The Buchholz Bobcats trounced the Fleming Island Golden Eagles on Thursday night, 35-7, in the Region 1-7A quarterfinals.
Buchholz junior quarterback Creed Whittemore accounted for four first half touchdowns in the win.
Fleming Island (6-5) looked promising on defense at first, forcing a punt. But the Golden Eagles muffed it and Buchholz recovered at the Fleming Island 2-yard line.
Whittemore punched it in from two yards out to put the Bobcats (10-1) on the board first.
On the next drive, junior wide receiver Jacarree Kelly reeled in a 27-yard receiving touchdown on a post over the middle.
“Jacarree’s a great player,” Whittemore said. “He’s able to run past people, and we take advantage of that.”
Later in the first quarter, Whittemore connected with senior wide receiver Quan Lee for a first down on fourth and seven, but Fleming Island could not bring him down and Lee broke free for a 33-yard score.
On Fleming Island’s first drive of the second quarter, Lee recovered a fumble to give Buchholz the ball back. Senior wide receiver Adrian Sermons went over the top of the defender for a 52-yard grab that set up first and goal for the Bobcats.
“[Sermons] played through some pain, and I don’t even know how he made that catch,” Whittemore said.
Senior EJ Gadson took it in for a 1-yard score to give Buchholz a 28-0 lead. Before the half ended, Kelly hauled in his second receiving score to give the Bobcats a 35-0 cushion going into the break.
Whittemore finished the half with 171 passing yards, 50 rushing yards, three touchdowns through the air and one on the ground.
Fleming Island blocked a punt and returned it for a touchdown in the fourth quarter. However, the Golden Eagles saw their season come to an end quickly with a second-half running clock.
Defensively for the Bobcats, senior defensive end Darius Boyd recorded two sacks. He leads the team with eight on the year.
With the win, Buchholz hosts a regional semifinal game next Friday. The Bobcats will face either fourth-seed Fletcher (Neptune Beach) or fifth-seed University (Orange City).
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