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Preps

Chargers turn back Buccaneers, 43-23

Evangel Christian erupts for 22 points in the last 10 minutes.

By DAN GENOVESE
Published November 20, 2004

TAMPA - After trailing early in the fourth quarter, the Lakeland Evangel Christian Chargers produced 22-unanswered points in the final 10 minutes to defeat Berkeley Prep 43-23. The Chargers racked up 323 rushing yards with senior running backs Rod Coby and Austin Davis.

"We have two quality running backs," Evangel Christian coach Brian Davis said. "The offensive line stepped up and gave them holes to run through."

The Buccaneers played from behind the entire first half. Trailing by a touchdown, senior running back Ryan Zirkle capped a 10-play, 55-yard drive with a 12-yard TD run. The Buccaneers trailed by a touchdown late in the second quarter when senior quarterback Derek Hatcher bobbled a snap, scrambled out of the pocket and completed a 40-yard scoring pass to senior Andrew McAdams. The extra point was blocked by Davis.

The Buccaneers finally secured a three-point lead after McAdams' 40-yard field goal early in the fourth. "We made some adjustments at the half," Berkeley Prep coach Frank Sullivan said. "We felt good about our lead in the fourth, but things just started to fall apart for us. They have a great running game that was hard to stop."

Berkeley Prep was trailing by 7 when a delay of game against the Buccaneers made it fourth-and-6 near midfield. Hatcher then was forced out of the pocket and threw an off-balanced pass that was intercepted by Evangel's Joe Paige, who returned it to the Buccaneers' 3-yard line. Hatcher finished 8 of 13 passing for 97 yards and a TD. "The interception was huge for us," Davis said., "It really turned the game around for us."

[Last modified November 20, 2004, 01:06:09]


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