CLEARWATER — The last time St. Petersburg Catholic and Clearwater Central Catholic met, the Marauders opened a big lead before nearly relinquishing it in the second half.
That same storyline seemed to be shaping up Friday night, as CCC went up 21-0 in the second quarter. But Marauders tailback Diquan Walker had something to say about the ending this time around.
Walker had one of his biggest games, rolling up 156 yards rushing and four TDs, as CCC ran away with a 49-16 win in a Class 3A-Region 3 final.
“I can’t take any credit for that,” Walker said of his performance. “That was my line and my two big fullbacks. I had to step up for my team. Coach (John) Davis told me he needed me to step up.”
Walker scored the first of his four touchdowns early in the first quarter on a 2-yard run and quarterback Jeff Smith (four carries, 80 yards) scored with 1:13 left in the period on a 37-yard run.
After a Connor Dorris touchdown put CCC (10-2) up 21-0, St. Petersburg Catholic (8-4) began its comeback when Jaquan Fuller (12 carries, 79 yards) sprinted 66 yards for the Barons’ first score.
In the second half, CCC unleashed a strong dose of Walker, as he scored on runs of 6, 10 and 42, the last of which put the Marauders up 42-16 with 9:52 left in the fourth quarter.
CCC running back Eric Davis added an 18-yard score late in the fourth quarter to cap the scoring.
“(St. Petersburg Catholic) never quits,” Clearwater Central Catholic coach John Davis said. “They have a bunch of good athletes. We went into halftime, made a couple of adjustments and settled down.”
SPC 0 16 0 0 — 16
CCC 14 7 14 14 — 49
C - Walker 2 run (Ramos kick)
C - Smith 37 run (Ramos kick)
C - Dorris 3 run (Ramos kick)
S - Fuller 66 run (Spelich kick)
S - FG Spelich 32
S - Ruppell 32 pass from Sheehan (pass failed)
C - Walker 6 run (Ramos kick)
C - Walker 10 run (Ramos kick)
C - Walker 42 run (Ramos kick)
C - Davis 18 run (Ramos kick)