ST. PETERSBURG — A gutsy onside kick and powerful running attack helped St. Petersburg overcome Boca Ciega 34-26.
After Leroy Williams' 70-yard touchdown run put the Green Devils up 27-20 midway through the fourth quarter, St. Petersburg (4-1, 1-0) recovered the onside kick.
Five plays later, Williams took the handoff 43 yards to give St. Petersburg a two-score lead.
Boca Ciega (1-3, 0-1) answered as quarterback Bobby Runcie hit Jaylaan Winbush for a 12-yard score. But then the Green Devils ran out the clock.
The Pirates trailed 13-0 in the second quarter then rallied to take a 20-13 lead by the fourth quarter.
But a touchdown by David Jones, followed by Williams' long run, put the Green Devils back ahead.
"He's an explosive kid," Green Devils coach Joe Fabrizio said of Williams, who had 238 yards on 14 carries. "We've got to feed him the ball as much as possible."
Anthony Salveggi, Times correspondent