Yulee tops rival Fernandina Beach in Nassau County showdown
Barksdale among stars for Hornets in 41-10 rout of Pirates
FERNANDINA BEACH, Fla. – Khamari Barksdale said, at heart, he always will be a Fernandina Beach Pirate.
That was little consolation, and didn't soften the blow Friday night, at Barksdale's former stomping grounds. Now dressing out with rival Yulee, Barksdale was a vital component of the Hornets' 41-10 thrashing of Nassau County foe Fernandina Beach.
Barksdale suited up for the Pirates as a freshman in 2017. He transferred to Yulee and, after missing last season's rivalry tilt with an injury, Barksdale returned with 163 yards rushing on 21 carries, while adding a touchdown.
"It was very important," said Barksdale, who scored on a six-yard run in the third quarter. "I'm used to being on that side. In my heart, I still feel like I'm a Pirate. But this is my new home, and I love these boys."
They seem to love him, too. Especially the offensive line, which paved the way for Barksdale. He was tackled for loss once, and only seven of his carries went for fewer than six yards.
The starting line of Joseph Bedell, Brendan Black, Zachary Hannaford, Gavin Jones and Cameron Jordon not only cleared the way for Barksdale, but for the entire Hornets offense. Yulee (1-1) picked up 263 rushing yards on 33 carries, en route to 431 total yards.
Reserve back Jergotti Wilcox added 61 rushing yards and a pair of scores, while making two tackles for loss on defense. Quarterback Kyle Lee completed 10-of-15 passes for 168 yards and three scores, including strikes of 11 and 41 yards to Clayton Walden, who hauled in seven receptions for 104 yards.
"We had a good game and a good game plan," Hornets coach Robert Flagler said. "I thought we executed pretty well. We still left some plays out on the field, offensively and defensively."
That seems hard to believe at first glance. Fernandina Beach (0-2) struggled on offense, particularly in the first half. The Pirates went three-and-out on their first three possessions and didn't manage a first down until midway through the second quarter.
"We just have to work harder at practice," said FB quarterback Cam Miller, who rushed for 65 yards and a touchdown. "I was excited for this, but we didn't execute."
The Pirates only had nine total yards midway through the second quarter when Chase Boyd broke a 55-yard run. But that drive ended on a fourth-and-goal from the Hornets 4 when Miller was swarmed on a keeper and fumbled.
In addition to the three-and-out series and the fourth-down fumble, FB had two other drives end with turnovers until Miller's 4-yard scoring run finally cut their deficit to 27-7 at the end of the third quarter.
The game went to a running clock at two different stages as Yulee stretched its lead to 41-7.
Finally, at game's end placekicker Phil Tita drilled a 33-yard field goal as the clock expired for the Pirates' final points.
That did little to dampen Barksdale's homecoming.
"This game means so much to me," Barksdale said. "It felt great, my return home."
Yulee 41, Fernandina Beach 10
Yulee: 7, 7, 13, 14 — 41
Fernandina Beach; 0, 0, 7, 3 — 10
Y – Clayton Walden 11 pass from Kyle Lee (Gabe Shiver kick)
Y – Jergotti Wilcox 16 run (Shiver kick)
Y – Wilcox 29 run (Shiver kick)
Y – Khamari Barksdale 6 run (kick failed)
FB – Cam Miller 4 run (Phil Tita kick)
Y – Walden 41 pass from Lee (Spivey kick)
Y – Zackary Drawdy 36 pass from Lee (Spivey kick)
FB – Tita 33 FG
Category, Y; FB
First downs: 20; 8
Rushes-yards: 33-263; 28-126
Passing: 168; 51
Comp-Att-Int: 10-17-0; 3-5-1
Fumbles-lost: 1-0; 3-2
Penalties-Yards: 11-95; 2-15
RUSHING — Y: Barksdale 21-163, Wilcox 5-61. Jalen Holmes 1-26, Jarod Baker 1-12, Lee 5-1. FB: Chase Boyd 8-72, Miller 18-65, Team 2-(-11).
PASSING — Y: Lee 10-15-0-168, Baker 0-2-0-0. FB: Miller 3-5-1-51.
RECEIVING — Y: Walden 7-104, Drawdy 1-36, Holmes 1-18, Sanchez Albertie 1-10. FB: DaMarion Bryan 1-18, Willie Coleman 1-17, Boyd 1-16.
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