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Northeast 35, Sarasota 21

Northeast roared back from a 21-0 halftime deficit to defeat rival Sarasota 35-21 in a non-district football game Friday night.

It was the first time the Vikings (6-1) have beaten the Sailors (2-6) since 1984.

Northeast scored three touchdowns in the first six minutes of the third quarter to tie the game and put itself in position for the victory.

Play of the Game: Germico Styles' 77-yard touchdown catch from Carl Jordan gave the Vikings the momemtum they needed to rally.

Players of the Game: Christopher Austin returned a fumble 20 yards for a touchdown which cut the deficit to 21-14 minutes after Styles scored Northeast's first touchdown. Styles capped a 70-yard drive with a 14-yard run to tie the game midway through the third quarter. Glenn Edwards returned an interception 50 yards with four minutes remaining to give Northeast a cushion.

Key Statistic: Styles caught three passes for 139 yards and scored two touchdowns. He also ran eight times for 58 yards to generate Northeast's offense in the second half.

They said it: "This is a nice one," Northeast coach Jerry Austin said. "I've probably lost around 54 games around here and 20-25 losses have been to teams south of the bridge. So yeah, this is sweet."

_ WAYNE McKNIGHT

St. Petersburg 44,

Pinellas Park 21

ST. PETERSBURG _ St. Petersburg nearly lost a big early advantage before pulling away with 3 touchdowns in the final 5:12 in a 44-21 homecoming victory against winless Pinellas Park.

The Green Gevils (3-4) scored a combined 41 points in the first and fourth quarters, but were outscored 21-3 by the Patriots (0-7) in the second and third.

Play of the game: The Pinellas Park offense didn't make a first down until 1:10 left in the first quarter. One play later, 6-foot-2, 230-pound defensive lineman Deaunte Sanders stepped in front of a screen pass and raced 60 yards for 21-0 St. Petersburg lead.

Players of the game: St. Petersburg junior Hubert Fuller rushed for more than 200 yards against Pinellas Park last year, but has been slowed in recent weeks by a knee injury. Nevertheless, he responded with 14 rushes for a game-high 119 yards and 2 touchdowns, including a 49-yard rumble in the Green Devils' opening outburst.

Pinellas Park sophomore Steve Shine rushed for 114 yards on 12 carries and scored once.

Key statistic: St. Petersburg completed just 1 pass, but it was big. The 13-yard reception came on a third-and-5 play that led to the clinching score late in the fourth quarter.

They said it: "My dad said I just had to start running, because I was favoring my (injured) knee," said Fuller, who also made a key third-down conversion in the clinching drive. "I just had to get my head straight."

_ WARREN HART

East Lake 28, Ridgewood 6

NEW PORT RICHEY _ Junior tailback Roy Manns rushed for 136 yards and accounted for three scores to lead East Lake to a 28-6 victory in a key Class 5A, District 7 contest.

Despite committing 12 penalties and turning the ball over three times, East Lake (4-3, 2-1) managed to keep its slim playoff hopes alive. The Eagles trail Clearwater and Tarpon Springs. Ridgewood, meanwhile, falls to 2-5 and 1-3 in 5A-7 play.

Ridgewood's lone score came on a 12-yard pass from Shane McCann to Nate Fraley.

Play of the game: At 5:46 in the second quarter with third-and-1, Manns broke through the line and outraced Ridgewood defenders 71 yards for a touchdown that broke the Rams' spirit.

Players of the game: Manns (10 carries for 136 and two touchdowns, plus a 7-yard TD reception. McCann (8-of-19 passing for 71 yards and one TD with two interceptions).

Key statistic: Ridgewood's failure to produce any rushing yards: Nine Rams carried the ball 30 times for a total of 56 yards.

They said it: East Lake coach Rob Jenkins: "Our mental mistakes hurt, but we were able to play physical. It wasn't a pretty exhibition, but we'll take the win."

_ ROD GIPSON

Largo 19, Boca Ciega 6

LARGO _ Largo made the Class 5A, District 8 race interesting with a 19-6 district win over Boca Ciega, leaving both teams district records at 2-2.

