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A late interception proves costly as Williston ends Nature Coast's dream season.
By DEREK LARIVIERE
Published November 11, 2006
BROOKSVILLE - Facing a program that was making its 30th playoff appearance, Nature Coast gave Williston a run for its money Friday night in the school's first playoff appearance, losing at home 26-13.
Twelve seconds into the first quarter, Nature Coast freshman sensation Tevin Drake scampered up the middle 80 yards for the team's first touchdown. Drake continued to be the focus of the Nature Coast offense, accounting for 125 yards on 20 carries .
"We've seen big plays to start games before," Williston coach Jamie Baker said. "The key is to keep the team confident and realize that there is a still a lot of game left to play."
Williston (8-3) countered Nature Coast (8-3) with its own underclassman running back, sophomore Courtney Days.
Days pounded the ball against the smaller defense on his way to 166 yards on 19 rushes and one score.
Down by six points in the fourth quarter, Nature Coast quarterback Josh Ortiz attempted to lead the Sharks on a drive that could have helped them regain the lead.
Red Devils cornerback Jiwan James ended any thoughts of a comeback, intercepting Ortiz and returning the ball 26 yards for a game-clinching touchdown.
"Turnovers were the story tonight for our offense," Nature Coast coach Jamie Joyner said. "You can't win in the playoffs when you turn the ball over five times."
Baker moved to 2-1 in the playoffs in his three seasons as coach at Williston.