PALM HARBOR — Boca Ciega led the entire way in the spring game at Palm Harbor University on Wednesday evening. The Pirates outlasted the Hurricanes 30-21 as big plays were made on both sides and hits were coming often.
Here's what we learned:
Wyatt Beasey loves to carry the load under center: The 5-foot-11, 165-pound Beasey may be a bit undersized and undervalued by opposing teams, but, boy, can he make plays. That was evident by the rising senior's scrambling ability and strong arm in this game. Beasey burned the Boca Ciega defense often, including on a 42-yard blazing run and a 35-yard touchdown strike to Zack Riddle.
"Wyatt Beasey is really good. He manages the offense great," Palm Harbor U. coach John Scargle said. "He has a really strong arm, but he loves to run the ball as you can tell. He's our fastest player. When he's out there managing the offense, no one is worried."
Taffrey Peterman is a rising sophomore to watch: Peterman certainly looked confident as the man under center for Boca Ciega. The 6-foot, 170-pounder has serious wheels that help allude defensive pressure and his mechanics are reliable as a passer. Peterman delivered a bullet to rising senior athlete Jruh Sourie for a 21-yard touchdown in the first quarter.
"I thought he played pretty well," Boca Ciega coach Max Smith said. "He's a young guy, so I came into the game more worried about the returning starters. Peterman has a nice understanding of the offense; that is why he won the job."
2019 Boca Ciega ATH Jruh Sourie (@JruhSourie) with a 21-yard TD grab. Taffery Peterman on the throw. @BogieFootball leads @PHUCANESFB 14-0 with 5:50 left in the 1st quarter. pic.twitter.com/2d4AGxXmw4— ᴊᴀᴋᴇ ᴘᴇʀᴘᴇʀ (@JakePerper) May 16, 2018
Boca Ciega's offense has plenty of weapons: Deven Foster, a rising senior wide receiver alongside rising sophomore running back Chris Phillips and Souri, give the Pirates a lot to work with offensively. Add in rising senior tight end Kyren Taylor and rising senior Seneca Evans and there is more to get excited about. Foster made tough third- and fourth-down grabs to move the chains. Phillips had an explosive 58-yard touchdown run in the first quarter and Evans bolted down the middle of the field for a 35-yard touchdown scamper in the third quarter.
PHU's defensive front is in regular-season mode: The Hurricanes defense made life tough time and time again for Boca Ciega's offensive attack.
Rising sophomores Dray'sun Bonney and Hunter Burnett were both around the ball often. Bonney was active as a sideline to sideline tackler while Burnett got a push up front with a sack and a couple of tackles for loss. Rising senior Tyler Milleman recovered a bad snap in the end zone for a touchdown.
"We started to run a couple stunts there to offset their zone read passing game," Scargle said. "We got a sack, a couple tackles for loss, a couple of fumbles and one for a touchdown. I was very impressed with the defensive line."
The Pirates defense is filled with athletes: Between rising seniors Kyren Taylor, Adrian Floyd, Foster, Dontres Williams and CJ Cutliff, the Boca Ciega defense has various athletes who can hold their own. Taylor hauled an interception on a tipped ball by rising sophomore linebacker Evan Graham. Floyd totaled three pass breakups and showed up as a pure cover corner.
Overall, Smith seemed pleased with his defensive group.
"We've changed some things up to suit our players," Smith said. "We try to get them to understand that schemes important, but at the end of the day you have to run to the football and play with effort. We have to continue to play harder and more physical on defense."