St. Petersburg overcomes its mistakes to win in overtime.
ST. PETERSBURG - St. Petersburg didn't earn any style points, but escaped with a 20-14 overtime victory over Clearwater.
The Green Devils (3-2) turned the ball over three times and committed 11 penalties, but took advantage of similar mistakes from the visiting Tornadoes (3-2). Durand Kent carried the ball only three times, but rushed for 78 yards and two touchdowns, including the game-winner.
St. Petersburg coach Todd St. Louis said he's happy with his team's effort, despite the sloppy play.
"We know how to run the ball and we know how to pass the ball," St. Louis said. "We just need to get over the turnovers and penalties. I'm happy with a 3-2 record, but we have a tough stretch coming up and that should show something."
St. Petersburg struck first, taking a 7-0 lead in the first quarter on the combination of quarterback Todd Pelotti and receiver Ferrell McGhee. They combined for a 33-yard completion to move the ball to the Clearwater 9, and struck again two plays later for a 2-yard score.
Clearwater came back midway through the second quarter when Jason Harris scored off-tackle for a 1-yard run to even the score. Harris led the Tornadoes with 89 yards on the ground. The Tornadoes took a 14-7 lead in the third quarter, capitalizing on a turnover as St. Petersburg snapped the ball high over punter David Bradberry's head into the end zone. Tevin Watkins fell on it for a Clearwater touchdown.
Kent later broke loose for a game-tying 68-yard touchdown run to even the score. Clearwater turned the ball over on its first overtime possession, and Kent scored on an 8-yard run two plays later.