The Bradenton Christian High School football team got an A for effort. But as might have been expected, host Northside Christian came away with a W.
Scoring on its first two possessions, Northside went on to a 65-15 decision over the Panthers. With the win, the Mustangs improved to 5-0, while Bradenton drops to 1-3.
"We have a young team that came across a pretty good bunch tonight," Panthers coach Allan Gerber said. "Mike (Northside coach, Alstott) has done a nice job building that program. They're a team that's going to make noise in the playoffs.
"As you guys saw, they're pretty big up front. That was a recipe for disaster as we prepared for them. It was just a matchup nightmare."
Never miss a local story.
Kamen Wilmington got Northside's first points of the night on a three-yard burst not quite five minutes into the game, before sophomore Marcus Hooks added a 45-yard touchdown run later in the quarter. Corey Yawn gave the Mustangs what would prove to be the winning score on a 58-yard reception from quarterback Griffin Alstott.
"Tonight we did what we were supposed to," said Mike Alstott, the former Tampa Bay Buccaneers fullback. "Tonight we ran hard and made some great passes when we needed to."
Starting the second half up 45-0, the Mustangs added to that lead with a 27-yard touchdown from Hooks.
Bradenton Christian would eventually get on the board with 23 seconds left in the quarter on a 33-yard run from senior Zach Cooper. Sophomore Kevin Etiene added the final Panther touchdown at 5:20 of the fourth quarter.
"You guys are young," coach Alstott said to the Panthers in a post-game huddle. "You're where we were a couple years ago."
The biggest problem for Bradenton Christian on the night actually came on defense after good stops on second or third down.
"We fought our tails off for three downs, then they bust out a big play on fourth down," Gerber said. "Those kinds of situations really kill you."
Still, Gerber was quick to repeat being pleased with the overall effort.
"No question," he said, "we'll make a big deal about it when we watch film tomorrow."