ORLANDO — Indian Rocks Christian led the Royals at the half 14-13, then took a 28-13 lead with just under four minutes left in the third quarter. That's when things got interesting as the Royals stormed back with two touchdowns in the final 13 seconds of the third quarter, tying the score at 27 with the JV players ready to play out the string in the fourth quarter. The game had a lightning delay of more than an hour.
Drive of the game: Indian Rocks Christian showed its ground-and-pound formula on an 11-play, 98-yard drive in the second quarter that featured eight rushes for 90 yards and even a play-action boot that extended the drive for the Golden Eagles. By the end of the night, the visitors from Largo had racked up 275 yards on the ground and had re-established their stable of running backs into midseason form.
Play of the game: The play of the game for IRC came when Theo Anderson's efforts on the defensive side turned a sack into a fumble recovery that thwarted what looked to be a First Academy touchdown in the making.
Stars of the game: Anderson's 157 yards on just seven carries and two touchdowns.
Final word: "I don't know if it's a tale of two halves. We played really well on offense, our younger kids kind of got into a fire drill at the end and I don't think we were ready to sub all those kids in at one time, but overall we were really pleased with the effort tonight and look forward to getting the regular season underway." — IRC coach Mark Buchanan
Doug Pugh, Times correspondent