Tampa Bay Tech at Plant city
Gaither at Durant
CLEARWATER — Largo's Myrick Gwyn couldn't wait to take the field in the Packers' preseason game against Clearwater.
The Tornadoes wish he had never entered.
Gwyn, along with linebacker Sean Holte, were suspended by Largo coach Rick Rodriguez for the first quarter against Clearwater on Friday for disciplinary reasons carrying over from the spring.
Coming into the game for the first time at the start of the second quarter, Gwyn immediately showed why he's considered one of Pinellas' top playmakers. He fielded a punt at his own 40-yard line, curling around a wall of blockers down the left sideline and outsprinting the Tornadoes' coverage team untouched for a 60-yard punt return touchdown.
The score gave the Packers a 14-0 lead with 10:18 left in the second quarter. From there, the rout was on in a 38-8 Largo win.
"Man, it felt good. It felt real good actually," Gwyn said. "I didn't expect none of that to happen. It felt wonderful. I had a good block by (Jamarious) Boatwright, and I took it down the sideline, to the house."
Gwyn's return came after a sloppy opening for Largo, which fumbled the ball twice in the first quarter.
The Packers started building momentum as the quarter wound down and took a 7-0 lead with five seconds left when starting quarterback Jamar Riley spun 360 off a tackler on an option keeper then reversed field 46 yards to pay dirt.
Largo scored twice more in the second to take a 28-0 lead into halftime. D.J. Key, who gained 158 yards on 13 carries, rushed up the middle 55 yards for a touchdown and later shook off a hit in the backfield on a 5-yard touchdown run right before the half.
In the third, Charlie Howe was true on a 37-yard field goal, and Holte added a touchdown run from 9 yards out for a 38-0 Largo advantage.
Clearwater scored early in the fourth when A.J. Eastman bounced off the pile on a fullback dive and rumbled down the sideline 70 yards for a touchdown. Carlos Mobley took a pitch on a reverse and ran it into the end zone for the two-point conversion.