strike to Dustin Carmichael before halftime. In the second half. he underthrew Niico Gause, who came back for a ball that looked like a potential interception, stepped in front of the defender, then juked and weaved his way to the end zone for a 55-yard score.
His final TD pass was a shovel pass to Carmichael for three yards moments after Jo’Quan Williams recovered a botched Umatilla handoff on a kickoff at the Bulldogs’ 5-yard line.
Once Carmichael crashed the goal line with 9:25 to go in the third quarter to make it 47-7, the rest of the game was played with a running clock.
“We have overcome a lot of things from the start,” Williams said. “I do believe as a team, we’re getting close to where we need to be. I’m pleased with where we are. We’re still making some mistakes, but I’m comfortable with what we’ve done. But we’re not where we need to be. But I do feel like we’re close. We’re still stressing perfection in practice and still competing against ourselves.”
The Bulldogs – playing without junior quarterback Glen Register again after he damaged his anterior cruciate ligament in the second quarter of the Bulldogs’ 52-15 loss at Interlachen two weeks ago – finally scored since Register’s injury as freshman backup Michael Bailey connected twice with receiver DeVonte Vanderpool on back-to-back long plays, the first for 37 yards, then the second for 27 as Vanderpool escaped a bad tackle attempt by a Raider defender to get to the end zone with 5:16 left in first quarter. Umatilla had been outscored 95-0 since Register’s injury until that score.
But just as it looked as if the Bulldogs found any kind of momentum, Gause destroyed it on the ensuing kickoff, taking the kick from his 13 and busting through the middle untouched. His 87-yard return with 4:59 left to play gave the Raiders the lead 13-7, a lead they never relinquished.
Beside the five touchdowns he threw, Scott also called his own number for 76 yards on nine carries, his longest run being 37 yards on the second play of the second quarter for a touchdown that gave the Raiders a 20-7 lead.
Christian Lopez nailed four extra-point kicks and Scott added a two-point conversion run after the Bulldogs were detected twice for encroachment on the extra-point attempt, allowing Williams to change up the extra-point kick attempt and led Scott score from in close.
With this game out of the way, the Raiders next face Bradford (5-1) at home on Friday night.
“This is another opportunity,” Williams said. “We’re excited for the game and not afraid of the opportunity.”