Smith, Culpepper Clutch in Fort Meade's Win Over Frostproof, 17-16
Sat. October 06, 2012 at 12:32 a.m. | By Polk Preps Staff
By DICK SCANLON
FORT MEADE | Jay Smith threw a 23-yard touchdown pass to Tobias Culpepper with 3:04 remaining and Fort Meade pulled out a 17-16 victory over Frostproof in both teams Class 3A, District 6 opener Friday night.
Two big runs by D.J. Clark helped the Miners (5-1, 1-0) drive 66 yards late in the fourth quarter and avoid their second straight defeat and their first district loss in 13 years.
Frostproof had taken the lead on quarterback Xavier Gaines' second touchdown run of the game with 5:34 left to play. Gaines' 45-yard pass to Daniel Knighten and a 21-yard run by Kaleel Gaines put the Bulldogs (2-3, 0-1) in position for that score.
But with the game on the line, Fort Meade's offense kicked into gear, starting with a couple of pass completions by Smith. Clark got off consecutive runs of 13 yards and 15 yards to move the Miners deep into Frostproof territory before a holding penalty jeopardized the decisive drive. But on a third-and-14 play, Smith found Culpepper open in the corner of the endzone for the game-winning touchdown.
Both teams scored on their opening possessions before the game settled into a wet defensive struggle bogged down by 24 total penalties.
Clark, who ran 24 times for 135 yards, did almost all the work on the Miners' game-opening drive including a 1-yard touchdown plunge.
But Frostproof came back quickly on Gaines' 62-yard touchdown bomb to Knighten, then took an 8-7 lead on Gaines' two-point conversion run.
After another touchdown run by Clark was called back by a penalty, Jack Cortez's 24-yard field goal regained a 10-8 lead for Fort Meade just before halftime. That scoring drive, which started after an interception by Chris Morris, proved to the difference in the game.
Frostproof plays at home against Hardee next Friday. After an open week, Fort Meade will play another home game against Lakeland Christian on Oct. 19.
Frostproof 8 0 0 8 — 16
Fort Meade 7 3 0 7 — 17
FM — D.J. Clark 1 run (Jack Cortez kick), 7:24.
FP — Daniel Knighten 62 pass from Xavier Gaines (Xavier Gaines run), 4:17.
FM — Field goal Jack Cortez 24.
FP - Xavier Gaines 2 run (Xavier Gaines run), 5:34.
FM - Tobias Culpepper 23 pass from Jay Smith (Jack Cortez kick), 3:04.
FP | FM
First downs 9 15
Rushes/yards 31/93 39/157
Passing 5/12/1 9/15/0
Passing yards 147 103
Total yards 240 260
Fumbles/lost 1/1 2/0
Punts/avg. 3/29.0 2/31.0
Penalties/yards 14/101 10/78
Records 2-3 5-1
Rushing: Frostproof - Xavier Gaines 15 for 39. Fort Meade - D.J. Clark 24 for 135.
Passing: Frostproof - Xavier Gaines 5 for 12, 147. Fort Meade - Jay Smith 9 for 15, 103.
Receiving: Frostproof - Daniel Knighten 2 for 107. Fort Meade - Tobias Culperr 3 for 40.