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Forced fumble is Pasco's big play

DADE CITY — Jarrod Carmody has a nickname that probably makes sense only to Pasco coach Tom McHugh.

A engineer at heart, McHugh dubs his outside linebacker "concrete and rebar" because he's tough and he'll battle.

During Pasco's 13-12 win against North Marion on Friday, the senior propelled the Pirates into the state semifinals practically by himself.

With the Colts getting the ball on Pasco's 35-yard line after a poor punt by Brennan Allen, North Marion had 1 minute, 40 seconds to make something happen. The Colts stayed true to their game plan, getting back to the only sure thing they'd had all night: handing off to star running back Eddie Rocker. At that point, Rocker had a game-high 25 carries for 117 yards.

Rocker got the handoff again, only to be met by the 6-foot-1, 185-pound Carmody, and Rocker did what he had earlier in the game: he fumbled.

Carmody stripped the ball out of Rocker's grasp.

And he recovered the ball, too.

"I knew it needed to be done, I knew we needed the ball, so it's just something you do almost automatically," Carmody said. "It was the key thing that we needed to get the ball back and run out the clock."

Carmody had been wrapping up Rocker all game and was part of a defense that forced six turnovers (three fumbles, three interceptions). Middle linebacker Tim Saylor, the Pirates' leader on defense, expected nothing less from his fellow linebacker.

"It was an unbelievable play," said Saylor, who blocked a point-after attempt. "He comes up big for us all the time and it just came down to him doing what needed to be done and doing what he did. It was typical for him.

"(The Colts) were good, so not to take anything away from them, but coaches always say you may need the big play."

The Pirates got it from Carmody, the first player embraced by McHugh after the postgame prayer.

"All the plays are the play of the game," Carmody said. "If you take out one play, then every play can be the same, and at the beginning of the season, I'd never dream we'd be headed to the final four in all this."

Forced fumble is Pasco's big play 12/05/08 [Last modified: Monday, December 8, 2008 11:59am]
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