LARGO — To say Jarvis Stewart was eager for Thursday's game would be an understatement.
After having to sit out because of a suspension and watch his Largo (2-1) teammates battle without him last week, the explosive senior running back had something to prove against an overwhelmed Gibbs squad. Stewart ran around and through the Gladiator defense for 213 yards and two touchdowns and added a clutch interception that shut down a long second-quarter Gibbs march at the Packer 9-yard line.
"Man, I had all the motivation in the world to come back here and play this game," said Stewart. "We made a big statement tonight. We're going to the state tournament, and that's what it's all about."
Whether through handoffs from quarterback Isiah Thomas or on direct snaps, Stewart got touches on 26 of Largo's 40 offensive plays. His most dazzling run came when he broke out of a third-quarter logjam to sprint 74 yards for a game-clinching touchdown.
"My line opened up the hole for me, I just kept my feet moving and I got out of there," Stewart said.
For Gibbs (0-3), newly installed quarterback Xavier Kirnes scored a pair of touchdowns against Largo's second-string defense, one a dazzling 41-yard cross-country trek as time ran out.
Chuck Frye, Times correspondent