TAMPA — Coming off a bye week, Sickles senior linebacker Anthony Janezic said he “couldn’t wait to hit somebody.”
It just took a little more time than he and his teammates anticipated.
Overcoming an early 13-0 deficit, the visiting Gryphons scored 53 unanswered points in a rout of Freedom in a Class 7A, District 7 game.
Sickles (5-0, 2-0) hit Freedom (1-5, 0-2) with a 31-point second quarter, scoring in a variety of ways.
Quarterback Issac Holder (6-of-16, 157 yards), who hit Jaaron Barrett for a 42-yard touchdown during the first quarter, hit Chett Levay for 47. Ray Ray McCloud (182 yards on 26 carries) ran in two of his three touchdowns.
The defense recorded a safety, and Janezic blocked a punt Issac Levay pounced on in the end zone.
“Once our offense got clicking, it made the defense get fired up,” said Janezic, who also intercepted a pass, one of four turnovers Sickles forced.
The Gryphons allowed only 81 yards, including minus-7 in the second half.
“(Late in the first quarter), I told our kids we’re not playing Sickles football and we’re going to watch our season slip away if you guys can’t do what we’ve practiced,” Gryphons coach Brian Turner said. “After that, (Freedom) didn’t really slow us down too much.”