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ST. PETERSBURG — Here are some differences between Admiral Farragut and Lakeland Victory Christian.
The Blue Jackets are fast, but the Storm is faster; the Blue Jackets’ defense is stingy, but the Storm’s defense was even less forgiving; and the Blue Jackets are 5-1 in Class B, District 5 and the Storm is 5-0.
All of that was on display Friday night after Victory Christian won 24-12 in a game between undefeated, ranked teams that decided the district champion and runnerup.
Admiral Farragut (7-1, 5-1) will have to go on the road in the playoffs after losing to its biggest nemesis for the second straight season.
Even more disheartening is that the Blue Jackets fell in a deep hole and had to rally, much like last year.
“We just made too many mistakes, and that’s something you can’t do in a game like this,” Admiral Farragut coach Chris Miller said.
This time, the game turned in the final two minutes of the first half.
Victory Christian (9-0, 5-0) led 7-0 in the second quarter after Demeitre Brim scored on a 4-yard run. The Storm was on the move late in the first half when the drive stalled. A 32-yard field attempt sailed wide.
But Admiral Farragut called a reverse in which Shayne Murphy threw a pass that was intercepted and returned to the 2-yard line. Victory Christian turned that into points as Brim scored again on 4-yard sneak.
After forcing a punt, Brim threw a deep pass on the final play of the second quarter. The ball was tipped by a Blue Jackets defender into the arms of Nate Morrell, who raced 67 yards to give the Storm a 21-0 lead at the half.
Brim finished the first half 14-of-16 for 230 yards.
“The last two minutes of the half were big,” Miller said. “Those two plays changed the game.”
Admiral Farragut rallied in the second half behind the running of Rayshawn Jenkins, who scored on runs of 70 and 12 yards.
But the Blue Jackets missed a scoring opportunity when they failed to score with the ball on Victory Christian’s 2-yard line.
“You just can’t fall behind against a team like that,” Miller said. “It’s hard to come back.”