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Two Bulls receivers catch on in a hurry

Chris Iskra and Mark Feldman make solid impressions in rout.


© St. Petersburg Times, published October 22, 2000

TAMPA -- South Florida's plan was to establish its struggling running game against Liberty.

Instead, what the Bulls may have done is establish a new crop of receivers.

A bunch of Bulls got in on the action Saturday when quarterback Marquel Blackwell passed for four touchdowns and 255 yards against Liberty. But some of the most memorable moments were generated by freshmen Chris Iskra and Mark Feldman, former Clearwater Central Catholic receivers who scored touchdowns in USF's 44-6 romp.

Iskra, a redshirt freshman who had his first catches two weeks ago, had a 68-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter, easily the team's longest catch of the season and the third-longest touchdown catch in school history. His 97 yards on two receptions was the third-best game total at USF.

Feldman, a true freshman tight end, had just one catch, but it was an 11-yard touchdown early in the second quarter that gave the Bulls a 21-0 lead. It was his second catch as a Bull and first touchdown. Iskra's 29-yard catch helped set up the score.

Feldman said he can't remember a specific high school game where both he and Iskra scored, but this "will definitely be the game that stands out." Their play was a bright spot in what otherwise was a frustrating game for USF coach Jim Leavitt, who was unhappy with penalties and mistakes.

"It was two freshmen, which is kind of neat to see, (because you're) looking to the future," Leavitt said.

The old guard, however, isn't ready to be put out to pasture. Senior Rafael Williams made seven catches for 77 yards, the best such performance by a running back in school history. Senior Charlie Jackson had his first touchdown of the season, a 31-yarder, and go-to senior Scott McCready added a 5-yard touchdown.

"We were issued a challenge this week that the receivers had to ... make big plays," Jackson said.

Williams did double duty, rushing for a team-high 74 yards on 14 carries, but the receiving yards came easier. Liberty tends to leave the flats open to running backs, and Williams exploited it.

"I was saying to myself, "Wow, you're catching all the balls tonight,' " Williams said. "It felt good to get the ball in the open field. I felt like a receiver."

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