ST. PETERSBURG — Melbourne Central Catholic used big plays in the passing game and caused four St. Petersburg Catholic turnovers to defeat the Barons 33-22 Friday night.
The Hustlers were able to overcome the physical Barons, led by the Thunder and Lightning running back duo of Tony Jones and Jaquan Fuller who each passed the 100-yard rushing mark.
Melbourne Central Catholic opened the scoring with a safety, but St. Petersburg Catholic answered when Fuller broke down the sideline for a 67-yard touchdown to put the Barons (2-1) up 7-2. Fuller finished with 130 yards on 13 carries.
The teams traded blows for much of the first half, but a 60-yard touchdown from Brandon Ziarno to Max Erdman gave the visitors from Brevard County a 30-14 halftime lead that proved to be insurmountable.
Ziarno finished with three touchdowns through the air and 195 passing yards.
Melbourne Central Catholic also forced two fumbles and picked off Barons quarterback Jack Sheehan twice.
Hustlers coach Mike Riazzi praised his team's effort, but also had praise for St. Petersburg Catholic.
"We beat a very good football team," Riazzi said. "They are the fastest team we have played this year."
The Barons will attempt to rebound next week as they open league play against Admiral Farragut.
Rick Cantor, Times correspondent