It's getting to be a broken record but it's a tune which will prompt Largo coach Rick Rodriguez to break out into song: The Packers used a stingy defense and a punishing ground game to dominate St. Petersburg (9-3) on Friday 30-0 in the Class 5A-Region 3 semifinals.
The win sends Largo (11-1) to the region final at home against Punta Gorda Charlotte on Friday.
In a rematch of a 17-16 Largo win Sept. 26, this game expected to be similar. Instead, it was a near blowout. Like last week's win against Countryside, the halftime score of 13-0 could have been much greater. If anything, the Packers let the Green Devils wiggle off the hook a few times early.
"It was like last week against Countryside," Rodriguez said. "We had a quarter where we didn't finish."
"We could have put it away early but we made some mistakes," Largo running back Marcel Durham said. "We still took care of business like we always do."
But leaving points on the field was not the fault of Durham. He finished with 81 yards on 22 carries and continued his hot streak with three touchdown runs. He scored on rushes of 27, 48 and 10 yards. Durham has eight TDs in two playoff games.
"We came out here to play smashmouth football and coach told us to leave it out on the field," Durham said. "And we did just that."
St. Petersburg tried to ram the ball up the middle against Largo but Mike Douglas, Adrian Rukaj, Cameron Cabarris and Mike Marry smothered the Devils' backs all night.
St. Petersburg0000-0Largo130107-30 L-Durham 27 run (kick failed)
L-Durham 5 run (Howe kick)
L-FG Howe 32
L-Eppes 25 run (Howe kick)
L-Durham 10 run (Howe kick)