P.K. Yonge falls to Keystone Heights, 27-22

Keystone Heights defeated P. K. Yonge 27-22 in a sloppy game to complete their regular seasons Thursday.

Early Turnovers Set Trend

The contest featured three turnovers by Keystone Heights (6-4) and four by P. K. Yonge (3-7).

The tone was set early, as both teams turned the ball over on their first drive. A surprise onside kick on the opening kickoff caught P.K. Yonge by surprise, but Keystone Heights running back Cartez Daniels fumbled on the Blue Wave 11. However, six plays later quarterback Lawrence Wright Jr. threw an interception to give the ball back to the Indians. The first quarter ended with a scoreless tie.

Offenses Get On The Board

Just like the first quarter, the Blue Wave and Indians mirrored each other’s results on the field. Keystone Heights struck first, a 4-yard touchdown pass from Baylor Ford to Bryce Hollingsworth to open a 6-0 lead. P.K. Yonge answered with a 1-yard Wright Jr. touchdown run, tying the game at 6-all. That score would hold to the end of the first half.

Indians Take Control

In the third and early fourth quarter, Keystone Heights gained a lead that it would not relinquish. Its first drive of the half ended with PKY’s Devin Johnson catching his first of two interceptions, but following a punt they scored their second touchdown of the night, a 2-yard run by Daniels. After missing the first, the PAT was good that time to give the Indians a seven-point advantage.

The quarter came to a close with the same 13-6 margin, in large part thanks to Johnson’s second interception at the Blue Wave’s 9-yard line.

The fourth quarter opened with another interception, this time caught by Keystone Heights’ Zane Leger. The Indians followed that up with their third touchdown, a 20-yard pass from Ford to Garrison Teague to go up 20-6.

P.K. Yonge Comeback Bid Falls Short

In what surely elicited a sense of deja vu for Blue Wave players, coaches and fans, the team once again fought hard to erase a fourth-quarter deficit, but ultimately come up short of the win. This time, it came in the form of a 21-point burst, beginning with a 9-yard rushing touchdown from Wright Jr. and a successful two-point conversion to bring the deficit back to six.

A long Keystone Heights drive, ending in a 4-yard touchdown rush from Daniels, looked as if it would seal the game by taking a 27-14 lead late.

However, P.K. Yonge refused to give up. Corinthian Graham capped off a quick scoring drive with a 7-yard touchdown run and a successful two-point conversion, cutting the lead down to 27-22.

A subsequent Indian three-and-out gave the Blue Wave a chance to win the game with four seconds left, but Wright Jr. threw his third interception on a Hail Mary attempt to end the game.

The Road Ahead

Keystone Heights advances to the first round of the Class 2S playoffs as a seven-seed, traveling to two seed Yulee (8-2) at 7:30 p.m. Friday. P.K. Yonge’s season comes to a close.

The playoffs begin Friday at various locations throughout the state. Alachua County schools that qualified include Buchholz, Eastside, Hawthorne, Williston and Newberry.

About Ian Sutphin

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