The Return of Coach Dock
Coach Dock Pollard spoiled his former team’s Senior Night, against new Santa Fe coach Jared Allen. When asked about having to coach his very first game with the Gainesville Hurricanes against his former team Pollard said it was a bit different.
“It’s a little emotional… I expect them to come out and fight as hard as they can and give it their best shot.”
Early in the contest, both teams dominated defensively. When it seemed as though the Hurricanes were developing any momentum it was disrupted by penalties. Under-five minutes left to go in the quarter, Gainesville gave up two crucial 12 men on the field penalties to stall their drive.
Overall the Hurricanes committed 15 penalties for 120 yards. The Santa Fe defense forced their starting quarterback to throw two interceptions in the second half but wasn’t able to capitalize on their turnovers.
Later in the second quarter, Gainesville scored a touchdown on a 53-yard run and followed that with a bomb to wide receiver Ryan Nolan to take a 14-0 lead in the third quarter.
Penalties allowed Santa Fe to drive deep into the red zone in the fourth quarter, but a botched snap stalled the drive for a devastating loss of yardage. A failure to convert a fourth and five led to a turnover on downs with 3:27 left to play and the Raiders would fall 14-0.
The Hurricanes were able to mount 202 yards of total offense compared to Santa Fe’s 34 yards. Brent King was the standout performer completing 8/13 passing for 145 yards with a touchdown and an interception.
Santa Fe quarterback Landon Rodgers completed 10 of 24 attempts for just 57 yards as a struggling offensive line had him pressured on each drop back. The offensive line gave up 10 sacks in total.
When asked about struggles wide receiver Dylan Gish demanded more from his squad offensively.
“We have to click offensively. Our offensive line isn’t clicking right now. We have a lot of talent. It’s something we need to work on in practice. Wide receivers need to put their effort in and learn their plays. We’re starting off slow but we got a ton of talent.”
The defense was the bright spot for the Raiders. However defensive captain Balin Strickland had an unconventional perspective on the loss.
“We played our hearts out on defense… we really need to score on defense if our offense can’t score like tonight.”
After falling to 0-2 Santa Fe Raiders are still looking for their first win of the season. Their next game is against the Fort White Indians on the 18th at home.