- Dunnellon, FL. Written By: Kevin Smalls. Last Friday night was an eventful night for the Dunnellon Tigers. They hosted the Forest Wildcats (2-1) for their homecoming game.
Homecoming night featured a coronation ceremony at half time and a jersey frame presentation to Lerentee McCray. McCray is former football player and alumni of Dunnellon High school, University of Florida alum, and a current player for the Jacksonville Jaguars.
The Tigers came into the game 4-0, with average margin victory of 24.3 points per game. They were coming off a big victory against Vanguard. They continued this success tonight by destroying the Wildcats, moving them to 5-0 on the season.
Tigers head coach Price Harris said the he stressed to his team to play for one another, get the ball to the playmakers, and give them their space.
According to Coach Price, the game plan was to execute on the offensive end, and they did. But the defense is what really set the tone and stood their ground all night.
“Our defense is a physical group that plays hard for a really long time,” Coach Harris said. “They’ve been playing good all year.”
The Wildcats first offensive possession lasted about one minute, and gained maybe a few yards.
The Tigers received the ball in excellent field position and they capitalize quickly with a touchdown by senior RB/DB Emmanuel Caballero, putting the Tigers on the scoreboard with less than 3 minutes going off the game clock.
Caballero played both sides of the ball for majority of the night. He was all over the field for the Tigers.
“I’ve been working on improving my catching and getting in my routes quicker,” Caballero said. He finished the game with 3 touchdowns and 1 interception.
The Tigers defense didn’t give the Wildcats any room to make plays on the offensive end. Many runs ended in yards lost or no yards gain.
Before the end of the first quarter, Tigers quarterback Trent Townsend connected with senior WR/DB Jacquavion Fraziers for a 70 yard touchdown pass to put the Tigers up 15-0 midway through the first quarter. Fraziers is a Gators football commit.
Before the half, Caballero scored off a tip passed that he stuck with, making the score 22-0 at half time.
Caballero said they didn’t play well in the first half, but were able to refocus during halftime.
“At halftime, Coach told us we had to pick this up,” Caballero said. “The score shouldn’t have been what it is and we couldn’t come out slow.”
Caballero said they came out in the second half “playing real hard Dunnellon football." The Tigers offense continued to make plays in the second half and the defense did not let up.
Caballero came up with an interception early in the second half, and then scored his final touchdown of the night on the following offensive possession, making the score, 29-0.
Senior ATH/LB Javon Lee rushed for his first touchdown of the night to put the Tigers up 36-0.
A pick 6 by sophomore WR/DB LJ Fitzpatrick was the perfect way to end this homecoming victory for the Tigers, as the team and crowd went crazy after the interception.
The Wildcats would kick a field goal just as time ran out, making the final score 43-3.
After the game Fraziers said it was tough week for the team coming off the victory against Vanguard.
“As a leader of this team, everybody looks up to me, so I have to be on my p’s and q’s so everybody else be on theirs,” Fraziers said.
Fraziers said everything he does is for the love of his family. Whether he’s on the football field or baseball, providing for his family is what drive him.
The Tigers will play a district matchup this Friday against Belleview at 7pm. The Wildcats have a conference matchup this Friday on the road against South Lake at 7pm.
Player of the Game: Emmanuel Caballero – 3 TD’s and 1 INT