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Florida and Florida State – The Sunshine Showdown

Once again the Seminoles and the Gators rivalry game took place on the last week of the regular season.

In a highly anticipated game billed as The Sunshine Showdown, both fan bases showed up to support their team and urge them on to victory. Florida went out to an early lead that lasted into the third quarter when the Seminoles scored 17 unanswered points to lead the Gators 20-13. It looked like the margin of 7 points the Seminoles were favored by was going to prove the difference.

However, in the final stanza, Florida put up 24 points to retake the lead and defeat the home team 37-26 after a late, inconsequential E.J. Manuel touchdown.

For this year, the Florida faithful have the bragging rights after a hard fought victory by the boys in orange and blue.

As one disappointed Seminole fan said after the game, “Wait’ll next year.’

Next year can’t get here soon enough to see this great rivalry renewed one more time.

View my Jacksonville.com gallery here.

Florida State’s Devonta Freeman rushes for a first down in second quarter action against Florida.

Florida’s Trey Burton puts a stiff arm on a Florida State defensive back Terrence Brooks in the third quarter.

Florida’s Mike Gillislee strides towards the end zone during fourth quarter action.

Chief Osceola and Renegade celebrate a third quarter touchdown by the Florida State Seminoles.

 

 

Gators Hanging On

The Florida Gators hosted the Louisiana Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns on Saturday November 10, 2012. Florida was hosting a 26 point underdog in The Swamp on homecoming. The Ragin’ Cajuns had ideas of ruining the day for Florida alumni and players.

In a much closer than expected game, the team from Louisiana had the Gators on the ropes and the game was all knotted up at 20 points apiece with 13 seconds to go in the game. Most everyone was expecting overtime to determine a winner in this game. All ULL had to do was get a punt off and let their defense hold the Gators until regulation time ran out.

However, in the next few seconds, the Gators’ Louchiez Purifoy would block a ULL punt and Jelani Jenkins would grab the ball and run it into the end zone to give the Gators a 27-20 victory with 2 seconds to go in the game.

Florida players went into celebration mode and The Swamp exploded in delirium. An unbelievable finish to a very close game.

My complete gallery of the game is on Jacksonville.com.

Florida linebacker Jelani Jenkins (3) returns a blocked punt for a touchdown as the Florida Gators beat the University of Louisiana Lafayette Ragin Cajuns 27-20 in Gainesville, Florida on Saturday November 10, 2012.

 

Florida wide receiver Latroy Pittman is on the business end of Jeff Driskel’s cleats during third quarter action against the University of Louisiana Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns on Saturday November 10, 2012.

Baby Crusader Football

The freshman football team ventured up to Hilliard, Fl to take on the Flashes of Hilliard Middle-Senior High School in a freshman football game. What the Baby Crusaders lack in football experience, they make up for in enthusiasm.

The Crusaders had it tough most of the night as the more experienced Flashes rolled over the young squad from Bishop Kenny. The Crusaders wrapped up their season with yet another loss, but an experience that will give them the skills to succeed on the junior varsity and varsity football level.

By the way, in small town football, even at the freshman level, the town comes out to see the boys play ball.

 

Life In The Swamp

The tenth ranked Florida Gators hosted the fourth ranked Tigers of Louisiana State University on Saturday, October 6, 2012. Despite falling behind by two field goals going into the second half, the Gator defense, aided by the Rowdy Reptiles in The Swamp held LSU scoreless the second half.

The Florida ground game came alive in the second half and  the offense put 14 unanswered points on the board to defeat the Bayou Bengals 14-6. A very jubilant team celebrated with the equally excited fans in the north end zone. The win vaulted the Gators to the number four spot in the AP poll.

Below are a few images from the game. The rest of the gallery may be viewed at jacksonville.com.

Gator players get ready to take the field prior to their game against LSU on October 6, 2012. The Gators employed a stifling defense and a solid running game to defeat the Tigers 14-6.

 Florida’s Lerentee McCray sacks LSU’s Zach Mettenberger during first quarter action on Saturday October 6, 2012. The Gators went on to beat LSU 14-6.

Florida’s Matt Elam strips the ball from LSU receiver Odell Beckham Jr. during third quarter action in Gainesville, FL on Saturday, October 6, 2012. Florida defeated LSU 14-6.

Florida fans celebrate another victory for the Gators in The Swamp as the Gators hosted LSU on October 6, 2012. The Gators employed a stifling defense and a solid running game to defeat the Tigers 14-6. The Florida team was rewarded with a number four ranking in the AP poll released on Sunday, October 7, 2012.

June 1, 2009 – North Florida Notre Dame Club

On Monday June 1st, I was privileged to be invited by the North Florida Notre Dame Club to photograph their dinner celebrating UND Night with the Fighting Irish’s own head ball coach, Charlie Weis. The club was honored to host Coach Weis in recognition of their status as an outstanding C Club by the Notre Dame Alumni Association. Coach provided insights into how the team prepares for the season from the start of spring practice until the season gets underway and responded to questions from the audience.It was a fine evening with a silent auction and the raffling of tickets to the USC game with the proceeds going to area charities that the club supports.

Head Coach Charlie Weis addresses the North Florida Notre Dame Club

Head Coach Charlie Weis addresses the North Florida Notre Dame Club