Prep football | Tampa Carrollwood Day hands Bradenton Christian tough district defeat

jdill@bradenton.comOctober 13, 2012 

BRADENTON -- There were a combined 91 points and 990 yards of total offense.

It took 2 hours and 35 minutes to complete.

The wild Class 2A (urban)-District 5 shootout that Tampa Carrollwood Day won 56-35 over Bradenton Christian on Friday was reason enough to bring a giant smile across Patriots quarterback Vidal Woodruff's face when the frantic encounter finally ended.

"It was very fun," said Woodruff, whose team improved to 6-1 overall and 4-1 in the district. "I've never been in a game like this in my life. We came out here and played hard. That's a really tough team. They're really good. They have a heck of a coaching (staff), and they have really good players."

Of course, Woodruff's line in the victory -- 10-of-12 passing for 330 yards and five touchdowns -- made it easier for the senior to grin following Friday night's pivotal district clash.

The win keeps the Patriots atop the district standings, while BCS (3-4 overall, 3-2 district) fell back.

The Panthers host St. Petersburg Admiral Farragut next Friday in what

could determine whether the Panthers are still in the playoff hunt.

On Friday, it was the Patriots who did damage early en route to building a seven-point halftime lead. Woodruff found a wide-open Andy Embody for a 51-yard touchdown strike midway through the second quarter.

Then Woodruff lobbed a deep pass to Nate Lewis, who finished with a game-high 218 receiving yards, for what looked like another Patriots score just before the break.

But Lewis was tripped up as he neared the end zone and coughed up the football. BCS took over on the turnover and ran out the clock.

Following the restart, the Panthers marched down the field in a 9-play drive that Sinclair Laskett capped with an 8-yard score to even the game at 21.

Then the momentum swung firmly in the Patriots favor.

On the very next series following Laskett's second touchdown - he had a 55-yard score in the first quarter -- Carrollwood Day appeared stymied as it faced fourth down.

However, Woodruff, who also added an interception on defense, covered the 24 yards needed for a first down and more as he spotted Lewis for a 37-yard touchdown.

"That was gutsy," Patriots coach Lane McLaughlin said. "We saw something, and we have three guys going deep on one side, and the guy on the backside back-checking down. All he does is read where the free safety goes to. And we weren't going to make a 50-yard field goal and punting, who knows. It was shootout ... Bradenton has a heck of a team, I've never seen a team play so hard in my life. They have 20 guys, and if they had 30, they'd be district champions."

Cincinnati-bound running back Robert Davis tallied 151 rushing yards on 14 carries, including a 65-yard rumble to paydirt for the Patriots.

Davis, though, was limited in his touches as he's been hobbled the past couple weeks with an injury. That meant Woodruff and the passing game were relied on, and he obliged with a five-touchdown effort as well as a rushing score late in the contest.

"It's like picking your poison," BCS head coach Allan Gerber said. "We moved (Austin) Ferrer, who had been playing safety for us, to corner with the hopes of matching up better in the vertical game. But obviously, when you try to strengthen yourself in one place you kind of weaken yourself in another. Two of the touchdowns in the first half were just poor communication between our secondary folks. And that's on me. At the end of the day, they had guys that ran by us."

Laskett racked up 161 rushing yards on 16 attempts and added 82 receiving yards on three catches. Joey Giardina chipped in 104 rushing yards on 15 carries.

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