MANATEE — Turnovers proved costly for Bayshore on Friday, which ultimately led to a 31-6 loss to Tampa Catholic in the season opener.
Bayshore fumbled three times and all three led to touchdowns for Tampa Catholic, one of which was recovered by the Crusaders and returned for a score.
In the second quarter, the Bruins were looking to take a two-touchdown lead but Bayshore's Dereck Williams was stripped at the goal line, allowing Tampa Catholic to march 91 yards for a touchdown to take a lead it never surrendered.
Junior TJ Harrell led Tampa Catholic with 83 yards and one touchdown, which included a 59-yard TD run in the second quarter to give Tampa Catholic a 7-6 lead heading into the locker room.
With just under four minutes left in the third quarter, Tampa Catholic scored on a 16-yard touchdown when junior quarterback Kyle Ploucher connected with junior Justin Motlow, giving the Crusaders a 14-6 lead. Less than a minute later, Tampa Catholic's Willie Conley recovered a fumble at Bayshore's 33 and returned it for a touchdown.
"Those are big changers," Bayshore coach Jean Gordon said. "That's a huge momentum changer. That's 14 points right there."
Defensively, Tampa Catholic sacked Bayshore quarterback Jonathan Lewis five times.