PALM HARBOR — The Reggie Crume era at Palm Harbor University got off to a good start, while Jesuit could use some more work prior to the Aug. 29 season opener. The Tigers had seven turnovers, six of which were interceptions, in Thursday’s preseason game. PHU wasn’t perfect (three turnovers), but the Hurricanes overcame a seven-point halftime deficit and outscored the Tigers 26-0 in the second half.
Drive of the game: Jesuit quarterback Trent Wessel threw an interception, his third of the game, in the final minutes of the second quarter. But PHU fumbled on the next possession. Big mistake. The Tigers put together a six-play drive with a mix of runs and passes and scored on a 1-yard plunge by Kevin Newman with 33 seconds left. That made the score 21-14. That was the last play for Jesuit’s first-string offense.
Play of the game: PHU trailed by a point midway through the fourth quarter. Jesuit inserted reserve quarterback Wesley Eveld. His first pass was complete, but his second was picked off by Andrew Lo and returned 35 yards for a touchdown. Lo stepped in front of the swing pass in the left flat and scored untouched to allow PHU to retake the lead 26-21. “They were passing it to my side the whole game, and I was just playing it safe. I was kind of waiting on it and I got my chance,” Lo said.
Stars of the game: Palm Harbor University’s Stephen Charron will be a handful this season. His first carry went for a 75-yard touchdown and he ended the night with 193 yards on 18 carries. “I felt pretty fast. I just followed the blocks and then when I got in the open field I was confident I could get away,” he said. …Jesuit sophomore Malik Davis got stronger as the game wore on. Davis was basically held in check for his first four carries, then on the first play of the second quarter he barrelled up the middle for a 55-yard touchdown run. That was followed by another strong 14-yard touchdown run that tied the score at 14. Davis finished with 106 yards on eight carries. He did not play in the second half. …Hurricanes’ senior defensive back Jacob Harris looked good. He had two interceptions. His first came near the end of the first quarter. He picked off a Wessel pass in the end zone on third and goal from the 4-yard line. …Hurricanes receiver Matt Caron, who missed last season with a broken collarbone, caught four passes for 46 yards and two touchdowns.
Final word I: “Sneaking up on people is a little bit over. Now we’re going to have to work even harder to get better.” — Crume
Final word II: “We had a good spring, but this game can humble you. We played all 65 guys tonight and did some things we wanted to do. We’ll look at the tape and try to get better. The tape doesn’t lie.” — Jesuit coach Matt Thompson