PALM HARBOR — The three-man rushing attack of Kenny Blanch, Hunter Beam, and Billy Pavlock carried the Hurricanes to a 31-9 victory over Tarpon Springs on Friday night.
Palm Harbor University jumped out to an early lead when Blanch opened space for Beam to carry the ball 28 yards to inside the Tarpon Springs 10-yard line. Blanch eventually finished the drive, scoring from 1 yard out.
“My goal was to smash them as hard as I can,” Blanch said. “I promised my coach that we weren’t losing to Tarpon tonight, and I guess we followed through with our promise.”
The Hurricanes extended the lead in the second quarter, as Beam scored on a 6-yard plunge. But on the same play Tarpon Springs linebacker Hermany Smith collapsed on the field after taking a hit. Play was stopped for more than 30 minutes while trainers tended to him before he was taken off by an ambulance. His condition was not immediately known.
When play resumed, Pavlock scored on a 3-yard sweep. PHU continued to pile on the points, going into halftime ahead 24-0.
“We knew that if we came out here and we didn’t implode and we didn’t hurt ourselves then we should come out with a victory,” Palm Harbor University coach Mark Haye said. “… Our kids proved it.”
Tarpon Springs faltered down the stretch with penalties and fumbles. While the Spongers scored early in the third quarter, they squandered several scoring opportunities inside the PHU red zone. They finished with four fumbles, losing two.
Pavlock finished the scoring when, needing only a first down to secure the victory, he broke free and sprinted 74 yards for a touchdown in the final minutes.