Make us your home page
Instagram

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: Sickles 34, Tampa Catholic 20

TAMPA — Ideally, a preseason game provides at least a few answers for both sidelines. Yet the two most glaring questions Friday at Sickles High remained unresolved after four quarters.

Sickles High officials provided no specific answers for coach Brian Turner's absence, and Tampa Catholic found no answer for Gryphons tailback Ray Ray McCloud.

Logging more action than either team bargained for, the 174-pound junior ran for 210 yards and three TDs, and scored on returns of 50 and 90 yards in the Gryphons' 34-20 preseason triumph against the Crusaders.

Turner will return next week, Gryphons principal Jake Russell said. Billy Turner, the local 76-year-old icon who replaced his son on an interim basis Friday, wouldn't address the absence.

"We're just dealing with an issue," Russell said. "He's out this week and he'll be back next week."

Upon Brian Turner's return, he may not see another effort from McCloud like the one the Division I prospect delivered on a muggy, mostly rain-free night. Yet the performance inspired as much apology as awe.

Billy Turner acknowledged his son's plan — agreed to with TC beforehand — was to remove most starters after one series in the third quarter. But a lack of depth, and a frustrating failure to put TC away, changed things.

Crusaders junior backup Ben Reed's 73-yard scoring run with 7:29 to play cut TC's deficit to 27-20, prompting Gryphons coaches to reinsert McCloud. Eight plays later, he capped an 80-yard drive with an 8-yard TD run to seal things.

"We've got some potential, we're just very thin," said Billy Turner, whose team committed three turnovers and was whistled for more than 120 penalty yards. "We couldn't substitute; we had nobody to put in."

After managing only 35 first-half yards, TC mounted a five-play, 60-yard drive — capped by Kyle Ploucher's 30-yard TD pass to Isiah Osby — early in the third.

That cut TC's deficit to 14-7. Ploucher later trimmed it to 20-14 with a 6-yard scoring strike to Trajan Herr, and ensuing two-point throw to Justin Vertino. McCloud answered with a 90-yard kick return for a TD, giving him roughly 350 all-purpose yards on the night.

"Obviously our tackling is the main thing we're going to need to work on from here on out," first-year Crusaders coach Mike Gregory said. "We had guys in the right spots and we just didn't make plays."

Today's game

Tallahassee Godby vs. Plant, Raymond James Stadium, 3

Sickles34
Tampa Catholic20

Preseason football: Sickles 34, Tampa Catholic 20 08/24/13 [Last modified: Friday, August 23, 2013 11:59pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Rays late-night bullpen shuffle: Alvarado, Pruitt down; Kolarek up

    Blogs

    The Rays shuffled their bullpen again after Tuesday's game, sending down struggling LHP Jose Alvarado along with RHP Austin Pruitt to Triple-A Durham, and turning next to LHP Adam Kolarek, who will make his major-league debut at age 28,

  2. Rays journal: Alex Cobb brilliant, Alex Colome worrying in 10-inning victory (w/video)

    The Heater

    PITTSBURGH — RHP Alex Cobb couldn't have been much better for the Rays on Tuesday, taking a no-hitter into the seventh inning while working eight solid. And Alex Colome couldn't have been much worse, blowing a two-run ninth-inning lead.

    Rays starter Alex Cobb carries a no-hitter into the seventh and pitches eight shutout innings in his best outing of the season.
  3. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Tuesday's Rays-Pirates game

    The Heater

    RHP Alex Cobb continues to look better and better, which could make the decision whether to trade him tougher. Cobb had a no-hitter through six and threw his biggest pitch with a 1-0 lead in the seventh, getting Josh Bell to roll into a double play.

  4. For good of the Rays, Tim Beckham should embrace move to second

    The Heater

    PITTSBURGH — The acquisition of slick-fielding shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria said a lot of things, most notably that the Rays are serious about making in-season moves to bolster their chances to make the playoffs, with a reliever, or two, next on the shopping list.

    PITTSBURGH, PA - JUNE 27:  Tim Beckham #1 of the Tampa Bay Rays celebrates with teammates after scoring during the eighth inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park on June 27, 2017 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) 700011399
  5. Rays at Pirates, 7:05 p.m. Wednesday, Pittsburgh

    The Heater

    Tonight: at Pirates

    7:05, PNC Park, Pittsburgh

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    PORT CHARLOTTE, FL - FEBRUARY 18:  Blake Snell #4 of the Tampa Bay Rays poses for a portrait during the Tampa Bay Rays photo day on February 18, 2017 at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Floida.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)