Most of the tailback's 157 yards helps run down clock.
SARASOTA - For more than three quarters, Clearwater Central Catholic relied on a total team effort. In the final 5 minutes, it relied on tailback Ron Harris.
The Marauders defeated host Cardinal Mooney 28-24, but the game see-sawed until CCC took a late lead and turned to Harris to run out the clock. He produced 157 yards, most of which came as the Marauders ran down the clock. The win sends CCC to the district playoffs for the fifth straight year.
"We had to ride Ronnie down the stretch," coach Mike Jalazo said. "We had to overcome injuries today, and we had to have him down the end."
The Marauders (5-3, 2-1) struck on their first drive of the game, capping a 15-play, 70-yard march with a 4-yard touchdown from Harris around right end. On their next drive, Harris went around the left side for a 15-yard run to make it 14-0.
Cardinal Mooney came back on its next possession with a 40-yard TD run from Kyle Wetzel to cut the deficit in half. Wetzel ran for 239 yards before leaving the game dehydrated midway through the fourth quarter. He was taken to the hospital for observation.
After a field goal just before the half, Mooney went ahead 17-14 on a Wetzel 40-yard touchdown run, but CCC responded. After an interception by Tony Roberts, the Marauders scored on a 5-yard Harris run. After Mooney scored again to go up 24-21, CCC went ahead for good on a 32-yard touchdown pass from Andrew Nowell to Riley Cooper.