Football: Nature Coast searches for answers

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Mon. September 21, 2009 | Izzy Gould | Email

Mark Lee looked to last year's University of Florida loss to Mississippi to rally Nature Coast in the wake of a 7-6 loss to Crystal River.

The last time the Sharks failed to score more than six points: Sept. 9, 2005 in a 19-0 loss to The Villages.

The first-year coach told his players that the Gators responded and walked away with a ring. He told the Sharks they control their own destiny after their first loss in Class 3A, District 6.

The Sharks began Friday's game handcuffed offensively when running back Tevin Drake was suspended for the first half for undisclosed reasons. Lee said Drake's status this week is all clear as of Monday morning and he is expected Drake to be available for Friday's game against Tavares.

Also of note was quarterback C.J. Baker, who had been recovering from a knee injury. Lee said Baker took "85 percent" of the snaps Friday night. Lee continued to rotate Baker with Ja'Juan Story, and would not say if there is a quarterback battle at this point. In fact, those two connected on the Sharks' only score.

Finally, Lee said the decision to go for a two-point conversion was simple.

"We missed a field goal and our last four extra points," Lee said. "What would you do?"
Lee recently read a magazine where a high school coach talked about his strategy to always kick onside kicks and never to punt. The coach, Lee said, was playing the statistics.

Could those be new strategies for the Sharks?

igould@sptimes.com

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