tampabay.com

Bears offense takes a holiday

As the defense and special teams steal the show in Central's 48-17 win over Lecanto.

By DAVID MURPHY
Published September 23, 2006


BROOKSVILLE - By the end of the first half of its Homecoming matchup with Lecanto, Central had run just 10 plays on offense, gained just one first down and controlled the ball for a whopping 2:21 of game clock.

The best part?

The Bears were leading 34-3.

On what amounted to a day off for the Bears offense, Central scored touchdowns on an interception return and a blocked punt and used several other big plays to cruise to a 48-17 victory over overmatched Lecanto.

"It's a total reflection of our defense and our special teams," said Central coach Cliff Lohrey, whose team has won three in a row. "We take pride in all three areas, but we always say it goes special teams, defense and offense, in that order."

On the final Homecoming night of his high school career, running back/linebacker Jessie Hartman picked up a blocked punt and returned it 40 yards to put the Bears up 28-0 in the second quarter. Earlier, John Guggino had scored on a 30-yard interception return.

It's not as if Central's offense played poorly. It just didn't get much of a chance.

DuJuan Harris touched the ball just six times, yet rushed for 133 yards and two touchdowns. His 48-yard touchdown run in the second quarter was one of the highlights of the day. The senior has rushed for at least 100 yards in three straight games, gaining 593 yards over that span.

Harris' understudy, junior Duane Marks, scored two touchdowns, catching a 46-yard pass from Chase Walker and breaking off a 26-yard run. "It feels good," said Marks, who finished with 96 yards on seven carries. "I like running the ball."

One bright spot for Lecanto: It scored its first two touchdowns of the season.