TAMPA — Injury-plagued Tampa Catholic battered Zephyrhills on Friday night with an impressive display of offensive firepower in a 39-13 victory.
Four Crusaders found the end zone, allowing their ailing defense a double-digit lead throughout much of the game. Coach Bob Henriquez was impressed with how his defense rose to the occasion.
"We're missing five or six starters from our defense, but I thought the kids really stepped up and fought hard tonight," Henriquez said. "We had to mix and match a lot of our defensive packages. Our offense putting 39 points on the board obviously gave us a lift, too."
After Jordan Rich-Rogers dominated the first half with two touchdown runs, the Crusaders went into halftime up 26-0. The start of the second half saw Zephyrhills get its footing with successive touchdowns after Antione Carr ran for one and blocked a punt that resulted in the other.
Just as it looked like the Bulldogs were back in the game, quarterback Jamal Roberts fumbled on route to a touchdown late in the fourth quarter. It was the third of the game for Zephyrhills and resulted in Tampa Catholic going 80 yards in seven plays on the ensuing drive.