TAMPA — Berkeley Prep used a stout defense, a freshman running back and a strong leg to cruise past Gulf in a Kickoff Classic.
Gulf, which finished winless last year, started the game strong with a 61-yard Avery Welch to Montavious Reed completion.
That drive, however, resulted in a missed field goal, and it was all Berkeley Prep after that.
Berkeley (6-4 in 2012) used a defense that forced three turnovers, four punts and didn’t allow a score until a determined Welch run on Gulf’s final drive.
Berkeley Prep coach Dominic Ciao said, “Our linebackers have experience and they played well, couple nice plays in the secondary and we tackled well.”
Freshman running back Gordon Stetson led Berkeley with 49 yards on 11 carries. Brad Mayes tossed two touchdown passes to tight end Jared Shimberg, and senior kicker Austin Iglehart converted all three field-goal attempts.
New Gulf head coach Jason Messamore praised his team’s effort.
“We played hard,’’ Messamore said. “ I know that. From start to finish we gave it all.”
Gulf opens the regular season Friday night at home against Wiregrass Ranch. Berkeley Prep plays host to Middleton.
Gulf 0 0 0 7 — 7
B. Prep 10 3 10 0 — 23
BP — Shimberg 11 pass from B. Mayes (Iglehart kick)
BP — FG Iglehart 21
BP — FG Iglehart 27
BP — Shimberg 9 pass from B. Mayes (Iglehart kick)