The Braden River Pirates beat Arcadia DeSoto 27-12 Friday in a game marked by numerous penalties and mistakes by the Bulldogs, who finished at 2-8. The Pirates picked off three passes and scored on a muffed punt late in the second quarter that led to a 21-6 lead at halftime.
The Pirates, who finished at 5-4, scored first on a 28-yard pass from sophomore quarterback Jacob Huesman to Marcus Balliette with 2:27 left in the opening quarter. Braden River struck again when Titus Humphry belted over from the four-yard line early in the second quarter. Austin Myara's extra point kick gave the Pirates a 14-0 lead.
Bulldog quarterback Kari Williams raced 20 yards for a touchdown to end a drive with 2:29 left in the second quarter. The kick was wide but the Bulldogs had closed the gap to 14-6.
Arcadia intercepted a Huesman pass to give the bulldogs a chance to score again before halftime.
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But their drive stalled and the punt attempt was dropped and the Pirates took over.
They scored in four plays on a 10-yard pass from Huesman to Justin Ross with just 10 seconds left in the half.
DeSoto scored its final touchdown with just 30.1 seconds left in the game when Williams found fellow senior DeQuan Richardson for a 12-yard touchdown pass.
The touchdown was set up by several runs by Williams and running back Terrell Gordon, who finished with 137 yards on 16 carries.
Williams finished with 70 yards rushing on 16 plays. He threw three interceptions, but was under a heavy rush often.
Humphry, a senior, led the Braden River's rushing attack with 21 carries for 103 yards.
"We kind of started the game out slow," said Braden River coach Curt Bradley. "We took advantage of that muffed punt and that helped and we picked things up. Our quarterback (Huesman) was starting his first game, and he did a pretty good job."
SAINT STEPHEN'S 17, WEST PALM BEACH BEREAN CHRISTIAN 0 -- The host Falcons blanked the Bulldogs at home in Gulf Atlantic Conference game.
The win gives Saint Stephen's a 5-5 record.
Saint Stephen's is an independent menber of the Florida High School Athletic Association in football and not eligible to compete in the playoffs.
NAPLES 21, IMG ACADEMY 14 --The Ascenders finished their first season with a loss to Naples on the road.
Quarterback Michael O'Connor hit Clark Thomas for a touchdown and Mikey Daniel ran in a touchdown for IMG (8-2).
Independent members of the Florida High School Athletic Association, the Ascenders are ineligble to play in the postseason.
VENICE 41, BAYSHORE 8 -- The Bruins ended their season with a loss on the road.
The Bruins finish at 2-8, while Venice opens the Class 6A playoffs next week at Seffner Armwood.
BOOKER 26, CARDINAL MOONEY 14 -- The Cougars closed the regular season on the road with a loss to the Tornadoes.
Cardinal Mooney (7-2), the Class 3A-District 6 champion, hosts St. Petersburg Catholic next week in a Region 3 quarterfinal.
BRADEN RIVER 2, MANATEE 1 -- Braden River's Kayla Gray scored both goals to lead the Pirates over the host Hurricanes. Carly Brovan assisted on both of Gray's scores. Goalie Kat Elliott was tough in the net with six saves.
The Pirates improved to 4-0-1.
The Charlotte Sun contributed to this report.