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Barons overcome poor first half


© St. Petersburg Times,
published November 3, 2001

ORLANDO -- It was hard to tell St. Petersburg Catholic won considering the way coach Dan Mancuso scolded his team for a bad week of practice.

"This is what that will get you," he said, referring to his team's less-than-impressive 14-6 victory against Orlando Bishop Moore on Friday night, the second consecutive close game that shouldn't have been for the Barons.

Trailing 6-0 at halftime, Mancuso exhorted his troops by challenging their heart, knowing how they would respond.

"I knew this was too good a team not to win," he said.

And with too good a player: Chris Davis.

Bottled up in the first half by the Hornets' outside pass rush, Davis was able to spring free in the second half to guide the Barons (8-1) to victory.

On the first series of the second half, Davis had a 21-yard run on third and 4, and two plays later, hit Thao Kim with a 16-yard touchdown pass. The extra-point snap got away and was scooped up by kicker Chris Waechter, who lobbed a successful two-point pass to A.J. Bruce to make the score 8-6.

With 3:34 remaining, Davis ran the option to perfection, keeping the ball and cutting inside for a 35-yard scoring run.

Bishop Moore (4-6) stayed in the game by blocking the extra point, but Eliot Ramsberger hit quarterback Drew Hill from behind to force a fumble and 18-yard loss, and on fourth down, Mike Ross tackled the punter for a 5-yard loss to give the Barons the ball on the Bishop Moore 9.

Three plays later, Bishop Moore blocked another kick with 1:52 left.

However, Jerard Hannah came up with a sack, Ross nearly intercepted the next pass, and Davis picked off the Hornets' final gasp to seal the win.

Davis finished with 136 yards rushing and was 8-for-15 passing for another 97 yards.

The Barons held Bishop Moore to six yards rushing in the second half and 44 yards of offense total.

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