BRANDON — Seffner Christian scored in all three phases of the game and won its opener for the first time school history Friday as the Crusaders breezed to a 42-0 win against visiting Master's Academy at Brandon.
"We didn't have any tape on them so we went into the game blind," said linebacker Nate Smith, who led the team with eight tackles. "We knew they did like to throw the ball and just wanted to keep putting pressure on them up front."
The Crusaders (1-0), in just their third year of football, are coming off the school's first winning season and last as an independent.
"It's certainly gratifying to be where we are at right now," said veteran coach Steve Lewis, who started the program three years ago. "I have to give credit to my assistant coaches because I gave them more responsibilities this year and they are getting these kids ready to play."
The Crusaders picked off a pair of passes and recovered two more fumbles, with Robbie Shell returning one of those fumbles 14 yards to open the scoring. Seffner Christian held the Patriots to 57 yards of total offense and just 9 in the first half.
"Our defense was rock-solid tonight," Smith said.
Seth Lewis led the way on the ground with 122 yards and was one of four Crusaders with at least 30 yards rushing. Lewis scored on runs of 15 and 1 yard, while Shell added a 14-yard rushing touchdown.
Joe Hagel tossed a 10-yard scoring pass to Wyatt Brown and Seffner Christian capped off the scoring with a 25-yard Juvon Johnson punt return for a touchdown. Seffner Christian travels to face Bishop McLaughlin next week.