JOHN C. COTEY
Anthony Allen runs for 227 yards to power the Tigers. Early turnovers also hurt the visitors.
TAMPA - St. Petersburg Catholic defensive end Joey Yanchunis looked down at his hands, checked out the top and bottom of his forearms, and shook his head.
One minute, he had both wrapped around Jesuit running back Anthony Allen. The next, Allen was being mobbed in the end zone, punctuating a career-night with his third touchdown run.
Yanchunis and the Barons tried one arm, two arms, diving at legs, jumping on backs.
What they didn't try was some old fashion tackling, and it cost them dearly as Allen ran through, past, and over the Barons to lead the Tigers to a dominating 27-12 win Friday night.
Allen, a junior, piled up 35 carries for 227 yards, helping Jesuit (4-1) control the ball and keeping the Barons explosive offense off the field.
On most of Allen's carries, with few exceptions the Barons appeared reluctant to take the Tiger head on.
"We knew they'd rather try and drag you down or make the big hit, but don't like taking you straight on," Allen said. "We knew they were a little shaky against the run."
The Barons had three first quarter possessions, but Matt Johnson picked off quarterback Billy Tapp twice and the Tigers (4-1) forced a punt and St. Petersburg Catholic never recovered.
"We had some early turnovers, and we let them have the momentum," said Barons head coach Dan Mancuso.
Jesuit then put together 13- and 12-play scoring drives to lead 14-0 at halftime. The Tigers started the second half with seven straight rushing plays to score again as Allen powered in from one yard out.
Jesuit converted 10-of-13 third downs, but was so good in the second half it hardly faced any third downs. The Tigers averaged over 7 yards on first down, and converted four of its eight second down plays into first downs.
The loss was the first for the Barons, ranked No. 6 in Class 2B. Countryside is now the lone remaining unbeaten team in Pinellas County.
Tapp, the leading passer in Pinellas County, finished 7-for-12 for 90 yards, but all but 23 of those yards came on the final two drives of the night for the Barons.
Mike Peterson added 75 yards on nine carries for Jesuit.