Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Jesuit 42, Middleton 17

TAMPA — Among the playoff ramifications in Friday's Class 2A-5 district showdown between Jesuit and Middleton, there was the story of a backup running back and a coaching legend.

Jesuit junior running back Miles Bennett stepped into Middleton's home stadium Friday knowing it would likely be the first and last time he'd get to play there. After all, there aren't many opportunities when an opposing player gets to play at the stadium named after his grandfather, legendary former Middleton and Blake coach Abe Brown.

"I knew it would be my only chance," Bennett said. "I wanted to make it memorable."

So when Bennett steamrolled into the end zone with a third-quarter 12-yard touchdown run that was part of 28 unanswered second-half Jesuit points in the Tigers' 42-17 win over Middleton, he had his moment.

"He's a kid who has an abundance of athletic talent," Jesuit coach Joe Ross said. "What better place to show it than on your granddad's field?"

Brown was at the game — he has been at practically every one of Bennett's since he was in pee wees. Brown sat on the Middleton side for the first half, then went to the Jesuit side for the second half.

With its win, Jesuit (7-1, 4-1) put itself in the driver's seat to earn a playoff berth with a win over St. Petersburg Catholic.

"Tonight I felt like it was a playoff atmosphere," Jesuit senior starting running back Robby Garcia said. "Both teams knew what was at stake."

Garcia took control early, running for 109 of his game-high 151 yards in the first half, but when Garcia sustained a dislocated shoulder, the Tigers turned to Bennett.

"I've been waiting for my chance for it seems like forever," said Bennett, who ran for 75 yards in Jesuit's 255-yard ground attack. "After that (touchdown) carry, I just felt relieved. I wanted the game to be over right there."

And in the Jesuit stands, a grandfather was proud.

"It was excellent," said Brown, 82. "I've been telling him just to wait his turn, not to rush it, that his time would come with patience."

And there was no better place for forever to arrive.

Jesuit42
Middleton17

Jesuit 42, Middleton 17 10/31/09 [Last modified: Saturday, October 31, 2009 12:28am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. For starters: Rays vs. Angels and Trout, with Odorizzi on mound

    Blogs

    After losing Sunday's game but winning a third straight series, the Rays open a four-game series tonight against the Angels and Mike Trout.

    RHP Jake Odorizzi will be on the mound for the Rays, RHP J.C. Ramirez for the Angels.

    Evan Longoria is getting a DH day, so the Rays have rookie Daniel …

    Jake Odorizzi will be on the mound for the Rays.
  2. Lightning's Swedes live their dream in Worlds

    Blogs

    You could see it in his face.

    Lightning defenseman Anton Stralman screamed as he hoisted the World Championship trophy Sunday afternoon in Cologne, Germany, and it looked like an exhale that was years in the making. Stralman kissed the forehead of Swedish teammate Joel Lundqvist, the joy unmistakable.

    Victor Hedman of Sweden celebrate with his teammates after scoring the opening goal in the gold-medal game against Canada.
  3. Starting at top: O.J. Howard becomes first Bucs rookie to sign

    Blogs

    The Bucs have begun the process of signing their rookie draft picks and they started at the top.

    Alabama tight end O.J. Howard has signed a four-year contract with a fifth-year club option with the Bucs.
  4. Hey, somebody really ought to write about this Aaron Judge guy

    Blogs

    He can catch, too.

    It's no tall tale.

    Aaron Judge, The Amazing Colossal Man, has come and gone, but not before he stunned the Rays with a diving, game-saving catch in the sixth inning of Yankees 3-2 win Sunday at Tropicana Field. The 6-foot-7, 282-pound Judge robbed Evan Longoria of an RBI double and helped …

    Aaron Judge stunned the Rays with a diving, game-saving catch in the sixth inning of Yankees 3-2 win Sunday at Tropicana Field.
  5. FSU, Gators, USF and Miami all in Athlon preseason top 25

    Blogs

    The college football preseason magazines are trickling in, as our Joey Knight wrote earlier.