CLEARWATER — Seven different players found the end zone for Clearwater Central Catholic as it cruised to a 47-0 victory Friday against Fort Myers Bishop Verot in the Class 3A-Region 3 semifinals.
J.T. Steele set the tone early for the Marauders with an opening kickoff return to Bishop Verot's 20-yard line, leading to a 5-yard touchdown run from C.J. Cotman.
Steele wasn't done making plays. The junior running back/defensive intercepted Vikings quarterback Quinn Farrell on the next possession and returned it 40 yards for a score to make it 14-0.
“I was dropping back into my zone and I saw that ball just float up there,” Steele said.
Clearwater Central Catholic made it 21-0 late in the first quarter as Cotman had runs of 25 and 26 yards on a 73-yard, six-play drive that culminated in Connor Dorris' 5-yard touchdown run.
“We pride ourselves on getting the ball to a lot of guys. … We got a lot of talent,” Marauders coach John Davis said. “… We feel pretty good about our chances.”
While Clearwater Central Catholic was moving the ball, its defense was making life miserable for the Bishop Verot pass game. Led by senior defensive end Justus Reed, the Marauders forced several bad throws. Connor Krieger also returned an interception for a touchdown after a good play by Reed to force pressure on Farrell.
Quarterback Jeff Smith had 112 total yards, including a 43-yard touchdown pass to receiver Jacobi Adderley that made it 34-0 late in the second quarter. Kyle Brittain had an electric 75 yard punt return touchdown after Bishop Verot went three-and-out to open the third quarter.
Bishop Verot 0 0 0 0 — 0
CCC 28 6 6 7 — 47
C – Cotman 5 run (Ramos kick)
C – Steele 40 interception return (Ramos kick)
C – Dorris 5 run (Ramos kick)
C – Krieger 35 interception return (Ramos kick)
C – Adderley 43 pass from Smith (kick failed)
C – Brittain 75 punt return (kick failed)
C – Davis 16 run (Ramos kick)