Wednesday, January 19, 2011

1969 Class A State Football Championship Game Leesburg vs. Tampa Blake

Blake Wins State Class A Crown
Over Five Thousand Travel To Tampa Stadium

Commercial Sports Editor
Daily Commercial, Sun., Dec. 21, 1969 Pg. 8A

It is really impossible to give an accurate account of how a group of men strive to reach a goal that they have set for themselves only to meet their Waterloo in the final twenty four minutes of a struggle that encompassed over 4 months.

This is what happened last night to the
Leesburg Yellow Jackets. They lost the State Class A
title to
Tampa Blake 27-6.

Blake was an extremely well coached ball club, that seemed to know what
Leesburg was going to do before Leesburg did. They also possessed defensive backs that were extraordinarily quick, they seemed to be all over the field. The defensive backs accounted for five interceptions which was the main reason Leesburg could never get their offense going.

The Blake Jackets took the opening kickoff and started play on their own 35 yard line. The Leesburg defense acted as if they were going to take up where they left off against BelleGlade last week. They broke through the Blake line and dumped the ball carrier for a loss on three straight downs. Blake was forced to punt and it appeared as if it was going to be the Leesburg Jackets night.

Leesburg took the punt and started to move the ball down field. On seven plays they moved the to the Blake 45 yard line. Mike Napier dropped back to pass, let the ball go and Blake'sBobby Bennett picked it off, stopping the first Leesburg drive.

Blake was unable to move the ball and was forced to punt again. This time Leesburg was unable to move and
Larry Humes got off a forty five yard punt that put Blake deep in their own territory as the first quarter ended.

After failing to move the ball again, Blake went into punt formation. The ball was snapped back to the punter,
Mike Chatman fired through the line and partially blocked the kick

Leesburg started to drive again and made it to the Blake 25 yard line. There Bobby Bennett picked off another pass for his second interception of the evening.

Three plays later Blake was punting. This time
Chatman went firing through the line and blocked the ball solidly. Leesburg took over on the Blake 23 yard line. From there they drove the Blake three yard line. Chatman tried to go over the middle but was stopped for no gain.Napier tried a short pass to the end zone and up popped Bennett again. This third interception gave Bennett a Tampa Stadium record for High School interceptions in one half.

Blake now started their first sustained drive of the evening. Starting from there own twenty they drove to the Leesburg twenty-five yard line. Quarterback Lionel Ballard hit Dwight Edgecombe with a screen pass and Edgecombe went in for six. The Leesburg line blocked the try for the extra point.

The second half was a nightmare for the Leesburg Jackets. the defense, which had played such a hard nose first half, couldn't keep the Blake attack at bay any longer.

Blake scored twice in the third quarter, Henry Cummings scored on a eight yard run and lineman George Anderson recovered a Blake fumble in the Leesburg end zone

Leesburg finally got on the score board in the final quarter when Napier hit
Sherrill Lackey with a two yard pass.

In what was an otherwise dismal night for Leesburg, the one bright spot was the outstanding play of linebacker
Sam Rixie. Rixie was in on just about every tackle, in what was his best game since injuring his knee earlier in the season.

LEESBURG                                                TAMPA BLAKE
15                        FIRST DOWNS                       14
78                        RUSHING YARDS                   190
152                      PASSING YARDS                    48
230                      TOTAL YARDS                       238
31-13                   PASSES ATT. COMP.             9-3
1                          FUMBLES LOST                     0
2-37.5                  PUNTS                                    4-25
25                        YARDS PENALIZED                40

Commercial Sports Editor
Daily Commercial, Sun., Dec. 21, 1969 Pg. 8A

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