TAMPA — Jesuit coach James Harrell spent countless hours in the video room during the offseason studying the wing-t offense, knowing there could come a day in November when his team would have to face it. Friday night, the hours were worth it.
Harrell's team made the necessary adjustments against a system it rarely sees. That and a balanced offense helped the Tigers roll to a 42-14 victory over Port Orange Atlantic in a Class 5A region quarterfinal.
"Atlantic runs that offense pretty good, and it got to us early in the game," Harrell said. "I studied it throughout the offseason because here in Hillsborough County, we don't see the wing-t very much and I wanted to be able to adjust to it in case we ran into it in the postseason. We were able to do that after we got past the first couple of drives."
The Tigers (10-1) took the ball first and marched down the field for the first of Kevin Newman's two touchdown runs, a 3-yarder. The Sharks (7-4) responded with a quick score of their own, a 30-yard run.
The teams traded scores again before Jesuit took the lead with a 1-yard run by William Lucas. Tommy Eveld heated up on the next drive, throwing the first of his two touchdown passes, a 28-yarder to Tony Castro. Eveld completed 12 of 13 passes for 176 yards on the night.
"I was proud of the way our guys played," Harrell said. "Our quarterback stepped up and took control of the game while our running backs gave us the production we needed to move the ball on the ground. We're happy with the performance because this was a great win for our program."