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NAPLES — The legs of First Baptist quarterback Jonah Bueltel were far more dangerous to Indian Rocks Christian than his arm Friday night.
Bueltel scored three rushing touchdowns and gained 220 yards on the ground as First Baptist won the Class 2A region semifinal 42-21.
The Golden Eagles made a game of it in the first half, taking a 14-8 lead before First Baptist (11-4) responded with three straight touchdowns.
The Lion defense meanwhile held IRC to only one score the in second half.
“We played well at times in the first half, but First Baptist executed great in the second half,” IRC coach Mark Buchanan said. “Our youth showed in the second half and so did the other team’s experience. They gave us a good taste of what a good football program is like, and we won’t forget it.”
The versatility of Bueltel was hard for the Eagles to handle, according to Buchanan.
“He can do it all,” he said. “When he runs, he can squirm a lot of different ways, and then he’s off to the races. First Baptist is well-coached and their offensive line executed well.”
Christopher Dorrill also added two scores for First Baptist.
Indian Rocks Christian quarterback Matt Kulaga threw for 118 yards.
IRC (6-5) kept things interesting with a score in the fourth. Zeke McGaughy scored on a 9-yard run to trim the Lions’ lead to only 28-21 with 10:21 left in the game.
Dorrill put it away for First Baptist with a 39-yard touchdown run with 6:38 to play.