Demardre Patterson rushed for more than 200 yards and scored three touchdowns Friday night as the Cardinal Mooney Cougars got past the Fort Myers Bishop Verot Vikings 35-10 to claim their first district title in football since 2006.
Cardinal Mooney (7-1, 2-0 Class 3A-District 6) will host St. Petersburg Catholic in a region quarterfinal on Nov. 15.
Reese Vita rushed for a touchdown, and freshman Vince Sellers rushed for a score and picked off a pass.
BRADENTON CHRISTIAN 50, ST. PETERSBURG KESWICK CHRISTIAN 15 -- Allan Gerber was ecstatic with the character and effort his team showed following a difficult five-week stretch, where the Panthers fell out of playoff contention, after BCS (5-5, 2-4 Class 2A-District 5) pummeled Keswick Christian. Sinclair Laskett returned after a long hiatus, and ran for 167 yards on six carries to close out his senior season.
Lance Perkins also chipped in 104 rushing yards on 15 carries, while quarterback Joey Giardina completed 12 of 15 passes for 128 yards and two touchdowns.
"After the illness and injury bug, happy to be .500," Gerber said.
Gerber added the linebacker unit, led by Paul Smith, eliminated Keswick's running game to force the Crusaders to become one-dimensional.
LAKELAND VICTORY CHRISTIAN 38, OUT-OF-DOOR ACADEMY 3 -- Thunder head coach Brett Timmons said he was proud of his kids for showing a lot of resiliency following a 19-0 deficit after the first quarter.
"We moved the ball offensively," Timmons said. "And got a score right before halftime."
Timmons also added his youthful team keeps improving each week.
With the loss, ODA drops to 1-8. However, the Thunder have one game remaining as they host Tampa Cambridge Christian next Thursday.
FORT MYERS GATEWAY CHARTER 54, SAINT STEPHEN'S 41 -- The Falcons saw their three-game winning streak end when they lost on the road to the Griffins.
The win cost the Falcons a shot to play for the Gulf Atlantic Conference championship.
The Falcons used two quarterbacks, Sam Dages and George Prince, who teamed for 185 yards of passing and three touchdowns.
Luc Goeders ran for 103 yards for the Falcons (4-5).
"We had six different guys score, so it was good to see different guys getting involved that way," said coach Tod Creneti. "It was just too little, too late."
The Falcons are home next week against conference rival Berean Christian. If they win, the Falcons are eligible to get a conference bowl game.
A loss ends their season.
"That's our goal now -- to finish 5-5 and end our season at .500," Crenet said, "and then maybe get a bowl game and see what shakes out."
BRADEN RIVER 3, CARDINAL MOONEY 2 -- Carley Engelberger, Kayla Gray and Abigail Holmes scored the goals as the host Pirates improved to 2-0-1.
Gray, Carly Provan and Ashly Schellentrager had assists.
REGION MEETS -- The Lakewood Ranch girls team will try for its sixth consecutive trip to the state meet as area teams compete in region meets Saturday.
The Mustangs finished second behind Sarasota in last week's Class 3A-District 10 meet. They'll run to keep the streak alive after the graduations of longtime runners Olivia Ortiz, Kristin Zarrella and Natalie Novak when the run in the Region 3 meet at Sydney Dover Trails.
The area will send one district championship team, the Southeast girls, and three individual district champions to regions in Canaan Meester-Kitterman of Bayshore in Class 2A, Dominic MacRae of Southeast in Class 2A and Grace Casagrande of Cardinal Mooney in Class 1A.
The Class 2A meet is Saturday in Dunedin, and the Class 1A meet is Saturday in Melbourne.
The top six teams and individuals who place in the top 15 will advance to the state meet Nov. 9 at Apalachee Regional Park in Tallahassee.
POSTSEASON MEETS -- Small schools will enter region competition, and large schools will start their postseason treks this weekend.
Defending state 500-yard freestyle champion Ellie Berdusco of Saint Stephen's will headline the Class 1A-Region 3 field at North Shore Aquatic Complex in St. Petersburg. Berdusco won the 200 and 500 freestyle events at the district meet. She and Out-of-Door Academy's Joe Plechy (50 freestyle) were the only local district champs in Class 1A.
The Class 2A-Region 3 meet was held Friday in Dunedin. Results were unavailable at press time.
The Class 3A and Class 4A swimmers will compete in district competition Saturday. Manatee is at the Class 4A-District 6 meet at Long Center in Clearwater. Lakewood Ranch, Palmetto and Braden River will compete in the Class 3A-District 8 meet at the Sarasota YMCA.
-- Herald staff reports