NSBNEWS.net photos by Sera Frederick. The New Smyrna Beach 'Cudas opened the 2009-'10 football season at home Friday night with a 33-7 romping of the Pine Ridge Panthers of Deltona. At left, Stephen Jackson scores his second touchdown run of the game. In the middle, the 'Cudas offense dominated much of the game, especially in the second half, thanks to a strong offensive line and ball control by quarterback A.J. Granger (top right) to his running backs, Jackson, who had three TD runs and Raheem Mostert (No. 31), who had two TD runs, including a 95-yarder by Mostert.
NEW SMYRNA BEACH -- For the first time in his three years as head coach of the New Smyrna Beach High School 'Cudas football team, Rocky Yocam opened the season with a win, and at home no less. This wasn't just a win, but a romp Friday night over the Pine Ridge High Panthers of Deltona, 33-7.
Pine Ridge got on the scoreboard first with a 35-yard passing strike from quarterback Justin Slavan to wide receiver Javon Stavey. With the extra point good, it was Pine Ridge 7-0 until the 'Cudas Steve Jackson and Raheem Mostert scored on short yardage runs with the second point after attempt failing to give the home team a 13-7 lead going into the half.
Early in the third quarter, Jackson scored on a short run and later in the quarter scored on another short run. Not to be outdone, Raheem Mostert scored on a short-yardage touchdown, and with 6:40 left in the game, burst through the right side en route to a 95-yard monster run for a 33-7 lead. A two-point conversion failed, but it was simply a matter of running down the clock.
Yocam described the big touchdown run as a "counter play, in which the tight end switched sides and threw off the defense, and allowing Mostert to break it wide open.
The coach credited his offensive line and even his second unit for hustling, especially in the second half, getting all of his back-ups into the game.
"Great win fellows." he told his players in the post-game huddle. "We had a much better second half. There's a few things everyone of us can do better, me included."
To keep his players focused beyond an opening victory, Yocam reminded them the "real test" comes next Friday against Seabreeze.
He wrapped up his post-game pep talk, telling them, "I'm proud of you."