The state's best Class A team proves to be too much in the Marauders' 24-7 loss.
CLEARWATER - Clearwater Central Catholic came out firing but fizzled in a 24-7 loss to Fort Meade, the No.1 team in Class A.
On the Marauders' third play, Andrew Nowels hit Riley Cooper for a 70-yard touchdown. Cooper was well-defended but went up high for the catch and raced in.
"We had good position," Fort Meade coach Mike Hayde said. "But he's a good athlete, and he just made a good catch and took it to the house. (After that), ... we played off Cooper and dared them to throw it in front. We were determined to not let them go downtown."
Hayde's plan worked as Fort Meade (4-1) scored 24 unanswered points. David Barfield, who had nine caries for 56 yards, scored two touchdowns. Flabio Valencia kicked a 47-yard field goal, and Tony Huntley caught a 2-yard pass from Anthony Johnson.
After its touchdown, CCC (3-2) managed only 28 yards passing. Paul Raven led the Marauders with 69 rushing yards. Nowels finished 4-of-10 for 98 yards, and Cooper finished with only the touchdown reception.
Seven running backs combined for 203 yards for the Miners.
CCC coach Jalazo said his team did some good things and looks to focus his team's attention on district games.
"We were in a battle with the No.1 team in the state, who was every bit of that ranking," he said. "It doesn't affect our season, but we've got to learn and get better from it."