SARASOTA -- On Friday night, Cardinal Mooney clinched its first playoff appearance since 2008 with a 62-0 win over Out of Door Academy.
"It was one of our goals this season, and we were able to reach that," Mooney head coach Josh Smithers said.
Mooney (5-1, 1-0 Class 3A-District 6) was able to build a 35-0 lead after just the first quarter. Demardre Patterson, a former ODA player, ran for four touchdowns in the first 14 minutes before hitting the bench.
"I give a lot of the credit to my offensive line, those guys played great," Patterson said postgame.
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Senior Austin Leach tacked on two touchdowns himself. One was a 45-yard catch following an ODA fumble with 2:40 left in the first quarter.
Moments later after a Thunder three and out Leach took a 60-yard punt return to the house.
"Our special teams and defense has played great all season, they've been very consistent," coach Smithers said.
The second half featured most of Mooney's second string players, but they showed they have talent too.
Freshman running back Vince Sellers finished with a game high 170 yards on just five carries. That's 34 yards per carry.
Sellers broke for an 80-yard touchdown run with 10:33 left in the third quarter, forcing a running clock.
"It's great for us to have depth heading into the playoffs, gives the younger guys confidence," Smithers added.
Junior quarterback Reese Vita completed four of his five pass attempts for 132 yards and one touchdown.
Mooney's defense held ODA to 115 total yards and only 2.4 yards per play.
Cardinal Mooney will host Victory Christian at 7 p.m. Friday night for homecoming. It will travel to Fort Myers Bishop Verot to decide the district title on Nov. 1.
The Thunder fell to 1-6 and finished district play at 0-2.