TAMPA — The preseason debut for first-year Jesuit coach Matt Thompson featured several miscues in the early going, but ultimately ended in a victory, 19-14 over visiting Palm Harbor.
The Hurricanes, in fact, led 14-10 through the three quarters, largely on the benefit of good field position given by the Tigers.
Palm Harbor got its first opportunity less than three minutes into the game when Jesuit fumbled it away on its own 12-yard line. The Hurricanes bulled in for a touchdown three plays later for a 7-0 lead.
Jesuit cut the gap to 7-3 when Rhett Waldron connected on a 47-yard field goal. On the ensuing kickoff, however, the Tigers handed the Hurricanes another gift in the form of a 76-yard kickoff return.
One play later, Palm Harbor ran in for a 14-3 lead.
After that, Jesuit settled in for some more consistent play, led by the running of Kevin Newman, who scored on a 2-yard touchdown dive and finished with seven carries for 39 yards.
Tigers freshman Malik Davis put Jesuit up for good early in the fourth quarter when he returned a punt 50 yards for a touchdown.
Hudson fails to score in preseason tune-up
HUDSON — Hudson enters the 2013 season with potential and some expectations, including competing for a playoff spot in Class 5A-District 7.
Going into Thursday night’s Kickoff Classic versus Spring Hill Springstead, the Cobras were going to get a good look at a postseason team from a year ago. And the Eagles showed their veteran savvy in a 28-0 victory over Hudson at Cobra Stadium.
“We just have to work harder and execute better,” Hudson coach Mark Kantor said. “If we do that, I think we will be fine.”
Springstead scored early on a Tyler Mahla 11-yard touchdown pass. Daniel Wright added a 36-yard score with just more than four minutes left before halftime.
Hudson was outgained 157-79 in the first half, and Cobras junior quarterback Joey Caruso completed three of eight passes for 39 yards.
His counterpart, Mahla, proved to be the workhorse and rushed for 118 yards on just eight carries. The Eagles rushed for 262 yards on 27 attempts, while the Cobras ran for 50 yards on 25 touches.
The game was called with 10:29 left in the fourth quarter after a Hudson junior varsity player was injured. A helicopter was required to airlift the player to a local hospital.
CDS braves the elements, rolls to 23-8 victory
NORTH PORT — In a consistent rain, Carrollwood Day defeated North Port Imagine Academy 23-8.
CDS quarterback Taylor King started the scoring with a 50-yard pass to Mike Smith and the Patriots never looked back. Smith ended up with five catches for more than 100 yards.