CRYSTAL RIVER — Central made the most of a pair of punt blocks against the Pirates, but they were unable to overcome early struggles in a sloppy season-opening 33-14 loss at Earl Bramlett Stadium.
The Pirates (1-0) built up a 19-0 lead in the second quarter off a pair of rushing scores by senior running back Napolean Hutcherson as well as an 11-yard bubble-route touchdown pass from Crystal River junior quarterback Joe Lafleur to freshman receiver Sam Franklin.
Bears (0-1) senior defensive lineman Andy Vu recovered a blocked Pirates punt in the second quarter to set up a 20-yard touchdown run by junior running back Brandon Miller.
Another punt block, this time by Central junior defensive back Taylor Claussen, put the Bears on the Crystal River 4 and helped set up a second scoring run by Miller.
The Pirates would answer, however, with two more rushing touchdowns later in the second half.
There were 28 penalties in the game, totaling 250 yards.
Sean Arnold, Special to the Times