DUNEDIN — The seven-man front of Boca Ciega's defense had proven too suffocating, too speedy for Dunedin's touted tailbacks. Seemingly every end-around was met with a takedown, every counter with a counter punch.
So with time running out on their season opener Friday night, Falcons coach Mark Everett ditched his rushing attack and employed a sneak attack instead. As a result, the Falcons awaken this morning still undefeated.
Lanky junior Ryan Singer's 25-yard quarterback sneak — right past the Pirates' overpursuit — with 7:54 remaining propelled the otherwise neutralized Falcons to a 14-9 triumph.
And all Singer really wanted on the run, which capped Dunedin's most sustained drive of the night (10 plays, 65 yards), was a first down.
"We had two plays going depending what the defense was going to show us," said Singer, a Countryside transfer. "If the linebacker was showing blitz we were changing out to a passing play. Still they showed blitz, and I was ready to run. All my teammates were behind me."
To that point, the Falcons had been concurrently lifting their quarterback's spirits and 175-pound frame from the turf. Singer was sacked four times by Bogie's relentless blitz, which surrendered only 101 rushing yards — and 8 passing yards — all night.
Enjoying only slightly better success was USF commitment Darius Bellamy (19 carries, 59 yards), who struggled to get untracked against a defense clearly keying on him.
"We were prepared for (the blitz)," Everett said. "They just beat us to the punch."
But Dunedin managed to stay in the game with some fierce defense of its own, which provided the evening's first score. On the Pirates' sixth play from scrimmage, junior Ali Cheaib scooped an errant Pirates pitch on the hop and raced 35 yards for a touchdown.
Bogie answered on its next drive when Latavien Washington took a right toss sweep for a 60-yard touchdown. Two penalties, including a personal foul, before the extra point resulted in Zackery Mathew missing a 41-yard PAT, but he booted a 22-yard field goal in the second.
Subtract Washington's touchdown run, and the Pirates finished with 70 rushing yards. Sophomore quarterback Shaquille Bradford had modest success (10-for-17, 98 yards, one interception) but was intercepted by Adrian Williams in the left flat with 1:45 to play.
That essentially sealed the game — and the legend of the Singer sneak.
"We had one guy assigned to the quarterback, but at the same time we had linebackers blitzing in the gap, and nobody took the mind to pick up the quarterback," Bogie coach Stevie Thomas said.