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Largo 19, Dunedin 7

DUNEDIN — Largo's offensive strategy seemed all wrong. Play-action passes on key downs? Fade patterns to loosen things up? A middle screen?

Could this be the same program that was built on running the football and has stayed on the ground throughout the season?

It is.

The Packers went against their tendencies by throwing for 174 yards. The result was a 19-7 victory over rival Dunedin.

"We were able to make some nice adjustments with our passing game," Largo coach Rick Rodriguez said. "Mostly because we couldn't get the running game going."

It's not as though the Packers abandoned their running game.

Largo had 30 rushing attempts and threw just 12 times. It's what happened when they put the ball in the air that was special.

In the first half, Packers quarterback Ryan Eppes got the offense going on his first big play, a high, arching pass that Mike Lang caught over his shoulder for a 35-yard gain.

That set up Largo's first score, a 20-yard field goal by Charles Howe. Howe also hit a 40-yard field goal to give the Packers a 6-0 lead at the half.

Then Largo broke the game open.

On its first possession in the third quarter, the Packers scored on a 48-yard pass from Eppes to Sean Holte on a middle screen.

After forcing a punt, Largo (4-0) scored again, this time on a 37-yard play-action pass from Eppes to Lang. The extra point failed and the Packers led 19-0.

"The big thing we wanted to do was attack them with the deep ball," said Lang, who had 86 yards receiving on three receptions. "It set the tempo."

Dunedin (3-2) never recovered. Falcons quarterback Ryan Singer was sacked five times and running back Darius Bellamy managed just 35 yards rushing before leaving in the third quarter with a sprained shoulder.

In the fourth quarter, Dunedin scored on a 16-yard run by Kim Howard, but it was too late.

"Largo's the best in the county," Falcons coach Mark Everett said. "We couldn't get anything going tonight."

Largo 19
Dunedin 7

Largo 19, Dunedin 7 10/04/08 [Last modified: Monday, October 13, 2008 1:36pm]

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