Anthony Caiazzo picked a great time to make some history.
Cardinal Mooney’s running back rushed for a school-record 366 yards to lead the host Cougars past Lakeland Christian 35-21 during Friday’s Class 3A-District 6 opener.
Caiazzo ran the ball 40 times and scored four touchdowns for Mooney (3-3, 1-0).
“He hurt his knee early in the season, so we didn’t go to him as much,” said coach Josh Smithers. “Now, he’s back to his old self.
“We felt like the running game was working, so we stuck with it.”
Quarterback Sean McAdams scored Mooney’s other touchdown on a 1-yard sneak, and Smither complemented kicker Alex Ojeda, who also serves as the team’s punter.
“The last three weeks, he’s been huge as far as field position,” Smither said, “and giving (opponents) a long field.”
Mooney heads to St. Petersburg Catholic before resuming district play Oct. 21 at Frostproof.
“It was huge. It was our only district home game; we’re on the road for the next two,” said Smithers, whose Cougars head to Fort Meade on Nov. 4. “You never want to go down 0-1 in the district, and getting that home one was big.”
MOORE HAVEN 54, SAINT STEPHEN’S 0 -- Despite the sudden loss of starting quarterback Mike Roberts, who left the football team on Monday for undisclosed reasons, Falcons head coach Tod Crenetti said he was pleased with the effort his team gave on Friday night.
That effort didn’t translate into Saint Stephen’s first victory as the Falcons fell to 0-5 overall and 0-4 in Class 2A (urban)-District 6.
Senior Adam Vining had 85 rushing yards on 15 attempts and added 40 receiving yards as he split duties between the slot and quarterback. Crenetti said Vining shared 50 percent of the snaps with freshman Nick Rodhouse taking the remainder of snaps under center. “I’m really pleased with how (Rodhouse) played,” Crenetti said. “He played in a very determined way, and he battled.”
SOUTHEAST 18, BRADEN RIVER 7 -- Dyron Williams, James Thomas, Lamon Dudley scored touchdowns as the host Seminoles (2-3) downed the Pirates (2-2) on Thursday night.
-- Herald staff reports