ZEPHYRHILLS — For three quarters, the Zephyrhills Christian Warriors tried to loosen up Seffner Christian's defense of nine men in the box with a variety of passes and misdirections to mixed success. In the fourth quarter, with the game still in the balance, the Warriors decided to do what they do best — run straight at the Crusaders.
The result was two touchdowns, including a 41-yard touchdown run by quarterback Jacoby Braxton, which helped the Warriors (2-0) to a 26-7 home victory Friday over the Crusaders (0-1).
Key plays: Calvin Samuel went 43 yards for a score on the Warriors' first possession of the game to set the tone for ZCA.
Key drive: Leading 13-7 in the fourth quarter, the Warriors went on an eight-play 87-yard drive (all runs). The last run was a 6-yard scamper into the end zone by Alonzo Sampson to give the Warriors a two-score lead.
Stars of the game: Kavbion Marbra had two interceptions for ZCA. In addition to his game-high 109 yards rushing, Javion Hanner also added an interception. … Seffner Christian's Christian Helms caught five passes for 63 yards and a touchdown. Josh Gregory caught two passes for 56 yards for the Crusaders. Quarterback Isaiah Knowles passed for 144 yards and a touchdown.
Stats of the game: Zephyrhills Christian's defense held Seffner Christian to 25 yards rushing on 23 carries. … ZCA rushed for 212 of its 296 yards on the ground in the second half. … SCA's Knowles threw for 126 of his 144 yards passing and lone touchdown in the second half.
Final word: "We knew they were going to pack the box on us. We finally got going when we spread them but then we needed to be a little more physical and we said, 'Okay, if they pack it with seven, eight or nine let's just pound them.' " — Zephyrhills Christian coach Mike Smith