GULFPORT — Tarpon Springs and Boca Ciega spent the first half Friday in a defensive struggle. In the second half behind two Kenny Blanch touchdown passes, the Spongers rolled up 28 points en route to a 31-0 victory.
"I actually liked the first half," Spongers coach Ron Hawn said. "We got off to a good start on D and made a statement."
The Spongers held the Pirates to 77 total yards in the first half. Boca Ciega was up to the task, holding Tarpon Springs to 79 yards including minus-23 yards rushing.
Tarpon Springs got a late 22-yard field goal by Louis Zervos to take a 3-0 lead at halftime.
The Pirates got the ball first in the second half but immediately threw an interception that Damarkus Jones returned 24 yards for a touchdown. On the next drive Boca Ciega lost a fumble and four plays later Blanch found Dondre Daley for a 17-yard touchdown to make the score 17-0.
"As an offense we have to help our defense more," Pirates coach Antez Brinson said. "We can't have three-and-outs and commit turnovers."
Nathan Cowan, Times correspondent