The ignominious winless streak is over for Bayshore, which snapped a 13-game losing skid with Thursday night’s dramatic come-from-behind 8-7 win over Class 5A-District 11 rival Hardee. The Bruins had not won since closing out the 2015 season with a 14-10 defeat of Cardinal Mooney.
Eschewing a potential tying extra point after his team scored a touchdown with 52 seconds left in the game, second-year coach John Biezuns sent out his offense for a do-or-die two-point conversion.
Quarterback Brian Coleman faked a handoff to fullback Corey Vonborstel and kept the football, outracing a pair of Hardee defenders to sneak just inside the left pylon to clinch it.
“You’ve got to go for two,” said Biezuns, his clothes dripping after being doused with water from a cooler by his celebrating players. “We’re down. We’ve got nothing to lose.”
Trailing 7-0 ever since Hardee scored a touchdown early in the second quarter, Bayshore capitalized on a turnover with middle linebacker Kenneth Wright recovering a fumble at Hardee’s 23-yard line with 4:15 left in the game.
“That play is going to make it whether we’re going to win or lose,” he said as he watched his team’s final drive.
The third straight run up the middle by Vonborstel paid off in the form of a 2-yard touchdown.
Vonborstel finished the game with a team-leading 50 yards on 14 carries.
Bayshore improved to 1-4 overall and 1-2 in the district while Hardee, which had won three straight, fell to 4-3 and 3-1. The victory was especially rewarding for Biezuns, who notched his first win at Bayshore.
“This is huge,” he said. “This is a statement win for our program. The defense played lights out. The offense sputters, but when it counts we win the game.”
Earlier in the game with Hardee driving inside the red zone on its second possession, De’anthony Brown recovered a fumble to thwart that scoring attempt. On Hardee’s next possession, however, they finished off a 10-play, 48-yard drive with Kai Washington’s 9-yard pass to Quintin Lindsey crossing the back of the end zone.
That second-quarter score represented the only points of the game until Bayshore’s late rally.