Oak Hall and Evangelical Christian players and coaches meet at midfield to pray post-game.

Jacarree Kelly’s Four Scores Not Enough as Oak Hall Falls to Evangelical Christian

With just over seven minutes left to play in the fourth quarter, Evangelical Christian junior running back Dawnya Washington found pay dirt and gave his team the 36-29 lead. Cowbells rang as the away team’s crowd erupted in celebration of what would turn out to be the game-winning touchdown. 

Later in the fourth quarter, Oak Hall had a chance to drive down the field and tie the game. An interception by Evangelical Christian senior Jaidin Brown sealed the game for the Sentinels. 

“We’ve been trying to find a way to close out or to respond to our situations in the game and he heard us loud and clear and got it done,” said Evangelical Christian head coach and former Gator Earnest Graham. “He just stepped up tonight and made a fantastic play.”

A Little Bit of History

Oak Hall and Evangelical Christian met last year in Fort Myers. Evangelical Christian came back to win that game in a 22-21 nail-biter. This year’s game was just as entertaining. 

Oak Hall trailed 22-7 early in the second quarter but fought their way back to tie the game. Evangelical Christian put themselves ahead by six to close out the half, but then Oak Hall took the lead back in the fourth quarter. 

“We knew that this was going to be one of the toughest games that we had,” said Oak Hall head coach RJ Fuhr. “We went up in the fourth quarter, and for a young team not folding and fighting back, that’s all I could ask for.”

Jacarree Kelly shines for Oak Hall

Despite the loss, one member of the Oak Hall offense could not be stopped. Freshman Jacarree Kelly totaled a whopping four receiving touchdowns to lead the Eagles’ offense.

“They were basically playing cover one, sometimes zero,” Fuhr said. “We knew that the middle of the field was open. We changed up some things and took advantage of that.”

The connection between Kelly and sophomore quarterback Cole Gonzales was evident as they exploited the Sentinel defense. Fuhr noted that Gonzales made good reads and played a great game, with the exception of the late-game interception. 

“He forced it a little bit, but that comes with age,” Fuhr said. “He’s a competitor.”

Evangelical Christian offense fires on all cylinders

Evangelical Christian struggled to put up points last week in their game against Hawthorne. The team fixed that issue this week.

“We haven’t been balanced in the past few weeks and I took responsibility for that,” Graham said. 

The Sentinels moved the ball efficiently on the ground and through the air. Washington, junior Greg Thomas, and senior Terry Lindsey each ran the ball well, according to Graham. Senior quarterback Reynaldo Rosales used his arm and legs to get the job done. 

“Learning how to win is a great thing,” Rosales said. “We have a lot of young guys and we are trying to establish the culture.”

Upcoming Schedule

Evangelical Christian (2-3) has next week off before they host Neumann (2-3) on October 4. Oak Hall (3-2) makes the short drive to Saint Francis Catholic (1-4) next week to square off against their rival. 

“We have to get back at it, nurse our wounds this weekend, watch some film, clean up some things from this game and then get on to Saint Francis,” Fuhr said. “That’s always a big one there.

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