CLEARWATER — Calvary Christian’s Danny Giordano pivoted and bounced to the outside. He turned on the afterburners to speed through holes. He juked, dived, danced and pranced.
Most of all, he scored.
Giordano, the go-to running back for the Warriors, finished with 177 yards rushing and a career-high five touchdowns, accounting for every score in a 34-6 victory over Northside Christian.
“I’ve never had a game where I’ve scored that many touchdowns before,” Giordano said. “The best I’ve done before is three so this is pretty much the best game I’ve ever had.”
The scoring started the first time Giordano touched the ball, as he raced up the middle and eluded two defenders on his way to a 57-yard touchdown to give the Warriors a 6-0 lead after a failed extra point.
Giordano’s second touchdown came on his second carry, a 16-yard run in which he zigzagged through Mustangs on his way to the end zone. The Warriors led 12-0 after a two-point conversion was stopped short.
The Mustangs (1-2) countered with their best drive of the game, marching 80 yards on a drive that was capped off on Max Massengill’s 1-yard run to make it 12-6 in the first quarter after a missed extra point.
In the second quarter, Northside recovered a fumble on a punt return deep in Calvary territory. But the chance to tie the game slipped away as Giordano stripped the ball from a running back and raced 85 yards for a touchdown. Macs Thomas ran in the two-point conversion to make it 20-6.
“That was the first time I’ve scored on the defensive side, too,” Giordano said. “I saw a chance to make a play, and I just went for it.”
Giordano wasn’t finished. He closed out the first by scoring on a 20-yard run and added another touchdown on 18-yard run in the third quarter to make it 34-6.
By then, Calvary (3-0) started looking for other players to touch the ball.
“Danny has been our workhorse,” Warriors coach Todd Yoder said. “He’s so elusive the way he runs. He looks like he’s tackled, then he’s off running for touchdowns.
“He just our offense with the way he can make cuts and make the most of his runs.”
In all, Calvary had 255 yards rushing. The Warriors had a chance to add two more touchdowns in the fourth quarter but were stopped on downs inside the 5-yard line.