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Pirates outgunned early on

Sarasota Riverview takes a 27-0 lead at halftime and cruises to a 48-14 win over Boca Ciega.

Published November 20, 2004

GULFPORT - By the time the opposing coaches addressed their respective teams, it was obvious they had had plenty of time to think about what they'd say.

Because this game was over by halftime.

Boca Ciega (8-3 final record) was dominated by Sarasota Riverview (10-2) 48-14 in a Class 5A region semifinal, which made Rams' coach John Sprague's post-game speech easier to make.

"Well, you got what you wanted," he told his team. "A rematch with Sarasota."

Another week to plan for a game against a crosstown rival. Meanwhile, Pirates' coach Jean Gordon could only offer thanks to the seniors for a season of fine efforts, although the finale would not be listed among them. "There's a reason they beat the No. 1 team in the state," he said, referring to Riverview's 28-27 win over top-ranked Naples a week earlier. "We ran into a bit of a buzzsaw tonight."

That the Pirates did. They managed just one yard and one first down in the first half, lost four fumbles and had a pass intercepted in the game, and didn't get on the board until the Rams had built a 41-0 lead. Second-half touchdowns were scored by quarterback Terrell Skinner on a 3-yard run and Jamar Newsome on a 29-yard pass from Skinner.

As for the Rams, they did have a couple of fumbles in the opening half. The first could have turned the momentum toward Boca Ciega. The Rams had driven inside the Pirates' 20 when they lost possession and Bogie's Rickie Stephens recovered at the Pirate 15. But on the next play, Boca Ciega fumbled right back, with Charles Fletcher falling on the ball at the Pirate 12. Two plays later the Rams were in the end zone, Justin Hamilton scoring his second touchdown of the game on a 6-yard option keeper.

His first score covered 40 yards, also an option keeper in the first quarter. He added a 21-yard scoring pass to Harry Scott in the third. But the most spectacular, and the play that defined the evening for the Pirates, came in the closing seconds of the first half. Facing a third-down-and-10 at the 50, Justin Hamilton Skinner tried to hand the ball to C.J. Hamilton, but fumbled. Not to worry. The ball bounced right up to C.J. Hamilton and he raced away from the Bogie defenders on a 50-yard run, scoring with five seconds left and making it 27-0 at the half.

[Last modified November 20, 2004, 01:05:22]


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