Prep football | IMG Academy wins first Kickoff Classic thanks to Bo show

jdill@bradenton.comAugust 26, 2013 

BRADENTON -- IMG Academy's first football game quickly turned into the Bo show.

Tailback Bo Scarbrough, a five-star recruit and University of Alabama commit, racked up 140 rushing yards and two touchdowns on eight carries.

That was before halftime.

He finished with 232 rushing yards and three touchdowns on 12 attempts as the Ascenders defeated Palm Beach Community Lakes 38-0 after weathering a nearly two-hour weather delay at the game's outset. About 2,500 fans attended the first game at the new IMG Academy Stadium.

"Hats off to our offensive line, and, obviously, Bo did an unbelievable job," IMG head coach Chris Weinke said. "Very rarely ever did you see one person take him down. He broke tackles and obviously had big plays."

Scarbrough scored on runs of 2, 79 and 56 yards.

The 56-yard gallop to was arguably his best. He took a handoff from Penn State-bound quarterback Michael

O'Connor and ran to his left.

A couple stiff-arms led to Scarbrough busting a cutback that left fans screaming in excitement.

The Alabama native executied the move along the IMG sideline. It gave him a clear path to the end zone.

It armed the Ascenders with a 31-0 lead with 10 minutes, 11 seconds, remaining in the third quarter.

But it also showcased Scarbrough's ability to deviate from his power running skill set and flash his wheels as well as some shifty maneuvering.

"He can do it all," Weinke said. "He's big and strong enough to run downhill and run over people, but I think he showed his elusiveness and obviously his speed once he broke out in the field."

Scarbrough wasn't the only who clicked for Weinke's offense.

O'Connor connected with Clark Thomas for an 85-yard touchdown late in the second quarter.

The signal-caller completed 10 of 19 passes for 164 yards and two touchdowns. He found six different receivers among his 10 completions.

Meanwhile, the defense produced a stout effort in limiting Palm Beach Lakes to only four first downs in the first half en route to a shutout.

"First time that this group of young men came together to play a football game, I'm pleased," Weinke said. "I think it's a good start, especially a first-year program being able to come out and do some things. Obviously, our defense played great. Any time you don't allow the other team to score is big for us."

Despite the lopsided result, Weinke said there's still room for improvement. The Ascenders must shore up some of the sloppiness that plagued both teams with penalties on a wet field.

IMG's regular season opener is at Class 8A Orlando Olympia next week, and the Ascenders schedule gets more difficult than Palm Beach Lakes, which won one game in 2012.

IMG faces eight teams among its 10 games that made the playoffs last fall, including the season finale at Class 6A runner up Naples.

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