CLEARWATER — From the very get-go, Calvary Christian scored nearly at will against visiting Anclote.
On their first offensive play, Warriors running back Jordan Niles left a shiver of Sharks behind on a 58-yard run up the middle, the first score in the 61-13 blowout.
"Niles has been doing it all year and has a great start to his season," Calvary head coach Reggie Crume said of the junior. "But it starts with those guys up front and they paved the way."
Crume said the onslaught of points was not a message to the rest of the area.
"I don’t know if we’re trying to send any statements, we’re just trying to play our best football," Crume said. "I don’t think we’ve gotten there yet. Anclote came out strong and Coach (Matt) Kingsley is a great coach. But our guys came out and we were persistent."
The Warriors improved to 2-1, while offensive woes continued for the Sharks (0-2).
Niles didn’t waste much time scoring his second touchdown. A 54-yard pass from Harold Cook to Richie Ilarraza on third and 9 set up a 5-yard run by Niles just fewer than four minutes into the game.
Just more than four minutes after that, Cook hooked up with Ilarraza again on third and long, this time for a 26-yard score. Already leading 21-0, the Warriors recovered an onside kick, and 39 seconds later a 10-yard middle screen pass from Cook to Niles helped pushed the lead to 28-0.
Cook was 13-of-23 passing for 220 yards and six passing touchdowns. His favorite target was Ilarraza who caught six passes for 127 yards and three touchdowns.
"I still think his best football is ahead of him," Crume said of Cook, a junior. "He came out and had a good night — a good coming out party — just based on game flow. … He did a good job giving what the defense gave him."
If anybody could have matched the performance of the pass-catch duo, it was the running back Niles. He finished with 104 all-purpose yards (78 rushing, 26 receiving) and four touchdowns (two rushing, to receiving).
The short field the Warriors had to work with was largely a byproduct of strong defensive and special team’s play, which had been the team’s strength early in the season.
"Our defense has been lights out," Crume said of a unit that is allowing nine points per game on average. "My hat goes off to those guys and have put together a very good football season."