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The Key West Citizen
Second-half woes hamper Conchs, once again, in loss to Titans
By By J.W. COOKE Keys Citizen,
The narrative for the Key West High football team seems to be the same for every loss this season: the Conchs are in the lead or within striking distance by the second quarter, only to have turnovers allow the game to slip away. That is exactly what happened again on Friday, Sept. 15, against University High, as a second-quarter touchdown run put Key West in front by five, but the Conchs then allowed three unanswered scores in the second half, two off turnovers, which helped the Titans cruise to a 38-14 victory at the KWHS Back Yard.
Thus far this season, Key West (1-3 overall) has matched its opponents in the first half by allowing and scoring 58 points, but in the second half, the Conchs have been outscored 68-42. It was more of the same on Friday, as with his team trailing by six in the first quarter, Conchs senior Clerf Alexandre took a pitch to the sideline for a 31-yard touchdown run, part of his team-high 96 rushing yards on nine carries.
After holding the Titans to a field goal on the ensuing drive, Key West answered with a 62-yard touchdown run by Leandro Batista, as he finished with 89 yards in the game, to put the Conchs back ahead 14-9.
Key West would hold that lead for a pair of possessions, as RJ Brown picked off a pass on the first defensive stand, which was followed by a University punt, but the Conchs could not turn any of those into points, also punting twice, and just before the half the Titans reached pay dirt and punched home a two-point conversion for the three-point lead at the break.
The second half was all University, forcing three Key West turnovers, two interceptions and a fumble, with two of those going for Titan touchdowns, while they added a third score after a Conchs punt to break the game open by the end of the third quarter.
Key West has one non-district contest remaining during its four-game home stand on Friday, Sept. 22, against University Christian, out of Jacksonville, before beginning a three-game road swing, two of which are against district rivals Bishop Verot and Estero.