TAMPA — Indian Rocks Christian leading rusher Zeke McGaughy was sidelined for his team’s district matchup at Cambridge Christian with a sprained ankle.
The Golden Eagles’ rushing attack hardly noticed McGaughy’s absence .
IRC had three running backs surpass the 100-yard plateau and churned up 532 yards total on the ground in a 56-7 dismantling of Cambridge.
With the victory, the Golden Eagles (6-2, 5-0) secure their first district title in school history no matter next week’s outcome against Keswick Christian.
“We’ve been talking about it every week, winning our district championship,” IRC coach Mark Buchanan said. “It’s cool.”
IRC’s Damian King scored a career-high six touchdowns . His 12-yard sweep with 4:15 remaining in the first tied the score at 7. He added scoring rushes of 6 and 22 yards before the end of the quarter.
“I felt like I had to pick up the slack with (McGaughy) out,” King said. “It’s easy to run behind this offensive line. I feel like I’m very shifty, and when the holes are as big as they are, I can use my speed to outrun everybody.”
In the second, King extended the lead with a 13-yard catch on a slant pass from Garrett Ross Johnson for a touchdown. He hauled in a 27-yard fade on a fourth-down play with 20 seconds in the half for a 35-7 lead.
King finished his night with a 71-yard scoring burst on the Golden Eagles’ third play of the second half. King totaled 263 yards (210 rushing, 53 receiving) of offense.
“Damian was the star of the show, but we tried to spread it around,” Buchanan said. “He’s capable of games like tonight. We knew what he could do. With Zeke being out, it was time for Damian to step up.”
Daniel Llerena nearly reached 200 yards rushing, gaining 189 on 12 carries. Theo Anderson rushed for 109 yards on seven attempts and had a 44-yard touchdown in the third. Cedric Galloway also had a 3-yard scoring run in the fourth for IRC.
Cambridge (4-3, 2-2) led 7-0 early after Garrett Young bulled his way into the end zone from the 5-yard line. Young set up the touchdown with a 64-yard completion to Nick Stein (three catches, 111 yards) two plays earlier.
Three first-half fumbles proved to be Cambridge’s undoing.
In winning its first five district games, IRC has yielded just 13 points total.
“It’s clicking right now,” Buchanan said. “It starts with our guys up front. They’ve been getting the job done.”