TAMPA — Every time Wharton gained momentum, Alonso answered with a big play, and by the time the key Class 8A-District 6 game had ended, the Ravens had sealed a 33-15 victory.
The biggest play came with less than 3 minutes remaining in the third quarter. Wharton had driven to Alonso’s 20-yard line and threatened to cut the Ravens’ lead to less than six with a touchdown.
Instead, Wharton quarterback Chase Litton lofted a pass toward the end zone, where Alonso’s Derius Davis gathered in the pass at the 1-yard line and began a dodging, dancing, sprinting 99-yard return for a touchdown.
As a result, Alsono — which had stumbled through the second half by allowing a long Wharton touchdown drive and a safety — suddenly led by 18, its final margin of victory.
“That play was the play, no doubt about that,” Alonso coach Brian Emanuel said. “You can’t write a better story than Derius Davis. He’s come back from ACL surgery in the spring, and to see him make that play made me so happy for him.”
Davis wasn’t the only star for the Ravens. Ish Witter, Zantavius Showers and Brandon Robinson were a few others.
Witter had eight carries for 78 yards and ripped off an 85-yard touchdown after reeling in a quick slant from Chris Oladokun.
A few minutes later, Oladokun hooked up with Robinson on a 30-yard touchdown pass to give the Ravens a 17-0 lead. Alonso (4-3, 1-2) then went up 24-0 when Showers tore off a 57-yard touchdown run.
“Alonso came to play and we came out sluggish,” Wharton coach David Mitchell said. “I have to give credit to Alonso. We tried to get back in it, but (Alonso) answered.”
Mitchell and the rest of the Wharton staff wore T-shirts that said, SEAN STRONG 2 on the front and “McNAMEE 2” on the back in honor of teammate Sean McNameee, who had been in a medically induced coma for more than a week.
Litton finished the night with 12 completions in 24 attempts for 244 yards, but missed on several throws.
Alonso 10 17 6 0 — 33
Wharton 0 7 8 0 — 15
A - Brzezynski 29 FG
A - Witter 85 pass from Oladokun (Brzezynski kick)
A - Robinson 30 pass from Oladokun (Brzezynski kick)
A - Showers 57 run (Brzezynski kick)
W - Keil 5 run (Spearringer kick)
A - Brzezynski 23 FG
W - Keil 4 run (kick failed)
W - Safety tackle in end zone
A - Derius Davis 99 interception return (kick failed)