JACKSONVILLE - As Orange Park head coach Tom Macpherson addressed his team after a hard fought overtime victory over Bishop Kenny he couldn’t feel that maybe his team has had some divine intervention.
“I think someone up there is looking over this team, “ said Macpherson. “We survived after a late score followed by an onside kick.”
Raider running back Alex Collier’s six-yard touchdown run on the second play in overtime propelled Orange Park to a thrilling 42-35 victory over host Bishop Kenny on Friday night. Collier, a senior athlete, accounted for 113 all purpose yards and scored five touchdowns on the night.
“We know that we need to get the ball into Collier’s hands because he can make plays,” said Macpherson. “We put him in a few new formations out of the wildcat and let him do his thing.”
After grabbing the lead in overtime the Orange Park (4-2) defense stiffened up and stopped the Crusaders (1-5) on fourth down play to end the game. Ji’Ovanni Fowlin stopped running back Jordan Brown on three yard line to secure the victory.
“These guys fight hard night in and night out,” reflected Macpherson. “Even when this team was 1-9 last year they always played hard.”
Senior quarterback Vinnie Walker completed eight-of-18 passes for 256 yards and two touchdown passes. Senior wideout Sean Dixon had three receptions for 113 yards including a 70 yard TD strike while Diego Soto had three catches for 93 yards.
“We made some adjustments and added a few new formations after we struggled to run the ball out of the wildcat at Ridgeview last week,” said Macpherson. “We need to get the ball into Collier and Soto’s hands because they make plays.”
Senior placekicker/DL Kendy Charles connected on all four of his extra points, added a two point conversion run and had 10 tackles including a sack.
“We really have worked a lot on our extra points in practice, “ Macpherson said. “Everyone did their job from the snap to the hold and line it was a big part of the night.”
Orange Park travels to Baker County next Friday for a key District matchup. With a victory at Baker Country and Eastside it would put the Raiders in the drivers s at to play for the district championship at home versus Menendez on October 25th.
Another storyline to the Orange Park-Baker County matchup is the return of Coach Macpherson to Baker County where he coached for two years.
“It’s not about me,” said Macpherson. “I don’t play in the game. It is about what they do out there.”