BRADENTON -- Fred Billy is a freshman, but he was a man among boys Friday night at Moore Athletic Complex.
Starting his first varsity game, the quarterback and backup safety scored four first-half touchdowns to lead Saint Stephen's in a 42-0 blowout of Spring Hill Bishop McLaughlin in Sunshine State Athletic Conference action.
Billy rushed for 89 yards and three touchdowns on just four carries and returned an interception for another score. He played sparingly after Saint Stephen's triggered a running clock early in the third quarter.
"Coach gave me the keys to the Porsche and told me not to crash it," Billy said. "I just knew my teammates would make it easy for me. My offensive line blocked, wide receivers made key blocks, and backs did their job. It made it so easy.
Never miss a local story.
"This is what we do. This is how we expect to play."
It was quite a reversal of fortune for a Saint Stephen's program that had gotten used to being on the losing end of such scores. Fourth-year coach Tod Creneti lost his first 11 games at the helm by a total score of 459-95.
"We've been on both sides of this. ... It's nice to be able to have all of our kids play," Creneti said.
Billy's big night started early when he scored twice in 25 seconds in the first quarter.
Bishop McLaughlin opened the game with a six-minute drive that stalled near midfield when Saint Stephen's defensive back Jordon Murrell broke up a pass.
Three plays later, Billy took a quarterback draw 34 yards untouched down the middle of the field for a touchdown.
Saint Stephen's safety Bobby Harrison was injured on the ensuing kickoff, so Billy loped out to midfield to take his place.
On the Hurricanes' first play from scrimmage, Billy hauled in an overthrown pass and sprinted 46 yards for another score.
"I saw Bobby limp out, and I said, 'Hey, we can't keep Fred in because if he gets hurt we have no quarterbacks, and that's a problem.' Then he makes the play that he does. He's a great talent, but he's also a great kid," Creneti said.
Billy took an option keeper 50 yards for a score with three minutes to play in the first half, and, after a Bobby Harrison interception, punched in another keeper from 12 yards out to give Saint Stephen's a 29-0 halftime advantage.
In the abbreviated second half, Nick Rodhouse and Jordan Murrell scored rushing touchdowns.
Alex Virgilio also had an interception for Saint Stephen's. Rodhouse recovered a fumble, and Jacob Westberry had a sack.
Griffin Donnelly rushed for 44 yards and caught a pass for 34 yards.
Four different Saint Stephen's players kicked extra points Friday, including sophomore Kelsey Leskinen, who scored her first varsity point.
"I don't know how many other young ladies have scored in the state of Florida. But to see her not only score but to pound it through ... was very exciting," Creneti said.