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Spongers sloppy but mistakes 'correctable'

Tarpon Springs’ Josiah Fisk looks for yardage against Gulf in a preseason game that had 135 yards in penalties.

KERI WIGINTON | Times

Tarpon Springs’ Josiah Fisk looks for yardage against Gulf in a preseason game that had 135 yards in penalties.

NEW PORT RICHEY — The preseason flatness shown by Gulf and Tarpon Springs in Friday night's first half — when the first-teamers played — may best be quantified by the passing numbers.

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Spongers senior Danny Reyes threw for 71 yards, Bucs junior Madison Burr threw for 16, and the officials threw for 135.

Amid the profusion of penalty flags, a hearty Des Little Stadium crowd — undeterred by a one-hour lightning delay to kickoff — saw two promising defenses, if little else, in the Spongers' 15-12 victory.

"We just didn't execute, and that's pretty much the bottom line," said Spongers coach George Kotis, who watched Reyes (5-for-13) and the rest of his first-string offense struggle before giving way to reserves in the second half.

"We had receivers drop balls, we had missed passes, missed blocks, but like I told the team, it's a preseason game and it's all correctable."

The Spongers led 7-6 at halftime on Reyes' 1-yard touchdown keeper set up by his 29-yard pass to Bobby Vavlas (two catches, 47 yards). The pass was preceded by a foiled Bucs fake-punt attempt on fourth and 15 at their 23.

While Reyes worked out his kinks, the running game failed to get untracked, managing only 40 first-half yards against a stiffened Bucs unit that allowed 29.5 points a game in 2007.

Similarly, the Spongers defense suffocated Burr, with senior defensive end Dre Danapas getting in on three sacks.

Tarpon Springs15
Gulf12

Spongers sloppy but mistakes 'correctable' 08/29/08 [Last modified: Saturday, August 30, 2008 12:12am]
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