High School Sports

Prep football | Saint Stephen's stuffs Gainesville St. Francis Catholic, clinches winning season

BRADENTON -- Saint Stephens used a complete team effort to defeat St. Francis Catholic 35-0 on Thursday at Moore Athletic Complex.

The Falcons (6-3) jumped out to an early 14-0 lead in the first quarter and didn't look back in a Sunshine State Athletic Conference seeding game.

"We knew it was important for us to get off to a fast start. We've had a tendency to come out a little sluggish in the past," Saint Stephen's head coach Tod Creneti said.

Falcons freshmen quarterback Fred Billy threw for two touchdowns and controlled the game offensively for his team.

"It can be a little nerve-racking sometimes. There's some pressure there to play well when you're a freshman starting quarterback," Billy said.

The Wolves (4-5) came into the game averaging 29 points per game, but were held scoreless and gained just 38 yards in the second half.

"This loss definitely hurts, but we know what we have to do to get better," St. Francis head coach David LaMarre said. "We have a few days off; we'll hit the reset button and player better next week."

Even with Billy out of the game for a play due to blood on his jersey, junior Bobby Harrison stepped right in and threw for a touchdown.

"Bobby is huge for us; he plays many positions well and happens to have a great arm, too," Creneti said.

Alex Virgilio scored on a 2-yard touchdown run, while Griffin Donnelly punched in a five-yard touchdown just a week after rushing for 146 yards.

"We are tough to beat when we are clicking on all cylinders," Billy said.

The Falcons had two lost fumbles in the second half.

"It's something we have to clean up; we must stay focused throughout the entire game," coach Creneti said.

Saint Stephen's (6-3) will visit Ocoee Legacy Charter next week.