Cougars roar back, upend Storm, 43-33
Cardinal Mooney quarterback Reese Vita threw a career-high four touchdown passes, and the defense stiffened in the second half as the Cougars defeated visiting Lakeland Victory Christian Academy 43-33 during homecoming on Friday night.
Vita's pass to Austin Leach midway through the fourth quarter gave Cardinal Mooney (6-1) the lead for good. The Cougars trailed 20-7 in the first half and 27-20 at halftime.
Cardinal Mooney intercepted three passes, two by Alex Sobczak, and recorded a safety in the second half to seal the victory.
Cougars workhorse running back Demardre Patterson gained nearly 300 yards and scored two touchdowns. He opened the scoring for Cardinal Mooney with an 82-yard touchdown run.
NORTH PORT 35, BRADEN RIVER 21 -- Braden River lost a game it believed was a must win. But with Sarasota's upset over Palmetto, the Pirates still have a chance to get a post season berth.
Ironically it will need help from its arch rival Lakewood Ranch. Braden River dropped a 35-21 Class 7A-District 10 contest to visiting North Port on Friday night. But the Pirates are still in the hunt for a playoff berth.
The Pirates couldn't contain Leonard Faison who scored four touchdowns and North Port quarterback Brennan Simms, who threw for 375 yards.
Braden River led 14-7 at halftime, but the North Port duo hooked up on a couple of screen passes in third quarter that went for 66 and 69 yards to take a 21-14 lead.
Braden River scored on a 36 yard interception by Jimiah Albritton and a 42-yard touchdown pass from Dusty Peebles to Andre Mays to get its first fourteen points.
Braden River's only points in the second half came on a 21 yard TD pass from Jake Huesmann to Lou Ziebell. Peebles struggled for a good part of the game throwing two interceptions and had two fumbles.
If Braden River defeats Palmetto this Friday and Lakewood Ranch beats Sarasota there would be a three way tie for second place.
Lakewood Ranch would be district champion with a 3-1 district record. Braden River, Sarasota and Palmetto would be tied at 2-2, but the Pirates would get the runner-up spot and postseason berth because they defeated Palmetto and Sarasota.
BRADENTON CHRISTIAN 49, FORT MYERS CANTERBURY 14 -- The Panthers (4-5) snapped a five-game losing streak with a second-half barrage against Fort Myers Canterbury.
Peyton Spencer's 86-yard kick return to begin the second half jumpstarted the Panthers' offensive explosion. Until then, BCS was holding a 21-14 lead.
Joey Giardina was the top offensive performer in an otherwise team effort, as Gerber said many players touched the ball in the lopsided victory.
Giardina, however, tallied 200 rushing yards on 11 carries and also completed 10 of 14 passes for 148 yards. He had one touchdown.
On the defensive side, Paul Smith (12 tackles) and Brett Gerber (eight tackles) led the Panthers.
-- Herald staff reports