SARASOTA — With teams all over the state punching tickets to the playoffs, St. Petersburg traveled down to Sarasota to face the Riverview Rams with hopes of doing the same.
It was all for naught as the Rams scored 29 unanswered points and capitalized on three Green Devil turnovers en route to a 29-3 victory Friday night. The win gave the Rams the 8A-7 runnerup spot and a berth in the state playoffs.
"We just made too many mistakes and you can't do that in a playoff game, which this was for us," Green Devils coach Joe Fabrizio said.
St. Petersburg quickly grabbed momentum to start the game, forcing a Riverview three and out. The Green Devils followed with a 9-play drive that culminated with a 42-yard field goal from Parker Bryant.
After the teams traded punts, the Rams drove to the St. Petersburg 11 before the Green Devils' defense stuffed them. Riverview decided to go for it on fourth down, and Richie James found Tyler O'Keefe for an 11-yard score.
The Green Devils started their drive and behind the running of Deangelo Reeves looked to have an answer. On third down with the ball on their own 36, Robert Tribolet found Mario McTier for a 9-yard gain. McTier tried to pitch the ball to Reeves on a lateral but fumbled and the Rams recovered. Six plays later James scored from 6 yards out.
"We put the ball on the ground too many times and you can't do that," Fabrizio said. "Every time we made a mistake they pounced on it."
Reeves was the engine for the Green Devils as he ran for 137 yards on 22 carries.
"Riverview did a good job of taking some things away and we just made too many mistakes," Fabrizio said.