Football: Zephyrhills Christian 46, Bradenton Christian 6
BRADENTON — Zephyrhills Christian (3-0) overcame a lackluster start, and after spotting Bradenton Christian an early 6-0 lead, reeled off 46 straight points to remain unbeaten with a 46-6 win in a Thursday game played a night early due to the threat of Hurricane Irma.
Key plays: Leading 14-6, Zephyrhills Christian needed just five plays to score three touchdowns and reel off 20 consecutive points on its first three possessions of the third quarter to open up a close game. Javion Hanner scored his second touchdown of the game on a 60-yard run, Calvin Samuel ran for a 57-yard touchdown, his second of the game, and Jacoby Braxton tossed a 35-yard scoring pass to Kavbion Marbra.
Key drive: After the teams traded interceptions (Javan Smith for the Warriors and the Panthers’ Tyler Brown), Zephyrhills Christian stopped Bradenton Christian for the second time on a fourth-down attempt. Six plays and 69 yards later, Hanner scored on a 10-yard run to give the Warriors a 14-6 lead with just more than two minutes left in the first half.
Stars of the game: Zephyrhills Christian continued to display its powerful running game with seven rushing touchdowns and 394 yards on 40 carries. Samuel led the way with 136 yards and two touchdowns, Hanner ran for two scores and gained 114 yards, and Alonzo Sampson had 114 yards and a scoring run. Braxton and Tommy Scott added touchdown runs. Marbra, who had a touchdown catch, also had two interceptions.
Stats of the game: Aside from Zephyrhills Christian winning the turnover battle 4-1, the Warriors totaled 434 yards on offense compared to Bradenton Christian’s 115. That included holding the host team to just 28 rushing yards.
Final word: “Not only are we sloppy, but we can’t start slow when we get later in the season. We’ve got talent. We’ve got athletes. We’ve got kids to make it happen.”—Zephyrhills Christian coach Mike Smith