MANATEE -- Bayshore football head coach Jean P. Gordon's spring game objective was to win the game.
Because winning breeds confidence, and it would provide a good launching point for the summer.
The Bruins didn't accomplish a victory over visiting St. Petersburg High on Friday night, but Gordon was still pleased with how hard his club worked this spring.
"I think we have a lot of kids with character on the team," said Gordon, whose club fell 31-21 but managed to score a late touchdown. "Like I said, we have a lot of kids playing both ways ... there were some nice points on defense."
One of those bright spots was the play of Wes Jackson.
The Bayshore rising junior intercepted St. Pete quarterback Robert Tribolet and returned the pick 68 yards for a touchdown and armed the Bruins with a 13-7 lead 2 minutes, 20 seconds before halftime.
Jackson didn't play the first quarter, but his impact was felt once he took the field at Balvanz Stadium.
He also had a pass breakup midway through the fourth quarter that held St. Pete to a field goal and gave the Bruins just an 11-point deficit.
However, Bayshore committed its third turnover on the subsequent possession, and that proved too costly to overcome.
Limiting mistakes and improving on tackling are two
key focal points for Bayshore moving forward to the summer and fall.
The Bruins had chances to put away St. Pete's bevy of ball carriers, but missed locking the Green Devils' up on more than one occasion.
"I think what it came down to, bottom line, was our turnovers and then our poor tackling," Gordon said. "The kids were in the right place, and they were where they were supposed to be. And we had people there at the point of attack, but we just didn't make the plays."
St. Pete's Anthony Foster had a 65-yard touchdown run that gave the Green Devils their first lead, capitalizing on Bayshore's second turnover of the game.
That turnover came with the Bruins marching deep into St. Pete territory with a chance to extend its six-point lead.
That didn't come to fruition, and the Green Devils scored TDs on back-to-back possessions.
Later, Bayshore did perform in the clutch with a Jon Lewis rumble to paydirt that ended a six-play, 80-yard drive on a high note for the offense as the Bruins transition toward the fall campaign after hardworking spring.