The host Fernandina Beach Middle School football team held off a second-half rally by Yulee Middle School for an 18-14 victory Thursday night at Pirate Field.
Brodie Clemens was 5-of-8 for 94 passing yards and a pair of touchdowns for the FBMS Pirates; D’ante Simms had 13 rushes for 117 yards and a TD and also had three tackles, an interception and three pass breakups on defense; Alex Pulwicz reeled in three passes for 68 yards and a TD, rushed five times for 31 yards and recorded four tackles; Hunter Johns had a 30-yard TD reception, had a five-yard rush, recorded three tackles and forced a fumble; Anthony Fancher recorded seven tackles, three for a loss; Jose Diaz Rodriguez had seven tackles, two for a loss, and a quarterback sack; Hampton Walker had seven tackles; and Devin Murray had three tackles and a pass breakup.
“The boys played well,” FBMS Coach Raleigh Green said. “We expected a good game, and that’s what we got. I’m proud of the way the boys handled the adversity of the Yulee comeback after we got up 18-0. That experience will really be beneficial as we move forward with this season.”
FBMS (2-1) hosted Hilliard next Tuesday night and will host Callahan Tuesday. Kickoff is at 6 p.m.
• The Fernandina Beach High School football team (3-2) suffered its first loss since the season opener at Yulee. The FBHS Pirates lost to host Andrew Jackson 39-14.
“Tough one Friday night,” said Jude Swearingen, head football coach at FBHS. “Lots of adversity, and we didn’t overcome it. We will continue to work on getting better each week.
“This year is a run to the playoffs in our region. All teams make the playoffs, so we are fighting for seeding and a home playoff game. Winning a playoff game is within our reach if we stay focused and prepare mentally and physically each week.”
The Pirates opened the scoring on a nine-yard touchdown run by Cam Miller in the first quarter. Phil Tita kicked the point-after. The Jackson Tigers answered in the second quarter with a touchdown to even the score. The 7-7 score held through halftime.
In the third quarter, Jackson scored two touchdowns to take a 19-7 lead. The Pirates responded in the fourth quarter on an eight-yard run by Khamari Barksdale. Tita provided the PAT. The Pirates cut the hosts’ lead to 19-14 before the Tigers tacked on three touchdowns.
Miller was 7-of-13 for 45 yards and had 14 rushes for 102 yards and a TD. Barksdale finished with 74 yards on 13 carries and a TD. Kyle Lee had two receptions for 25 yards.
The Pirate defense was led by Josiah Rauls, who had six tackles and four assists; Ernest Cortez with four tackles, five assists and an interception; A.J. West with two tackles and 11 assists; and John Kenny Flood, who had two stops and six assists.
The Pirates are on the road again Friday night. They play at 6 p.m. at Paxon.
• Yulee High School football team headed to Jacksonville Friday for a matchup with the Ribault Trojans. The Hornets fell 55-13.
Justice Pope was 15-of-41 for 233 passing yards and a pair of touchdowns. Zack Drawdy had seven receptions for 138 yards and a touchdown. Devonn Littlejohn had four catches for 46 yards and a TD.
Tayjon Thomas had six solo tackles and an assist to lead the Hornet defense. Donovan Henry had three solo tackles and four assists. Jarod Baker had three solo stops and an assist. Kendyll Jones had a solo tackle and three assists. Henry also had a quarterback sack, and Ethan Stanberry and Gabriel Lanier had one apiece.
Yulee (2-3) takes on host First Coast at 6 p.m. Friday.