Crusaders win, earn spot in the playoffs

Published October 30, 2005

Tampa Catholic spoiled Parents Night and any hopes Bishop Verot had of reaching the Class 2A region playoffs by beating the Vikings 30-7 on Saturday night.

With a win in the District 2A-5 game, the Crusaders (6-3, 3-1) secured second place in the district and a postseason berth. The Vikings fell to 2-7, 1-3.

Bishop Verot did not help itself by committing six turnovers, five of which came in the first half.

"The turnovers became contagious tonight," said Verot coach Phil Dorn. "Not to make any excuses, but we missed a lot of practice this week and it showed. All week our timing and execution was a problem. And we ended up helping them a lot with the mistakes."

Every time Verot put together a nice drive, it would end either with a fumble or an interception. Not only did Verot's turnovers keep them off the scoreboard one second-quarter fumble occurred on the Crusaders' 2-yard line. And other turnovers provided Tampa Catholic with excellent field position.

After the Vikings' first turnover, a fumble at midfield on the opening drive, Tampa Catholic struck quickly with a 3-yard touchdown run by quarterback Dickie Delama.

On the first play of Verot's next possession, sophomore quarterback Butch Moore threw the first of his two interceptions. Taking possession at the Vikings' 11-yard line, sophomore running back Drew Zink quickly put Verot in a 14-0 hole with a 1-yard scoring dive.

The opportunistic Crusaders' first half was keyed by junior defensive back Benny Junco, who recovered a Verot fumble and returned it 44 yards to midfield. Junco also intercepted one of Moore's errant passes.

"We tried to take them out of their game early," Tampa Catholic coach Bob Henriquez said. "We wanted to make something happen on D and cause some turnovers. We played a very solid ballgame tonight and made a lot of big plays."

Tampa Catholics second half opened with one of those big plays. Delama found senior wide receiver Joey Hernandez open across the middle, and Hernandez scampered untouched 86 yards for a touchdown and a 23-0 lead.

In the fourth quarter Delama would again connect with Hernandez, this time for a 7-yard score. Delama would end the evening 7-for-10 passing with 195 yards and no interceptions.

Lakeland Christian 16, Tampa Baptist 8 (Friday)

Lakeland Christian defeated Tampa Baptistin front of approximately 600 fans at Bryant Stadium Friday night. Lakeland Christian's scoring was highlighted by a 69-yard run by Nick Raysin early in the first quarter. After a 15-yard Tampa Baptist rushing score in the third, Lakeland Christian held tight by not allowing any points in the fourth.