The numbers shocked Raymond Thomas.
Braden River’s senior running back recorded 166 rushing yards on just eight carries in the first half of Friday’s football game at Bayshore.
“I didn’t think I was doing that,” Thomas said.
Oh, he was doing that.
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Breaking off three runs of 20-plus yards, Thomas amassed a bulk of the Pirates’ offense during the first two quarters at Balvanz Stadium.
Thomas, Braden River’s defense coupled with the passing game added up to a 36-0 victory in a matchup that saw a running clock for the majority of the second half.
“We’re just physical up front and didn’t give up the big play,” Braden River head coach Curt Bradley said.
The Pirates’ defense was so stifling in the first half that the host Bruins (0-1) totaled five yards of offense, and they generated just three first downs with 36 yards of total offense for the game.
“We just did out here what we’ve done in practice,” said senior nose tackle Deqwunn McCobb, who led a unit that limited the Bruins to minus-17 rushing yards. “Everyone was to the ball, everyone was hitting, everyone was tackling, everyone was just running the plays the way their supposed to do it.”
Braden River’s defense, which tallied 28 interceptions in 2015’s banner run to the Class 7A state semifinals, opened the 2016 regular season by causing a fumble that Devontay Seabrooks recovered on the game’s second play.
Pirates quarterback Louis Colosimo tossed a 17-yard touchdown pass to DeShaun Fenwick on the subsequent play.
“It was 21-0 in the first five minutes against Clearwater Central Catholic (last week), so it was like replaying that game all over again,” Bayshore head coach John Biezuns said.
Colosimo delivered three touchdown passes, with the last one triggering a running clock when Colosimo pump-faked and found a wide-open Craivon Koonce to haul in a 22-yard touchdown with 2:46 remaining in the third quarter.
Meanwhile, Thomas received his first full workload since tearing his anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee last October. Last week’s Kickoff Classic saw just one carry from the backfield. On Friday, he broke off a 57-yard run before getting caught by the Bayshore defense. Then, Thomas completely shook off the notion that he may have lost a step from his junior season when he popped off a 67-yard touchdown run midway through the second quarter.
“Right before that play happened, I was telling my team we’ve got to pick it up and let’s go,” said Thomas, who finished with 163 rushing yards on 10 carries. “And then I break. It just felt pretty good.”
Braden River 36, Bayshore 0
BR— DeShaun Fenwick 17 pass from Louis Colosimo (Tyler McCauley kick), 10:49
BR— Knowledge McDaniel 14 pass from Colosimo (McCauley kick), 4:50
BR— McCauley 45 field goal, 11:40
BR— Devontay Seabrooks and Tyrone Collins safety, 6:20
BR— Raymond Thomas 67 run (McCauley kick), 5:55
BR— McCauley 25 field goal, 0:00
BR— Craivon Koonce 22 pass from Colosimo (McCauley kick), 2:46
Rushing: Braden River 29-241: Thomas 10-163, Fenwick 12-44, Knowledge McDaniel 4-14, Cam White 3-20; Bayshore 16-(-17): Michael Alexander 4-(-1), Ryan O’Neill 5-(-18), Corey Vonborstel 3-12, Dwight Jackson 1-(-15), Dhysen Walls 1-2, Jerry Robinson 2-3.
Passing: Braden River 12-21-0, 127: Colosimo 12-21-0, 127; Bayshore 9-23-0, 53 : O’Neill 9-23-0, 53.
Receiving: Braden River 12-127: Fenwick 1-17, McDaniel 3-19, Koonce 3-48, Taj Speight 2-14, Niko Traylor 1-18, Thomas 1-5, Travis Toby 1-6; Bayshore 9-53: Rory Houston 1-7, Mikel Green 1-4, Vonborstel 4-11, Robinson 3-31.