High School Sports

Prep football | Bradenton Christian Panthers' rally falls short against Tampa Carrollwood Day in 48-35 loss

BRADENTON -- On Friday night, Bradenton Christian and Tampa Carrollwood Day put on an offensive clinic as the Patriots took down the Panthers 48-35.

The two teams combined for 11 touchdowns on the ground. Unfortunately for the Panthers, they couldn't get a defensive stop late.

"We knew what they wanted to do; we just couldn't get them off the field or make that one extra play," Panthers head coach Allan Gerber said.

Junior running back Zack Cooper led Bradenton Christian (4-4) with 164 rushing yards and three touchdowns on 29 carries.

Following a 52-yard touchdown run in the second quarter, Panthers quarterback Dusty Peebles suffered a shoulder injury after taking a hard shot.

"Losing your starting quarterback changes your game plan, but I think Brett (Gerber) did a good job for us," Coach Gerber said.

Carrollwood Day (3-3, 2-1 Class 2A-District 5) came into Friday night averaging 183.6 yards per game rushing and kept the trend going.

Senior running back Willie Parker tallied 199 yards rushing, giving him five 100-yard games this season.

Parker also punched in three touchdowns, all coming in the first half.

"He's a special kid, he runs the ball hard and gives us a chance to win," Patriots head coach Lane McLaughlin said.

After losing their starting quarterback, Carrollwood turned to junior Zac Cornell to lead them.

Cornell scored three touchdowns on five carries in the second half and did just enough for his squad even without completing a pass.

"We may have lost Angelos for the season, so it was good for Cornell to get in the game and get some reps," Coach McLaughlin said.

The Panthers (4-4, 1-4) who were eliminated from playoff contention last week, forced two late fumbles but couldn't find the end zone in the fourth quarter.

"I've said it all season, I'm truly proud of my guys; they have played hard and with a ton of heart," Coach Gerber said.