LARGO — If time of possession meant anything, Fort Meade would have been toast.
But how long does it take to score on a 93-yard run? (Eight seconds.) To complete a 20-yard pass? (Seven seconds.) And to score on a 35-yard run up the middle. (You get the picture.)
The Miners thrive on the big play and had just enough of them to clinch their 10th straight district title with a 15-2 victory over Indian Rocks Christian.
"We weren't able to stop the big one when we needed to," Golden Eagles coach Mark Buchanan said.
Fort Meade, ranked No. 1 in Class 2A, came in scoring more than 40 points per game. As a result, IRC knew its best chance to win was to play ball control.
And the Golden Eagles did just that. They gave the ball to running backs Jonny Sitton and Lou Mason early and often. Both gained tough yards and got first downs. More important, it kept the ball away from Fort Meade.
Trouble was, the few times the Miners (8-0) had the ball, they made something happen.
On their second series, Tamorris Grace raced 93 yards to make it 7-0 in the second quarter.
Still, the Golden Eagles stayed on the ground. Their drives stalled, but they often were able to pin Fort Meade deep in its territory. Still down 7-0 in the third quarter, IRC got a break when a snap sailed over the head of the Miners' punter for a safety.
At the start of the fourth, the Golden Eagles (8-1) had the momentum and moved the ball to the Miners 25. But IRC failed on fourth down.
By that point, the Golden Eagles had run 52 plays to the Miners' 20. But Fort Meade was finally able to eat up the clock on a nine-play, 75-yard drive capped by Jimmy Office's 35-yard scoring run. The Miners added a two-point conversion on a pass from Rumeal Carlton to Maurice Russel.
"We had to fight with everything we had to get this win," Fort Meade coach Mike Hayde said. "Indian Rocks is one of the better teams in this district. This is the first time we've been tested all year."