By CAREY FREEMAN
© St. Petersburg Times, published August 26, 2000
CRYSTAL RIVER -- Jean Gordon's plan was simple enough: Bring his Boca Ciega team north for a little offensive work, and most important, get a look at an offensive scheme the Pirates will see at least three more times this season.
However, things didn't exactly go as planned. Gordon's offensive unit was on the sideline for most of Friday's kickoff classic and Gordon got more than an eyeful of Crystal River's wing-T offense in a 30-7 loss.
Crystal River was up to its old tricks.
Though under the leadership of first-year coach Jere Defoor, the Pirates didn't miss a beat offensively, rushing for 299 yards on 49 attempts as they controlled the clock and Boca Ciega (18 carries, 85 yards) for the better part of four quarters.
"A lot of people got to handle the ball tonight and a lot of them did pretty well when they got the chance," Defoor said. "We got a lot of our younger players in and they did real well when they touched the ball."
Nine players carried the ball at some point in the game -- and all for positive yardage.
But, as expected, the biggest effort was delivered by senior running back Nate Madison, who led all rushers with 118 yards and scored his only touchdown on a fourth-down screen pass at the Boca Ciega 22-yard line. The play may have been Madison's most impressive. He got behind a wave of blockers and hurdled at least one tackler.
For Boca Ciega, the impressive plays were limited to its first drive. The Pirates marched 49 yards on their first six plays behind explosive runs of 23 and 17 yards from tailback Ralph Williams, but an offside penalty on third-and-7 from the Crystal River 31 and a sack of Wilbur Hunter by end Will Bleakley on the following play doomed any chance of a score.
Crystal River then marched 75 yards on nine plays for its opening score, a 13-yard reverse from wingback Michael Jones -- then kept the momentum when George Neill recovered an onside kick.
Five more plays and a 1-yard sneak by quarterback Clayton Trenary gave Crystal River a 14-0 lead.
Crystal River held Boca Ciega on four plays then marched 61 yards for its third score, on Madison's reception.
Crystal River punted on the opening drive of the second half but held Boca Ciega again on four plays and put the game away for good with a 40-yard drive capped by junior Eric Grannan's 10-yard touchdown run.