Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

5A football: St. Petersburg 20, Dunedin 10

DUNEDIN — Something about St. Petersburg is so different from other teams.

The Green Devils win not by playing classic football, but by playing ugly, by grinding their opponents, then gleefully vacuuming up the pieces.

On Friday, St. Petersburg did not always look nice, and sure enough it won, rallying in the second half to beat Dunedin 20-10 in the Class 5A region quarterfinals.

"We're a second-half team," Green Devils linebacker Cody Pogoreic said. "It didn't always look great, but we were able to get it done."

The first half for St. Petersburg was sloppy and penalty-filled. The Green Devils fumbled three times, losing two of them. And they committed three personal foul penalties.

The Falcons made them pay as T.J. Day kicked a 30-yard field goal and Ryan Singer ran 2 yards on a quarterback keeper to make it 10-0 midway through the second quarter.

The Green Devils answered with a 56-yard pass from Chris Winiecki to Malik Wilson that set up a 26-yard field goal by Devon Papandrew to cut the deficit to 10-3 at the half.

At the start of the third quarter, St. Petersburg appeared to have the momentum on a drive in which it used six running backs to march to the Falcons' 10-yard line. But the drive ended when Winiecki threw an interception — the Green Devils' third turnover of the game.

That moment seemed like the perfect time for St. Petersburg coach Joe Fabrizio to call timeout, scream, stomp his feet and throw his hands in the air.

Yet still trailing in the third game, Fabrizio was undisturbed.

He simply kept the faith, and his team practiced everything he had preached. It ran the ball well, played superb defense and Fabrizio pushed every button but the one marked "panic."

The Green Devils' comeback started when Dominic James recorded a sack and forced a fumble. St. Petersburg capitalized on the turnover as Wilson ran 10 yards for a score to tie the game at 10 at the end of the third quarter.

In the fourth quarter, the Green Devils forced two more fumbles, both recovered by Pogoreic. Those turnovers were converted into points as Papendrew kicked a 33-yard field goal and Wilson ran 21 yards for a score.

"Even though we were down in the first half, I thought we were still okay," Fabrizio said. "We were able to put some things together, thanks to our defense."

St>> Petersburg20

5A football: St. Petersburg 20, Dunedin 10 11/22/08 [Last modified: Tuesday, November 25, 2008 4:50pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Rowdies settle for draw at home


    ST. PETERSBURG — The good news for the Rowdies is that they still haven't lost a game at Al Lang Stadium since late April. The bad news is they had to settle for a 1-1 tie against Ottawa on Saturday night in front of 6,710 sweaty fans.

  2. Bats come to life, but Rays' freefall continues (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG —The six runs seemed like a ton, just the second time the Rays had scored that many in a game during their numbing two-plus-weeks stretch of offensive impotency, and amazingly, the first time at the Trop in nearly two months.

    Lucas Duda connects for a two-run home run in the sixth, getting the Rays within 7-5. A Logan Morrison home run in the ninth made it 7-6, but Tampa Bay couldn’t complete the comeback.
  3. Rays journal: Cesar Puello, who has one major-league game, claimed off waivers

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Looking to add punch to their right-handed lineup, the Rays claimed OF Cesar Puello off waivers Saturday from the Angels.

  4. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Saturday's Rays-Mariners game

    The Heater

    SS Adeiny Hechavarria doesn't always look like he's going hard, but he showed impressive reactions Saturday in reversing field to catch a ball that clanked off the catwalk then firing to second to double up Guillermo Heredia on an attempt to tag up.

  5. Bucs journal: Simeon Rice gives master class on sacks to defensive ends


    TAMPA — As the Bucs seek their first 10-sack season from a player since Simeon Rice in 2005, who better to help that cause than Rice himself?

    Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers great Simeon Rice works with defensive end Noah Spence (57) after practice at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Fla., on Saturday, Aug. 19, 2017.