Berkeley Prep coach Dominick Ciao said he knew that anything less than perfection and his Buccaneers would be in trouble Friday night against Clearwater Central Catholic.
The Buccaneers had some good moments, but perfect they were not as CCC took advantage of three Berkeley turnovers in the first half and answered each with points as the Marauders went on to win 35-21.
"We knew we had to play a perfect game against them," Ciao said. "And we just didn't do that."
CCC (6-1, 2-0 in Class 3A-District 5) went up big in the first half as a fumbled Berkeley snap led to a 4-yard Diquan Walker touchdown, followed later in the opening quarter with a Caanan Brown interception in the end zone. In the second quarter, CCC continued taking advantage of turnovers when Ron Laessig's interception turned into a drive capped by Blake Gomez's 1-yard touchdown pass to Kyle Brittain as the half came to a close.
"Defensively we just did an outstanding job against a really tough team," CCC coach John Davis said.
Berkeley Prep (6-1, 1-1 Class 3A-District 5) struggled offensively throughout as quarterback Brad Mayes was sacked seven times and Chris Williams' yeoman's effort of 21 carries netted just 71 yards.
CCC's Walker added another heavy blow on the second snap of the third quarter, taking the ball 79 yards for a score to put the Marauders up 27 points.
The Buccaneers however, didn't go away as Mayes did his best in the second half trying to get Berkeley back in the game. The sophomore connected on three touchdowns in the final two quarters including a pair to Jacob Mathis (13,14 yards) and finished with 206 passing yards.
Davis said he was impressed with how Mayes held up against a punishing defense.
"Their quarterback is an outstanding player and he hurt us a number of times," Davis said. "They are so well coached and such a good football team that if you can get out of here with a win, it's a good day."
The Marauders never let up though adding a Jacobi Adderley sack and safety in the fourth quarter.
Walker, who finished with 13 carries for 170 yards, added his third touchdown of the game from 47 yards in the final two minutes. CCC had seven players in double-digit rushing yards.