With Nease quarterback Preston Staples out with an injury, Panthers coaches decided to make some modifications to the offense. The result was a 47-15 thrashing of Orange Park on Friday at Nease High.
“In all honesty it was one of the toughest things for me to find out that Preston played injured last week,” said Nease head coach Tim Krause. “This was as fun of a win to be a part of because of how our kids rallied around it.”
Receiver Ashton Wood and running back Jareem Westcott ran the offense in Staples’ absence. Both seniors took snaps in the single-wing wildcat offense.
The offense, which uses a combination of power running and misdirection, confused the Raiders’ defense and piled up 349 rushing yards. Westcott ran for 149 yards on 16 carries with Wood adding 119 yards on 11 carries. Wood also had two touchdown passes.
“We had to put it together on a Thursday,” said Krause. “They ran with it and executed it. We’ve had pieces of the offense in place for goal-line stuff, but it was something we hadn’t spent a lot of time on.”
Early in the contest Westcott took the direct snap on a sweep play and dashed off-tackle for a 26-yard touchdown. On the next Panther possession Wood took the snap and scored on a 26-yard quarterback counter play.
The Panthers (1-1) continued the scoring frenzy when sophomore Adrian Williams blocked an Orange Park punt. Six plays later, Wood connected with Zach Sheffer on a 10-yard touchdown pass to extend Nease’s lead to 19-0.
Orange Park (0-2) responded with a 2-yard run from Vinny Walker. However, before the half ended, Wood connected with receiver Nick Bunkosky on a 12-yard touchdown pass.
“We played physical and I’m very proud of them,” Krause said.
Nease added two more rushing touchdowns in the second half, one from Westcott and the other on a 48-yard run by Joe Bradshaw. Bunkosky had a 92-yard scoop and score off a high snap from Orange Park.
Nease hosts Bishop Kenny next week.