At Ocala, Carrollwood Day (7-2) was unable to overcome the loss of quarterback Deuce Gruden (high ankle sprain) and Ocala St. John Lutheran's physicality in a 44-16 loss in a Sunshine State Athletic Conference playoff game.
"We just got out-hit," Patriots coach Lane McLaughlin said.
They also found themselves outmanned when Gruden went out before halftime. On the Patriots' second offensive play of the night, Gruden hit junior wideout Dillon Floyd for a 70-yard touchdown to give CDS a 7-6 lead. Sophomore Robert Davis later tied the score at 13-all on an 85-yard kick return for a touchdown.
But Gruden's exit, and a controversial fourth-down play near the goal line, seemed to deflate the Patriots.
With the score still tied at 13, CDS appeared to stop the Saints on fourth down inside the Patriots' 1. According to McLaughlin, one official ruled a change of possession, indicating CDS had made the goal-line stand, before all the officials convened and awarded a TD to the hosts.
Joey Knight, Times staff writer