OAKLEAF - With a rugged defensive game led by Savion "Gator" Williams, the Oakleaf Knights Captains team, 10-Unders, built a 26-6 halftime lead against the OPAA Raiders en route to a 39-6 final score Saturday afternoon at Oakleaf.
A 60 yard scoring run play from Oakleaf tailback Alijah Royster opened the scoring for the Knights on the first offensive drive of the game with quarterback Ian Mamea slipping off right tackle to put the Knights up 8-0 very quickly.
A fumble recovery from mammoth defensive tackle Easton Isbell gave Oakleaf the ball back quickly and the turnover proved costly as tailback Cedrick McNeill III pounded in from five yards out looking like Earl Campbell to push the score to 12-0 with two minutes left in the first quarter.
After another Orange Park punt, Mamea found wide out Emmett Egger in front of the the Orange Park secondary for a spectacular diving catch much like Fred Biletnikoff as he fell backward and kept his eyes on the ball before snaring it and a 25 yard pickup for Oakleaf. Mamea doubled up with a short pass to Christian Barlow to the Raider six yard line with just six seconds left in the first quarter.
After the 100 yard walk to the opposite end of the field, Williams pounded in on the first play of the second quarter to up the lead to 20-0.
A second fumble recovery by the Knights; by linebacker Kingston Davis on a strip tackle by Williams, put Oakleaf back on the move on offense on the Raider 15 yard line.
Oakleaf went with a William "Fridge" Perry move from Isbell as a fullback that got the ball to the eight yard line with Barlow racing for a touchdown on the next play. A penalty flag pushed the ball backward for Oakleaf and eventually put the Orange Park offense back on the field.
On first down, from the 40, Raider quarterback Xavier White, looking like Baker Mayfield, raced around left end away from Isbell giving chase and sprinted down the sideline to put the Raiders on the scoreboard; 20-6.
Not to be outdone by White, Mamea head left looking like Patrick Mahomes, stomped his left foot and raced 75 yards across the field to paydirt to put Oakleaf up 26-6.
That score stood until halftime with Oakleaf pushing to 39-6 for the final score.