Make us your home page
Instagram

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

Loading...
  1. Rays journal: Kevin Kiermaier returns, Mallex Smith sent to Triple A

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Four batters into his return from a lengthy stay on the disabled list CF Kevin Kiermaier found himself embroiled in a "did he" or "didn't he" debate Friday.

    Tampa Bay Rays center fielder Kevin Kiermaier (39) flies out in the first inning of the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Friday, August 18, 2017.
  2. Rays vs. Mariners, 6:10 p.m. Saturday, Tropicana Field

    The Heater

    Tonight: vs. Mariners

    6:10, Tropicana Field

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    This is a 2017 photo of Jake Odorizzi of the Tampa Bay Rays baseball team. This image reflects the 2017 active roster as of Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017 when this image was taken. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
  3. Bucs journal: Starting defense disappointed holding Jags to 1 rushing yard

    Bucs

    JACKSONVILLE — The Bucs' starting defense held the Jaguars to a total of 1 rushing yard on seven carries in the first half of Thursday's 12-8 preseason win.

    And its members were disappointed.

    Jacksonville Jaguars running back T.J. Yeldon (24) is thrown for a 1-yard loss as he is stopped by Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Lavonte David (54) and defensive end Robert Ayers (91) during the first half of an NFL preseason football game, Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux) JVS102
  4. Jameis Winston's hardest lesson: He can't always save the day

    Bucs

    TAMPA — Ever wonder what in the world goes through Jameis Winston's mind when he tries to fit the ball in a keyhole as he is being dragged to the turf like he was during Thursday night's 12-8 preseason win over the Jaguars?

    Jameis Winston, left, tries to hang on to the ball as Jaguars defensive end Dante Fowler tries to strip it from him.
  5. Florida starter under center still under wraps

    College

    GAINESVILLE — With two weeks before Florida opens its season against Michigan, the Gators' three-way quarterback battle remains wide open.

    Luke Del Rio, right, is in the mix to start against Michigan in the season opener … as is Malik Zaire and Feleipe Franks.