CLEARWATER — Big plays didn't just hurt Clearwater Central Catholic on Friday night, they cost the Marauders a game and handed Frostproof a lopsided 35-0 victory.
"We thought we played well," said CCC coach Mike Jalazo. "We thought we were playing hard … but in the second half it was just big plays. I'm proud of my kids' effort, but we just got our butts kicked."
The Bulldogs scored five touchdowns, each the direct result of a huge play.
In the first quarter, Eddie Smith had a 47-yard punt return to set up a short touchdown run. In the second quarter, Nickell Robey returned a punt 55 yards for a touchdown. At halftime, CCC had 108 offensive yards and Frostproof had 120, but the Marauders were down by 14. In the second half, it didn't get any better.
Bulldogs quarterback DJ Barnes hit Smith on a 65-yard touchdown pass, Robey scored on a 49-yard touchdown run and later scored on a 44-yard touchdown run.
"I think the big thing was our speed caught them a couple of times," Frostproof coach Brad Metheny said.
The Bulldogs' defense held CCC rusher Micah Poole to minus-4 yards on six carries. Quarterback Eric Miller was the leading rusher with 27 yards. Receiver Paul Freedman had a good game with five catches for 56 yards. The Marauders had 10 first downs — the Bulldogs only nine.
Frostproof improved to 7-1 and 2-0 in district play. CCC fell to 4-4 and 0-2 in district play.
"Tonight really didn't mean as much," Jalazo said. "If Cardinal Mooney beat Berkeley Prep, we play (them) in two weeks and if we beat them we're in a shootout. It's still kind of right in front of us."