Trailing 15-0 at the half, the Fort White Indians rattled off 28 unanswered second-half points to knock off the Santa Fe (Alachua) Raiders.
Sophomore Najeeb Smith delivered the knockout punch with a pick-6, his second score of the night.
“From that point on I just knew we had all the momentum we needed,” Smith said.
Santa Fe cashed in first with an 11-yard touchdown catch by Devan Mitchum.
Then in the second quarter, Landon Rodgers tossed his second touchdown; a 25-yard grab by Keyon Carter that put the Raiders up 15-0.
Needing a spark, Fort White caught a break on special teams early in the third quarter. Davone Calhoun recovered a muffed punt for the Indians in Santa Fe territory.
Soon after, Kamarion Griffin finally got Fort White on the board. His 20-yard touchdown run closed made it a 15-6 game.
On Fort White’s next possession, Clayton Philpot unleashed a 63-yard touchdown pass to Smith for his first throwing score of the season. All of a sudden, the Indians were within two.
“They were blitzing the whole night and the back side was always open so coach told me to run a fade route,” Smith explained. I faked inside and went back out and it was open. From that point on all I saw was daylight.”
Later in the fourth quarter, Fort White completed the comeback. Griffin ran it in from 11 yards out to give the Indians their first lead of the game.
To seal the deal, Smith returned an interception for a touchdown on Santa Fe’s next drive. Fort White improved to 2-1 on the year with the 28-15 win.
This news brief is brought to you by Radiant Credit Union, giving youth the power to shine. Radiant is federally insured by the NCUA.