PINELLAS PARK — Despite a 35-12 loss to Bradenton Bayshore, Pinellas Park coach Kenny Crawford remained positive.
"We were picked to be a playoff team, and we will be," he said.
The junior varsity squads played the first quarter, the Bruins taking a 14-0 lead. When the Patriots took the field, they put together a 75-yard drive keyed by a 41-yard Marquis Samuel run. A few plays later, Brandon Hames led Iman Smith with a 29-yard pass that made it 14-6.
Soon after, the Patriots recovered a fumble at the Bruins 26. But a Hames interception led to a 14-play drive that ended with a touchdown and 21-6 deficit.
In the second half, Pinellas Park failed to score from the 1. Bayshore then went on a 16-play drive that culminated in a 9-yard touchdown pass that made it 28-6.
Art Nagle hooked up with Josh Green for a 29-yard score that cut the lead to 28-12.
Crawford acknowledged his team has a lot of hard work ahead.
"We better stop believing all the hype," Crawford said. "We got here by outworking people, and we haven't been doing that."
Anthony Salveggi, Times correspondent