DUNNELLON — They say it’s tough to beat the same team twice in a season, but the Dunnellon Tigers must not have heard that saying.
It was an absolute beatdown for the second time this season. A 41-13 win over the South Sumter Raiders in the 4A Region 2 quarterfinals in D-Town Friday night.
The Raiders visited Dunnellon just over a month ago (that one a 42-21 Tiger victory), but it didn’t seem they were able to build off that experience, as the Raiders failed to have an answer for the Dunnellon offense all night.
The Tigers either scored or turned the ball over in the red zone on each of their first five drives, building a 27-6 lead over the Raiders by halftime.
Four different players, Ja’quavion Fraziars, AJ Hamilton, Emanuel Caballero and Trent Townsend, reached the end zone during the first half, including a beautiful 60 yard touchdown run down the left sideline by Hamilton, and a pick six from Caballero.
That success only carried into the third quarter as the Tigers added two more scores to trigger the “running clock.”
Hamilton got his second score of the night with a short touchdown up the middle, following a 30-yard rush by Fraziars.
And maybe the play of the game came with 3:42 left in the third when Caballero was shot from a cannon, up the middle, untouched for a 75 yard touchdown run.
On the other side of the ball, the Raiders just couldn’t find a way to move the ball.
Their lone weapon on offense came in the form of sophomore wide receiver Doug Sharp, who easily had more than 100 yards on kick and punt returns throughout the game, and had one of the Raiders two scores.
That one touchdown was a thing of beauty, coming just two plays after the Tigers first score, when it seemed that this matchup was still a ball game.
Sharp took a sweep left around the defenders and down the sideline for a 61-yard touchdown to narrow the score to 8-6.
The Raiders didn’t score again until the game was well out of hand in the fourth quarter, when quarterback Garhett Miller kept the ball and waltzed into the end zone to reach the final score of 41-13.
With that, South Sumter’s season comes to an end, while the Tigers will look ahead to their next playoff opponent.
“We’ve been really locked in the last three weeks and I think we’ve got better and better, so, I really like where we are right now, where we’re going,” said Dunnellon head coach Price Harris.
“Of course that can change in a heart beat, we play a great team next week in the playoffs. It’s one week at a time but this team is getting better and better every week.”
The Tigers will advance to the 4A Region 2 semifinals where they’ll face a tough Santa Fe team on the road next Friday.