The Barron Collier football team racked up plenty of yards Friday night, yet it was Palmetto Ridge’s penchant for the big play that lifted the Bears to victory in an important district game.
Jaheem Washington gained 236 yards — including one of 61 yards — and quarterback Cody Young threw a 66-yard scoring pass, helping the Bears to a win over the Cougars in a key District 6A-12 game Friday night at Palmetto Ridge High.
Palmetto Ridge remained unbeaten as the high school football season entered its second half.
The Cougars trimmed an 18-point deficit to only three in the fourth before a Washington touchdown with 7:16 left essentially put it away. The Bears (5-0) stopped BC on fourth down in the last two minutes to win it.
“These guys have worked hard every week, and it’s paid off on Friday nights,” said Palmetto Ridge coach Chris Toukonen. “What can you say about Jaheem Washington? He runs hard all the time. The defense stepped up in the red zone. They played well when they (Barron Collier) had opportunities.”
The Cougars also had some big offensive numbers. Jack Bueltel threw for 186 yards for the Cougars (4-2). Dana Brown rushed for 112 yards.
“This is a game we felt we had to win,” Toukonen said. “Our players were hungry coming into this one. Washington had an impressive game. And we think he’s going to attracts some scouts who want him to play collegiately.”
The Cougars drove 62 yards on their opening possession, but the drive fizzled out at the Palmetto Ridge 18-yard line. The Bears then scored first on Young’s 2-yard quarterback sneak with 7:53 left in the first. The impetus for the scoring drive was Young’s 35-yard pass to Dominique Linton and Washington’s 29-yard pickup to put the Bears within the BC 5-yard line.
Palmetto Ridge then stopped the Cougars on fourth down on their next possession. The Bears then easily scored their second touchdown when Washington scrambled 24 yards up the middle to make it a 14-0 game with 4:37 left in the first.
BC got a big break and got three points in the second. The Cougars recovered a strip from Washington and got possession at the Palmetto Ridge’s 16-yard line. Three plays later, Johan Bonilla kicked a 28-yard field goal.
Bonilla later kicked a 26-yard field goal with 4:19 left to make it only a 14-6 Bear lead.
But Palmetto Ridge responded immediately when Young threw a pass over the middle to Jonah Lamour, who then proceeded to a 66-yard touchdown for a 21-6 halftime lead.
BARRON COLLIER | 0 | 6 | 8 | 7 | FINAL 21
PALMETTO RIDGE | 14 | 7 | 3 | 7 | FINAL 31
PR: Cody Young 2 run (Cameron Taylor kick)
PR: Jaheem Washington 24 run (Taylor kick)
BC: FG Johan Bonilla 28
BC: FG Bonilla 26
PR: Jonah Lamour 66 pass from Young (Taylor kick)
PR: FG Taylor 24
BC: Ian Kessel 15 pass from Jack Bueltel (Jamel Davis run)
BC: Nathan Doyle 1 run (Bonilla kick)
PR: Washington 3 run (Taylor kick)