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October 4, 2013
Two of the First Coast's top quarterbacks met up Friday night and Bishop Kenny's John Wolford out dueled Ribault's D.J. Gillins to cement the Crusaders' status as the favorite to win District 3-5A, defeating Ribault 42-29.
The first half started with a bang for the Trojans, as defensive back Antonio Sirmans picked off Wolford's second pass of the game and returned it for a touchdown.
Wolford wouldn't have another bad throw all night. The East Carolina commit finished the night with five total touchdowns, four passing and one on the ground. That will pad his Northeast Florida record for touchdowns, which he set last week when he passed Tim Tebow on the all time list.
Much of the lead up to the district game focused on Ribault's defense which had held its opponents to just 32 points in four games, including limiting Baker County to 9 points and First Coast to 12. The strength of the defense combined with the DJ Gillins (committed to Wisconsin led offensive attack led many to predict a Trojans win.
Wolford said the hype and underdog mentality helped the Crusaders prepare.
"It's us against the world mentality. We used that for motivation and we prepared great all week," Wolford said.
Perhaps the most important drive of the night for Bishop Kenny was one they didn't even score on. Late in the third quarter, up two scores and coming off a forced turnover on downs, the Crusaders got the ball on their own 26-yard line and called for a six minute drill. Bishop Kenny ran the ball every play of a 54-yard drive that took more than seven minutes off the clock before missing a field goal.
Coach Mark Thorson credited his offensive line.
"They know that when we have a lead in a football game, we need to be able to run the football. It was nice to see us get a couple first downs and a couple of key third down conversions, which was huge," Thorson said. "Run that time out, any chance when you give that quarterback Gillins the football, there is never enough time off the clock."
Wolford ended the night 18 of 27 passing for 260 yards with four touchdowns and an interception. He ran the ball 14 times for 155 yards and another score.
DJ Gillins went 15-30 for 219 yards, with three touchdowns and an interception. He carried the ball 15 times for 28 yards.
Cameron Singletary had a receiving touchdown and ran for 75 yards, nearly all of them in the second half, and the game-sealing touchdown for the Crusaders with three minutes left to play.
Bishop Kenny improves to 4-0 on the season and 3-0 in district play, they play Forrest at home next week. Ribault drops to 3-2 on the season and 2-1 in district play and could still make a run towards the playoffs. They travel to Yulee next week for another district matchup.