by Craig Dunn
Mother Nature must have wanted the 25th edition of the heated Citrus/Lecanto rivalry to take place. With fierce storms scattered throughout Central Florida on a humid September evening, she spared the over 2,000 in attendance of her wrath. The patrons stayed dry, but another kind of storm was brewing on the field.
Thunderous hits were seen early and often. The majority of the first quarter proved a defensive battle with Citrus and Lecanto exchanging several 3 and out drives. Citrus got on the board first with a strong 45 yard field goal by Connor Killeen.
Lecanto could not counter, and Citrus used the momentum of a 40-yard scamper by James Pouncey and a gutsy 14-yard run by Kyle Presnick to cash in a touchdown before the half. That touchdown sent the Hurricanes to the locker room with a 10-0 lead.
Lecanto was determined not to go down quietly. The Panthers ran the opening kickoff of the second half back for a touchdown and it looked like it was “game on,” but a clipping penalty negated the touchdown and a promising opening drive fizzled on the Citrus 40 yard line. After an exchange of 3 and outs, a Lecanto bad snap deep in Citrus territory was recovered by Mitch Kilpatrick at the goal line.
One play later at the 3:31 mark in the 3rd Quarter, the Hurricanes owned a commanding 16-0 lead. It looked like the Lecanto Panthers may have had one more shot at a comeback when Heath Hernandez reeled in a 40-yard reception with 2:30 left in the 3rd quarter. But the ensuing played resulted in yet another bad snap recovered by Citrus defensive stalwart, Mitch Kilpatrick. Adding to the Citrus lead was Running back, Brandon Roberts with two touchdowns, 11 carries and 42 yards. Citrus also added a field goal early in the 4th quarter, to cap off a special evening with a 33-0 win over their bitter rivals, the Lecanto Panthers.
Austin Nabor #20 for the Citrus Hurricanes was awarded the “Great American Rivalry Series” MVP Award. He tallied over 100 yards on the ground for the Hurricanes and was a key cog to the offense all evening.
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- Citrus vs. Lecanto – 2011