LARGO — The barrage of big plays that left Clearwater and Largo wobbly when they played in the spring was not evident in Thursday's preseason rematch.
The Packers slowed the pace, dictating the tempo with a ball-control offense and suffocating defense.
And after holding on in a wild spring game, Largo made sure there were no close calls this time in a convincing 13-0 victory in the three quarters both varsity teams played; the final score was 27-0 with the JV.
"We were embarrassed the way we played on defense the last time," Packers coach Rick Rodriguez said. "We have a lot of young guys and they improved a lot in the summer."
After forcing the Tornadoes to punt on the opening series, Largo was methodical on offense, mixing effective inside runs with short passes to pick up four first downs before its first drive stalled.
The Packers didn't produce points but they set the pace. Clearwater quarterback Ryan Hagen was harassed by heavy pressure throughout the first half. When Largo had the ball, it played keep away with clock-eating drives. With nearly four minutes left in the second quarter, the Packers were leading in the number of plays (23-9) and time of possession (14:11-4:49).
It paid off as Largo went ahead on a Derek Doss 8-yard run. Charles Howe's extra point gave the Packers a 7-0 halftime lead.
"The first time we played in the spring we were physically ready, but not mentally," Doss said. "We were a lot more focused for this one."
In the third quarter, Harry Brown scored on a 1-yard run and Largo was up 13-0.
Packers quarterback Juwan Brown was 10-of-12 for 82 yards and completed passes to six receivers. The Tornadoes managed just 81 yards of total offense and four first downs.
In the fourth quarter, Largo tacked on two more touchdowns from its junior varsity squad.