Quarterback Derek Hatcher's four touchdowns lead the unbeaten Bucs to a 48-7 win.
ST. PETERSBURG - Last year, Berkeley Prep entered its late-season game at Shorecrest unbeaten and exited with its first defeat of the season. The Buccaneers turned the result around this year, riding a red-hot quarterback to a 48-7 rout of the Chargers.
Quarterback Derek Hatcher completed 10 of 16 passes, including his first six attempts, for 170 yards and two touchdowns to lead Berkeley (8-0) to the win. Hatcher added touchdown runs of 42 and 14 yards and a 73-yard punt return that set up his first touchdown pass.
"I thought Derek had a couple of big plays, especially his big punt return, that really set the tone early and let us get going the way we wanted to," Berkeley coach Frank Sullivan said. "He's a playmaker. That's what he does."
Berkeley struggled early, fumbling five times without turning the ball over in the game's first 15 minutes and piling up 50 first-half penalty yards. Sullivan attributed the miscues to the team's excitement at avenging last year's defeat.
The District 1A champs got their nerves under control, however, and rushed for 197 yards on 29 carries. The Bucs finished the game with 400 yards to the Chargers' 198.
Shorecrest (3-6) was unable to move the ball for much of the game, with 68 of the team's 195 rushing yards coming on a 12-play scoring drive in the fourth quarter.
"Berkeley just has a great team. They're able to move the ball in both aspects, in the air and on the ground. We knew that coming in," Shorecrest coach Phil Hayford said. "Their defense made the big plays when it needed to. We knew they'd be anxious after last year's game."