MANATEE -- With the game on the line, Courtney Allen got the ball.
And the Southeast senior running back didn't disappoint.
Allen turned a fourth-and-one into a 27-yard touchdown run to cap an offensive explosion for the Seminoles on Friday at Balvanz Stadium.
Then the Southeast defense turned away one last surge from host Bayshore, and the Noles (1-3, 1-0 Class 5A-District 13) earned a key district victory 41-27.
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The Bruins (1-3, 0-1 district) now face an uphill battle to get back into the playoff mix after dropping their district opener.
"We came in here 0-0," Allen said. "Coach told us, 'Districts, 0-0.' Come out here and do what we do in practice every day. We work hard in practice every day, and it showed on the field (Friday)."
Following last week's loss to Braden River, where the Noles committed six turnovers, Allen said he had a chip on his shoulder that grew bigger due to Southeast's three-game losing skid to begin the 2013 season.
On Friday, he took over when the Noles needed him to.
Allen was held to just 62 rushing yards in the first half, but damaged the Bruins in the special teams game.
He returned the opening kickoff 56 yards, which set Southeast into Bayshore territory and the Noles later converted by sending Allen 8-yards into the end zone untouched.
Then, Allen delivered a devastating blow just before halftime when he returned a punt 72 yards to pay dirt that armed Southeast with a 28-13 cushion entering the second half.
"He caught on the fly and did his thing," Southeast head coach Paul Maechtle said.
Allen credited Maechtle with drawing up the punt return play.
But the senior star wasn't through after that scoring play.
He added a 67-yard touchdown reception off a screen pass, where he raced to the sideline, broke a tackle and picked up his blockers as he darted up field for the score.
Finally, Allen gobbled up 27 yards for the final score after Bayshore cut Southeast's deficit to eight and the Noles faced a pivotal fourth down conversion with less than two minutes remaining in the game.
"I think my coaching staff has a pretty good trust in me," Allen said. "I think they know what I can do, and they give me the ball when it's like."
Allen's totals (125 rushing yards, 93 receiving yards) spoiled Bayshore's Wesley Jackson's game. The Bruins quarterback delivered his own multi-touchdown game in an effort to bring Bayshore back against its district rivals.
Jackson had two rushing touchdowns in the first half, while striking pay dirt twice in the second half with passing touchdowns to Obi Tarwoe that covered four and 27 yards.
"They continued to fight and show great effort, we just didn't do enough in the first half," Bayshore head coach Elijah Freeman said. "We didn't tackle very well, and that was the key to victory. We've got to stop Courtney Allen, and Larry (Woodard). They were shifty, we knew that. We knew that if we could corral them and tackle well, we'd be OK. But we didn't do a good job."
Bayshore's final drive stalled, with Southeast senior defensive lineman Jefferson Brinvert sacking Jackson during the series to thwart any last gasp chance at a comeback bid.