Hornets top Pirates in opener

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  • FBHS senior Khamari Barksdale heads for the end zone for the first of two touchdowns in the first half Friday night at Yulee. BETH JONES/NEWS-LEADER
    FBHS senior Khamari Barksdale heads for the end zone for the first of two touchdowns in the first half Friday night at Yulee. BETH JONES/NEWS-LEADER
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The 2020 high school football season kicked off Friday night in Yulee. The host Hornets defeated the Fernandina Beach High School Pirates 41-34.

“Disappointed,” FBHS Coach Jude Swearingen said. “No excuses. We will be better moving forward.”

The Pirates struck first when senior Khamari Barksdale scored on a six-yard run in the first quarter. He scored again in the second quarter on a 27-yard run. With Phil Tita’s PATs, the Pirates led 14-0. Yulee cut the lead to 14-7 on a 30-yard touchdown run by senior Jalen Holmes. Kyle Lee scored on a 13-yard pass from Cam Miller to give the visitors a 20-7 lead at halftime.

The Hornets answered in the third quarter, cutting the Pirates’ lead to 20-14.

Barksdale found the end zone again in the third quarter, scoring on an 85-yard pass from Miller. FBHS led 26-14 heading into the fourth quarter.

Yulee scored on a 30-yard fumble return in the final quarter to cut the Pirates’ lead to 26-21. A 19-yard TD run gave Yulee the lead for the first time, 28-26. Yulee scored two more times — on a 79-yard run and 13-yard pass — in the final period and led 41-26 before the Pirates answered with an 18-yard TD run by Miller. The Hornets won 41-34.

Miller completed eight of 17 passes for 256 yards. He had 126 yards on the ground, and Barksdale had 130 yards in receptions and 92 rushing yards. Josiah Rauls led the Pirate defense with five tackles and three assists; Sincere Rogers had four stops and two assists; and Willie Coleman had three tackles and as many assists.

Yulee (1-0) heads to West Nassau Friday night to take on the Warriors (1-0). Fernandina (0-1) heads to Interlachen.