Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Football: Tampa Catholic 17, Berkeley Prep 10

TAMPA — It wasn't the entire Berkeley Prep team, but one Buc in particular, who stood out in coach Mike Gregory's mind as Tampa Catholic prepared to take on its district foe.

Two years ago, Nelson Agholor ran for 312 yards and had two touchdowns in the Buccaneers' drubbing of the Crusaders. Back then, the future University of Southern California wide receiver was the source of Tampa Catholic's despair. Now, he was a motivational tool.

"In order to win this game tonight, you've got to come up big," Gregory told T.J. Harrell before Friday's game. "You've got to be Nelson tonight. For us."

Keeping his coach's challenge in mind, Harrell rushed for two touchdowns, including a winning score with 52 seconds on the clock, to lead Tampa Catholic to a 17-10 road win against Berkeley Prep.

Harrell, who rushed for 123 yards, was the sole spark in an otherwise lifeless night for the Crusaders.

Tampa Catholic (6-1, 3-0) came into the matchup atop the Class 3A state rankings. Still, the night was quiet. The game began with a sparse crowd, and there was neither a band nor dueling student sections to liven the atmosphere. The play on the field matched the surroundings.

Harrell scored the first points with 11:13 to go in the second quarter on a 7-yard run, and the Crusaders took the small lead into halftime. The Bucs (2-4, 0-3) forced four three-and-outs before the break.

Tampa Catholic padded its lead late in the third quarter with a 27-yard field goal from Michael Sarafianos. The next 14 minutes, though, were all Bucs.

After driving to the 6-yard line, quarterback Brad Mayes threw three consecutive incomplete passes and the Bucs settled for a 23-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter. With 2:10 on the clock, Berkeley Prep finally made it to the end zone, as Jacob Mathis followed a 70-yard reception with an 8-yard touchdown catch.

"We kept our poise," Berkeley coach Dominick Ciao said about his team's game-tying drive. "We made some plays."

The Crusaders, desperate to keep its perfect district record intact, had one last chance to do the same.

After more than three quarters of floundering, quarterback Kyle Ploucher's offense marched down the field, and on third and 4, with the Crusaders at the 22-yard line, Harrell saw a big hole.

"It was set up perfectly," he said. "We saw the linebacker shift. There was nobody in my hole where I'm going."

Nobody, except a referee.

"I had to avoid him," Harrell said, laughing. "I saw the end zone goal line and just fell in."

Thanks to Harrell, the Crusaders finished Friday's game the victors — just barely.

"Winning is hard work," Gregory told his huddled team after the game, fans filing out of Stanford J. Newman Stadium.

The Crusaders' solemn expressions proved they had learned that the hard way.

Football: Tampa Catholic 17, Berkeley Prep 10 10/19/13 [Last modified: Saturday, October 19, 2013 12:09am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Is Mikhail Sergachev, who debuts with Lightning at Wednesday camp, ready for the NHL?

    Lightning Strikes

    BRANDON — When defenseman Mikhail Sergachev was taken ninth overall by the Canadiens in the 2016 NHL draft, a horde of Montreal media surrounded him for his first news conference.

    Mikhail Sergachev takes a shot during warmups prior to a game between the Canadiens and Arizona Coyotes in October in Montreal. [Getty Images]
  2. Top pick Brendan McKay signing with Rays for $7M bonus


    The Rays are set to sign top pick 1B/LHP Brendan McKay for a bonus just over $7-million, the Tampa Bay Times has learned.

    McKay was the No. 4 overall pick in the June 12 draft as he starred as a two-way player leading Louisville to the College World Series.

    The deal is expected to be finalized …

    Brendan McKay was the No. 4 overall pick in the June 12 draft as he starred as a two-way player leading Louisville to the College World Series.
  3. Vince Young takes shot at Bucs' Ryan Fitzpatrick


    Former NFL quarterback Vince Young, out of the league since 2011 and complaining about not getting more opportunities to prolong his career, took a shot at new Bucs backup Ryan Fitzpatrick in a story posted at …

    Veteran quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, who signed with the Bucs to be Jameis Winston's backup this fall, has played for six other NFL teams in his 12 seasons in the league.
  4. For starters: Rays at Pirates, with Hechavarria active, Robertson sent down


    UPDATE, 3:26: And the Rays indeed have Hechavarria at SS and Beckham at 2B. Also, with no DH Dickerson is in left.

    The stellar view from the press box at PNC Park.