MANATEE -- When Wesley Jackson switched to quarterback earlier this season, it meant his defensive role as a middle or "Mike" linebacker went to sophomore Troy Keys.
On Thursday night, the Bayshore defender came up with two huge sacks that kept Braden River off the scoreboard.
It was part of a ferocious defensive effort for the Bruins (2-6), who reeled off a 35-0 shutout of the Pirates on homecoming at Balvanz Stadium.
"I was the next person to step up to the plate, and be a 'Mike' back," Keys said. "And coach said, 'If we get a game out of the 'Mike' backer, then we've got a shot.' And that's what I did. I played my assignment. It was assignment ball (Thursday), so I played my assignment and came out with a big win."
The Bruins held Braden River (0-7) to just 12 yards of total offense in the first half.
Meanwhile, Bayshore racked up a comfortable 21-point lead and never looked back.
Calvin Williams slipped and slid his way 29 yards for the Bruins' first score, before Tyler Bond and Jeremy Rodriguez capped
the next two drives with a pair of seven-yard touchdown runs.
Bayshore's punishing ground game bulldozed the Pirates to the tune of 278 yards. Williams led the charge with 141 rushing yards.
"The kids played really hard (Thursday)," Bayshore head coach Jean P. Gordon said. "They did a good job, a little extra with the homecoming and all the stuff. ... That's one of the first things we talk about in the beginning of the week. Everybody's got a job at homecoming. The band has a job, the cheerleader's have a job, the student body has a job. Your job is to win the game, so the dance on Saturday night is a lot more fun."
That job was accomplished pretty quickly Thursday.
However, Braden River began to move the football in the second half.
That's when Keys made his presence felt for the first of his two big sacks.
On a third down play inside the Bayshore 37 early in the third quarter, Braden River quarterback Dusty Peebles dropped back to pass.
But Keys ran him down and dropped him for an eight-yard loss to force a Pirates punt.
Then late in the fourth quarter on Braden River's final possession, the Pirates cracked Bayshore's red zone.
They moved backward on a holding penalty, before Keys tracked down Peebles for another sack. This time it went for a seven-yard loss.
Braden River failed to pick up a first down following the play, and the sack kept Bayshore's shutout intact.
It was the latest standout game from a sophomore in the Braden River-Bayshore series.
The Bruins received a gem from Obi Tarwoe last year as Bayshore spoiled the Pirates' homecoming.
On Thursday, Tarwoe added a touchdown on offense and an interception on defense.
But it was also time for Keys to deliver for a defense that played lights out.
"Super sophomore," Keys said. " ... It feels great. To go one and six, it wasn't too pretty. But this game put us back on top, We can't let this game go to our heads, because we have Southeast next week."
That game is a pivotal matchup for the Bruins on the road as Bayshore will look for its first district victory this season.