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Good start for Tarpon

Published June 4, 2004

It was two quarters of play, hardly enough time for Tarpon Springs coach Don Davis to judge how his team will do this fall.

But it was a start.

After consecutive 3-7 seasons, the Spongers appeared to have turned the corner with victories over Lakewood and Gibbs in a three-team jamboree May 21.

In the first quarter, Tarpon Springs beat the Spartans 14-7. Mike Koulianos set the tone, running 40 yards for a touchdown on a draw play.

The Spongers squeaked by the Gladiators 7-0 in the other quarter.

Offensive linemen Mike Leynaard, Joey Thompson, Kevin Nelson, Theo Kappas, A.J. Couchenour and Adam Siauciunas were a big reason Tarpon gained 200 yards.

In the other quarter, Gibbs beat Lakewood 16-0. It was the first time siblings, Ernest and Anthony Givins, faced each other from opposite sidelines.

Anthony stepped in for Dave Cleppe, who left Gibbs for Pinellas Park. Ernest, a former NFL receiver, returned to his alma mater.

LAKEWOOD RANCH 21, PALM HARBOR U 10: Playing the varsity squad in the first half, PHU was ahead 7-0 thanks to Richard Drozdyck's 60-yard interception return.

The lead could have been more. Evan Steele, who kicked the extra point, barely missed on a field-goal attempt.

The Hurricanes played freshmen in the third quarter and were outscored 7-3. In the fourth, the junior varsity gave up two TDs. The game marked the return of coach Mike June, who spent the offseason battling a relapse of leukamia. June had a bone marrow transplant in January and was cleared to return to the sideline.

NORTHSIDE CHR. 14, KESWICK CHR. 13: In a matchup of district rivals, the Mustangs scored early and held on.

In the first quarter, Zack Cole blocked a punt and Daniel Redinger recovered in the end zone for Northside's first touchdown. The Mustangs scored again in the second half on a 22-yard pass from Bobby Dare to Tim Devlin.

The Crusaders rallied with two scores, the last on a quarterback sneak by Blake Englehart with less than a minute left. Trailing 14-13, Keswick elected to go for the win, but Englehart's pass on the two-point conversion failed.

INDIAN ROCKS CHR. 35, NATURE COAST TECH 24: Golden Eagles coach Chris Westerfield wanted to play a public school in a larger classification to see how his team would perform. The move paid off as IRC rolled up nearly 400 yards against Nature Coast, a second-year school playing varsity for the first time.

Houston Blackwell gained 210 all-purpose yards and scored three times.

[Last modified June 4, 2004, 01:00:14]


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