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Football: Clearwater Central Catholic 45, Ocala Trinity Catholic 42

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Sat. September 27, 2014 | Joseph Kornecki III

OCALA — Clearwater Central Catholic (No. 1 in Class 3A) traveled north and edged out Ocala Trinity Catholic (No. 4 in 3A) 45-42 in a shootout Friday night.

The Marauders (4-0) trailed four times in the game but found a way to overcome those deficits. Trailing 28-24 early in the fourth quarter and facing a fourth and 2 at the Trinity Catholic 19, Marauders quarterback Jeff Smith picked up 9 yards for the first down, then a bad snap over Smith’s head turned into a loss of 21 yards.

 But on the next play Smith found C.J. Cotman on a screen pass, which he took to the house for a 31-yard score to put the Marauders up by three.

On the ensuing drive, CCC stopped the Celtics (3-1), but Trinity Catholic called a gutsy fake punt pass that drew pass interference against CCC on a pass the was way overthrown, which gave the Celtics a fresh set of downs on their own 30. 

It took them only five plays to get the go-ahead score when Celtics quarterback Noah Schaffer hit Willie Young in the flat, as he broke through Central Catholic tackles on his way for a 16-yard touchdown that gave the Celtics a 35-31 lead.

But as a good team does, CCC responded with a five-play, 60-yard drive that was capped off by Smith’s touchdown from 14 yards out. On the short kickoff by Yanni Ramos, which landed in no man’s land, CCC’s Josh Smith recovered the ball at the Trinity Catholic 31. Smith then connected with Cotman again on another screen setup for a 34-yard score to put CCC up by 10 with 2:52 remaining. The Celtics showed no quit as they answered back with a touchdown, but their onside kick was recovered by Cotman to put a stamp on the victory.

The Marauders trailed 14-0 in the first, but battled back to tie it up with Smith 3-yard score in the first and Smith’s tight spiral passing touchdown to Josh Smith for 56 yards in the second. Trailing again 21-14, Cotman took it left side and cut back for a 66-yard touchdown gallop to knot the score. Ramos had six extra points and a 21-yard field goal.

“One of those games is fun to watch but bad to coach in,” Marauders coach John Davis said. “We figured it out, and it was a good win against a good team.”

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