HOLIDAY — The usual preseason mistakes were littered throughout the Land O'Lakes-Anclote game Friday night, as both teams found it difficult at times to get off plays or even complete passes.
But for the Gators, it was their running game that separated them from the Sharks, as two-way star Shadow Williams and running back Vinny Trott combined for 123 yards on the ground to lead Land O'Lakes to a sloppy 36-0 victory.
"We've got a lot of things we can work on, and that's the biggest thing we saw from the sidelines," Land O'Lakes coach Brian Wachtel said. "We have a lot of areas we can fine-tune and we just have to build from there.
"On defense, we're flying around and on both sides of the ball we did a good job."
What was thought to be a passing-oriented attack turned into a grind-it-out assault on the Sharks' defense, with the Gators rushing for 79 yards compared with 55 yards passing in the first half.
Gators quarterback Ryan Bird (7-of-23, 111 yards) had a hard time finding receivers and when the senior was able to find his targets, he was hampered by several dropped balls. Kent Taylor, Rivals.com's No. 1-rated tight end in the country, had a relatively quiet night, catching three passes for 67 yards and one score, a 43-yard catch-and-run with 2:26 left in the third quarter to give the Gators a 30-0 lead.
Land O'Lakes' defense limited Anclote to four first downs and 34 yards of total offense, including zero yards passing. Sharks quarterback John Forgione was harassed all night and completed only 3 of 5 passes for 4 yards.
"Offensively we just could not get anything going," Anclote coach Matt Wicks said.