TAMPA — Carrollwood Day started its 2012 campaign with a bang. The Patriots dropped 21 points on the Imagine School of North Port before the first two minutes of Friday's game ticked away. They built a 35-0 halftime lead on the way to a 42-7 victory and were able to get reps for their second-team athletes against the Sharks, who are in just their first year of team football.
"You guys (Sharks) remind me a lot of us five years ago when we started out," Patriots coach Lane McLaughlin said as he addressed both teams. "You fought hard, you played to the whistle and you have 29 guys already — you're off to a great start."
Senior tailback Robert Davis drew first blood for the Patriots when he scooped up a Shark fumble and took it 30 yards for a score on the third play of the game. Patriots defensive lineman Adam Morse recovered a Shark fumble on their next play, then Davis ran it in from 8 yards on the Patriots' next play. On the Patriots' next possession, quarterback Vidal Woodruff found senior receiver Andy Embody with separation down the sideline and hit him in stride for a 40-yard touchdown.
"This game gave me tons of confidence," Woodruff said. "I feel like I can throw any pass to anyone on this team right now."
The Sharks' option-run offense was moderately successful early. They opened holes and got the chains moving but Carrollwood Day stopped them each time. It was not until the Patriots started making defensive substitutions that the Sharks broke through and got their touchdown.
Davis had only 11 carries but got 136 yards closer to his goal of all-time Hillsborough County rushing champion. He also had two rushing touchdowns. Woodruff was 3-for-3 for 75 yards and a touchdown. Senior Nate Lewis, back after a 10-month rehab assignment, got his first cracks on offense and defense in a long time.
"It feels great to be back," he said.
Lewis caught two passes for 28 yards and made some key stops on defense. The Patriots face their first district opponent in Keswick Christian next Friday.