ST. PETERSBURG — Admiral Farragut had been stewing for a week after its loss to Indian Rocks Christian. The Blue Jackets could not wait to get back on the field and erase a bad memory.
The wait was worth it.
Admiral Farragut intercepted Calvary Christian’s first play from scrimmage and never looked back in a convincing 38-0 win. It keeps the Blue Jackets’ hopes of a Class 2A-5 district championship alive with three games remaining.
“There was a lot of emotion all week,” said senior running back Todd Macon, who rushed for 176 yards and three touchdowns. “Were we going to bounce back or let our season go into the ground? Everybody met on Saturday morning and we were all determined to get our season back. We want to run the table.”
AFA (6-1, 4-1) didn’t have to wait long for something positive to happen. Warriors quarterback Allen Barnes dropped back to pass on the first play and had the ball tipped. It went right into the arms of eighth-grader Kaleb Dials, who returned it to the Calvary 33. Four plays later, Macon scored on a run from 15 yards to make it 7-0.
“That was huge,” AFA coach Chris Miller said. “We knew we had to start quickly and once that happened it got the nerves out of everybody’s system.”
On Calvary Christian’s next possession, Barnes threw another interception to Dials. And once again, the Blue Jackets made it hurt. This time, Colby Robinson hooked up with Brad Hyman-Muhammad on a 45 yard catch and run to make it 14-0.
After forcing a Calvary punt, the Blue Jackets went on a 12-play, 53-yard drive that ended with another Robinson TD pass to Hyman-Muhammad, this one from 5 yards.
The Warriors (3-3, 2-2) finally calmed down and put together a nice eight-play drive highlighted by a 38-yard pass from Barnes to Daniel Giordano. But Calvary was stuffed on fourth and goal from the 1 and turned the ball over on downs.
Just four plays later, Macon was off on an 83-yard run down the right sideline to make it 28-0. The Blue Jackets rushed for 268 yards.
“The offensive line came up big,” Macon said. “They said they played poorly against Indian Rocks and they wanted to make some holes for the running backs. They did that.”
The second half had much fewer fireworks. The Warriors were still unable to move the ball, but they only allowed a 26-yard field goal by Rayan Refae and a 13-yard Macon touchdown run in the fourth quarter.
Calvary Christian coach Mark Everett figured Admiral Farragut would be tough to beat after losing the week before.
“They came out madder than a bunch of angry hornets,” Everett said. “I kind of knew that would happen after I saw that Indian Rocks score last week. That didn’t help us at all. And then when you give up a couple of early picks it’s going to make for a long night.”