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)

Football: East Lake 22, Largo 0

LARGO — Largo coach Rick Rodriguez had one request as the locker room filed out following the Packers' loss against East Lake on Friday night.

"Don't mention the suspended kids," he said. "No excuses."

It wouldn't matter.

East Lake wasn't accepting any excuses anyway.

Using a powerful running game to gash the Packers up the middle and doing just enough on the outside to keep the chains moving, the Eagles earned a 22-0 victory at Largo.

Then they celebrated afterward like it was any other victory.

"From a players standpoint, I think that's very disappointing (that Largo was missing guys)," said George Campbell, who had two of his team's six sacks. "Now that gives them something to have an excuse about not having their best two players playing. But you still have to come out and play. That just gives them a excuse to say why they lost."

East Lake ran for 246 yards and held Largo to 30 yards rushing in recording the shutout.

There was no mistaking that for three quarters, it was a much closer game than it should have been.

The Packers were without running back Jarvis Stewart and middle linebacker Frankie Hernandez — both USF oral commitments — after suspensions kept them out of school Friday.

And in the second quarter, quarterback Donavan Hale went down with a right ankle injury and did not return.

Still, at halftime, it was only 3-0 as East Lake settled for a Daniel LaCamera 53-yard field goal.

The Eagles (2-0) outgained Largo 168-13 on the ground through two quarters. But East Lake quarterback Jake Hudson threw an interception to Jonathan Crawford, and the Eagles were stopped inside the Largo 5 by a Packers defense that bent all half but never broke.

"I look up, and it's only 3-0. And I'm going, 'What the heck man?' " East Lake coach Bob Hudson said. "It seems, seems like we've been down there all night."

They were.

But it wasn't until the second half that the Eagles started to capitalize on offense — helped by a pair of Devin Abraham interceptions — as its big offensive line, led by Michigan oral commitment Mason Cole, wore down the smaller Packers.

Weston Fordham rushed for a touchdown midway through the third quarter, and Artavis Scott and Drew Couto scored in the fourth quarter.

Scott (14 carries for 98 yards), Fordham (17 for 87) and Couto (10 for 82) powered the East Lake attack.

The Packers defense held on as long as it could, but the Eagles had too much firepower.

Rodriguez said there were no excuses, and his players didn't make any afterward.

"It was crazy, but we had to step up," said Crawford, who played some running back for the first time since youth league. "We did lots of talking at practice; lots of extra defense and extra-long practices. And we played as hard as we could. It was crazy."

John C. Cotey can be reached at

Football: East Lake 22, Largo 0 09/07/13 [Last modified: Saturday, September 7, 2013 12:47am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Tampa Bay Super Bowls: A brief history and some predictions for 2021


    At last, Tampa will host a Super Bowl again. It used to be that the Cigar City would host one a decade, but by the time February 2021 rolls around, it will have been 12 years since the epic showdown between the Steelers and Cardinals. Because it has been awhile, let's revisit those past Super Bowls while also peering …

    Santonio Holmes hauls in the game-winning touchdown in the Steelers' 27-23 Super Bowl XLIII victory over the Cardinals in 2009, the last time Tampa hosted a Super Bowl. [JAMES BORCHUCK | Times]
  2. Rays bats go silent in second straight loss to Angels (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Sure, Alex Cobb was to blame for the Rays' 4-0 loss on Tuesday.

    Derek Norris strikes out with the bases loaded as the Rays blow a golden opportunity in the seventh inning.
  3. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Tuesday's Rays-Angels game

    The Heater

    RHP Alex Cobb made mistakes on back-to-back pitches to the first two Angels hitters Tuesday, allowing homers to Cameron Maybin and Mike Trout, but otherwise gave the Rays another solid outing, working into the eighth and scattering seven hits.

  4. Rays journal: Brad Miller won't return from DL when eligible

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — 2B Brad Miller (left abdominal strain) will not return from the 10-day disabled list Friday as he hoped. While he took ground balls Tuesday, he has yet to resume running.

    Rays second baseman Brad Miller, left, with infielder Tim Beckham, says he’s letting his left abdominal strain “cool down” before testing it by running.
  5. USF baseball rallies to beat Tulane in AAC tournament opener


    CLEARWATER — With Tulane runners on first and second and two out in the top of the ninth inning Tuesday, USF's dugout watched as burly American Athletic Conference co-player of the year Hunter Williams' fly to left went deep.

    USF outfielder Chris Chatfield is congratulated by third-base coach Chris Cates after hitting a three-run homer in the third inning, tying the score at 3.