IMG races out to early lead after lightning delay

IMG races out to 24-0 halftime lead, wins 38-0

jdill@bradenton.comAugust 25, 2013 

BRADENTON -- A nearly two hour delay didn't dent the electric atmosphere at IMG Academy for the Ascenders debut against Palm Beach Lakes Community in a Kickoff Classic on Saturday.

Then the two teams played.

And when IMG Academy finally took the field at its new stadium following the steady rainfall that subsided, fans were treated to the Bo Show.

That being Bo Scarbrough, a University of Alabama commit and five-star prospect on most recruiting websites.

All he did by halftime was rack up 140 rushing yards on eight carries and tally two touchdowns.

It meant a comfortable 24-0 advantage at halftime for the hosts. IMG went on to win 38-0.

The Ascenders outmatched the visiting Rams from West Palm at the outset, both offensively and defensively.

A Palm Beach Lakes blocked field goal in the first quarter was the highlight to the Rams trip across the state.

Shortly thereafter, former Cardinal Mooney wide receiver Casey Gunderson produced the first IMG points in program history when Palm Beach Lakes snapped the ball over its punter's head into its end zone and Gunderson made the tackle for a safety.

Scarbrough tacked on a couple scores, before head coach Chris Weinke unleashed Penn State bound quarterback Michael O'Connor to pick apart Palm Beach Lakes' defense through the air.

IMG's signal-caller found a wide-open Clark Thomas with a lob over-the-top of the Rams' defense that went for 85-yards as Thomas darted to pay dirt.

Meanwhile, IMG's defense held Palm Beach Lakes to punts on each of the Rams seven first-half possessions.

But the big statement of those first two quarters came from Scarbrough, whose second score was a highlight-reel play.

Taking the ball from O'Connor in the Ascenders' backfield, Scarbrough ran to his left and down the Palm Beach Lakes sideline, leaving the Rams in his dust as he flashed some serious wheels.

Entering the season, the Alabama native said he's a downhill runner, meaning he's a power back that is straight forward in attacking the defense.

On that run, though, he showcased his speed as he turned on the after burners to outrace the defense on the way to a memorable second score that caused an uproar in the stands for the roughly 2,500 fans that weathered a lightning delay and heavy rains to see an opening kickoff at just before 9:30 p.m.

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