MANATEE -- On Friday night, the combination of Bo Scarbrough and Michael O'Connor were too much for the visiting First Academy Royals out of Orlando.
The Ascenders held the Royals to 1 passing yard in the second half en route to a 35-5 win. No, you didn't read that wrong.
IMG's swarming defense and pressure on opposing quarterback Hayden Rymer looked too easy at times.
"We played well on defense," Ascenders head coach Chris Weinke said.
"We still haven't played a full 48 minutes of consistent football," he continued.
O'Connor found his groove early, connecting on a 61-yard touchdown pass to Jack Wegher only three minutes into the first quarter.
"The last two weeks coach (Weinke) has stressed to us about starting fast," O'Connor said.
"The receivers and I practice a lot on timing and reading defenses," the senior told me.
Scarbrough, who finished the game with three touchdowns, picked up some great blocks for his quarterback.
"He is such a great runner but his blocking is underrated. He has the ability to pick up a blitz from across the field; not many high school kids can do that," O'Connor said.
The duo accounted for, all five of the Ascenders touchdowns.
IMG only scored 14 second-half points, not something coach Weinke was too excited about.
"We started off strong but we have to finish even stronger," coach Weinke explained.
An Ascenders muffed punt with 7:44 left in the second quarter led to a safety for the Royals.
First Academy attempted a fake punt with 5:33 left in the second quarter but did not convert.
The failed conversion led to a 33-yard touchdown run for Scarbrough on the next play.
IMG (6-0) has outscored opponents 214-73 this season.
"We've played great this season, but we have to close out games better; we won't always have a big lead," coach Weinke said.
Next week ,the Ascenders will travel to play Monsignor Edward Pace in Miami.
Kickoff is at 7 p.m.