Make us your home page

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

(View our Privacy Policy)

Preseason football: Gibbs 27, Tarpon Springs 23

TARPON SPRINGS — Gibbs and Tarpon Springs both entered Friday's preseason game with questions surrounding their offensive lines.

After the Gladiators' 27-23 victory, the Spongers will enter the regular season with work to do.

Tarpon Springs quarterback Louis Pappas began the night in bright fashion with an 80-yard strike to transfer Dondre Daley for a touchdown, but Pappas faced heavy pressure and was sacked seven times.

"Our offensive line is young and we know they're going to learn from this game," said Pappas, who was 5-of-14 for 100 yards. "We'll take things away from this game, learn from it and we know we have plenty of weapons to be a major factor this season."

Pappas was missing two of those weapons at wide receiver. Senior Runaldo Wright and junior Kenyatta Merriex missed practice last week and were held out by Spongers coach Atif Austin.

Daley exhibited electricity with his third-quarter catch along the left sideline in which the 6-foot-3 transfer from Anclote sped past the Gladiators secondary, featuring Gary Simon, to put Tarpon Springs ahead 16-13.

Gibbs running back Emmanuel Stewart scored on a 22-yard run soon after Daley's TD for a 20-16 lead late in the third.

On the Spongers' next drive Kenny Blanch, another transfer, ran twice, bowling over defenders to set up a 1-yard touchdown run by Pappas for a 23-20 lead.

Gibbs' Gary Simon made the play of the game when he darted across the middle for a catch, then eluded two defenders on his way to an 82-yard score for the final margin.

"We have the athletes, we have the players that can get it done in the backfield, at quarterback, on the outside," said Simon, who had four receptions for 142 yards. "Everyone was talking about how we didn't have an offensive line. Well, we have that now too, so it's all about putting everything together."

Preseason football: Gibbs 27, Tarpon Springs 23 08/27/11 [Last modified: Saturday, August 27, 2011 12:44am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. The greatest coaches never to win it all


    As foregone conclusions go, some things are approaching the death-and-taxes stratosphere: summer humidity in Florida, a Kardashian seeking attention, and Mike Martin coming up short in Omaha.

    Florida State coach Mike Martin walks to the mound to talk to pitcher Cole Sands during the second inning of the team's NCAA College World Series baseball game against LSU Wednesday in Omaha, Neb. [AP photo]
  2. With trade freeze over, Lightning could be active


    With the dust settling on the expansion draft saga, the Lightning can now focus on addressing some of its needs.

    The Lightning could target a veteran defenseman on the market, such as MInnesota's Matt Dumba.
  3. NBA draft: Jonathan Isaac could make FSU history tonight


    Florida State forward Jonathan Isaac will probably hear his name called early in tonight's NBA draft.

  4. USF walk-on tight end Palmore faces charge of credit card fraud


    A University of South Florida football player faces charges of fraudulent use of a credit card and petit theft following his arrest by Temple Terrace police on Monday.

    USF senior tight end Adrian Palmore faces charges of fraudulent use of a credit card and petit theft after his arrest by Temple Terrace police on June 19, 2017. [Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office]
  5. Rowdies defender gets the call to represent Jamaica


    ST. PETERSBURG —- Damion Lowe has loved his first season with the Rowdies but has some other soccer-related business that might pull him away for a bit.

    Family business, too.

    Tampa Bay Rowdies defender Damion Lowe collides with Louisville City FC forward Luke Spencer earlier this year.