Escambia High Gators: Schedules and Varsity Game Summary

Watts catches lift Escambia
02 WFT 16
Gators edge W. Florida in 17-14 squeaker
Bill Vilona • • September 11, 2010

A week ago, Escambia High receiver Shamarae Watts scolded himself for being a non-factor for his team.

Friday night, he was a difference-maker.

Watts, a 6-foot-4 senior who creates matchup problems for any opponent's secondary, produced big plays on three scoring drives, helping lead the Gators to a 17-14 victory against visiting West Florida High at Emmitt Smith Field.

"I told myself I was going to work real hard this week in practice, and I needed to step up," said Watts, who caught a pair of first-half touchdown passes from quarterback Joey Cannon, then set up the game-winning field goal with his 19-yard catch late in the fourth quarter.

I feel really good again," Watts said, who finished with seven catches for 176 yards. "Things are coming together."

He can thank junior placekicker Jonathan Lister for making sure everything ended just right.

With the pressure of the game resting on his left leg, Lister boomed a 29-yard field goal with 1:55 remaining for the winning points. Despite a tricky placement on the right hashmark, Lister left no doubt with a kick that sailed into the trees beyond the track.

Receiver-defensive back Aaron Simpson's hold was perfect, Lister said, leaving it all to his follow-through.

"That was probably the most nervous I have ever been in my life," Lister said. "I tried not to think of any negative thoughts. I kept telling myself this was just like practice.

"We had worked on different kicks (Thursday) in practice, so I felt like I was well prepared."

Lister then delivered a good kick on the ensuing kickoff, pinning West Florida into a tough angle for big return. The Gators defense did the rest, forcing an interception by Jonarius Grimsley on a midfield snap with 10 seconds remaining.

All of a sudden, Escambia is 2-0 under head coach Scott Anderson, who arrived a week before the season.

"I've got a great group of kids," Anderson said. "They are refusing to lose." West Florida High's first-year coach Harry Lees took away the same assessment from his team. Despite the Jaguars' 0-2 start, they've created plenty of postive moments.

They rallied from a 14-0 deficit Friday night, scoring on Jalen Jones' 3-yard sweep with 15.4-seconds left before halftime. West Florida tied the game with a 12-play, 57 yard drive that was finished with tailback Antwan Carter's 2-yard run with 6:37 remaining.

Linebacker Jorgen Stolsig's fumble recovery near midfield gave West Florida new life.

"Our kids really responded and never quit," said Lees. "I'm excited about our future. We just have to grow up."

First Quarter
E -- Shamarae Watts 7 pass from Joey Cannon (Jonathan Lister kick) 5:55.

Second Quarter
E -- Watts 36 pass from Cannon (Lister kick), 6:26.
WF - Jalen Jones 3 run (Tristan Parsley kick), 0:15.4.

Fourth Quarter
WF -- Antawn Carter 2 run (Parsley kick), 6:37.
E -- Lister 29 FG, 1:55.
1st 2nd 3rd 4th Score






W Florida Tech