Play of the Game: It wasn't so much a play as it was a drive. On Largo's second possession in the first half, the Packers drove 80 yards on 13 consecutive runs, piling up five first downs and eating up 10:02 on the clock. The drive was capped by Ray Knighton's 11-yard touchdown run.

Players of the Game: Lakenji Cooper teetered toward the 100-yard mark, gaining 101, then losing seven yards to fall below 100. Finally, on his 19th carry, he gained 11 yards, giving him 105 yards to secure the plateau. Knighton was equally impressive, rushing for 69 yards through the middle of the Pirates defense and scoring all three Packers touchdowns. For Boca Ciega, Deon Jackson rushed for 52 yards on eight carries. Jontae Ferguson filled in for Sam Copeland, who was injured in the second quarter, and completed three passes. One of those completions went to Thomas McKinney for a 40-yard score.

Key Statistic: With an effective running game, Largo attempted only two passes.

They said it: "We're a different team now; we're more of a power team," Largo coach Jim Casey said, referring to his teams' rise after a slow start. "The defense also has started to come around."

"Part of my performance comes from the fact that we needed to step up because of the injury to Rubin Green," Cooper said. "The other half is that we needed to win."

_ BOB PUTNAM

Seminole 27, Countryside 14

SEMINOLE _ The Seminole Warhawks rolled up more than 200 yards in first-half offense to roll to a 27-14 win over Countryside in a non-district game.

Kevin MacNamee and Greg Jones keyed the Seminole (3-4) win with MacNamee getting 85 yards in rushing in the first half, while Jones was 7-14 in passing for 92 yards and a 14-0 lead.

Play of the game: Shannon Whiting, a sophomore wide receiver, took a short pass from Jones in the right flat, broke three tackles and scooted 35 yards for a touchdown to give Seminole a 27-6 cushion in the fourth quarter.

Players of the game: Jones, had 10 completions for 18 attempts and 165 yards in passing, with two touchdowns.

Key statistic: The Seminole defense held Countryside (2-6) to just 60 yards in offense in the first half, including 0-8 in passing.

They said it: "Our defense is playing better," Coach Sam Roper of Seminole said. "They have to, we've got some good teams coming up (Tarpon Springs, Northeast and Osceola).

_ JACK HOUGHTELING

River Ridge 37, CCC 3

CLEARWATER _ Clearwater Central Catholic (0-7) jumped to a 3-0 lead in the first quarter on Ethan Sevilla's 25-yard field goal, but then River Ridge's running backs broke out and its secondary clamped down.

Following an interception by Royal Knights' safety Cory Hawks, running backs Nate Shipman and John Malacos scored on respective runs of 21 and 2 yards in successive drives.

Play of the game: Shipman took a handoff at the Marauders 21 and blew through the line, jogging the last 5 yards of his touchdown jaunt.

Players of the game: Shipman rushed 17 times for 122 yards and two touchdowns. Malacos earned 126 yards and two touchdowns, including a 29-yarder on 12 rushes. Sevilla accounted for all of CCC's points.

Key statistic: Marauders quarterback Chris Defant, who threw for 205 yards against St. Petersburg Catholic last week, completed 8-of-24 for 89 yards and threw three interceptions.

They said it: "Tonight defensively, we played well in spurts," CCC coach John Davis said to his team. "On offense, we didn't help out at all. We didn't move the ball after the first quarter."

_ JOHN KOTSCH

Shorecrest 6, Lehigh 0

A late fourth-quarter interception deep in its territory allowed Shorecrest to squelch a Fort Myers Lehigh threat and raise the Chargers' record to 7-0 in a non-district game. Freshman kicker Tony Lazzara booted two field goals for Shorecrest's only points, his last one an apparent game-clinching 45-yarder with 4:08 left.

Play of the game: With less than two minutes remaining, Shorecrest senior defensive back Keith Begin stepped in front of a Rod Pasley pass at his own 10-yard line to preserve the win. The Chargers, ranked No. 2 in the Class 2A state poll, seemed certain of victory with Lazzara's second three-pointer. But Lehigh, led by senior running back Neketta Roger, moved 70 yards, deep into Shorecrest territory before Pasley's heroics.

Players of the game: Lazzara was an easy choice, along with senior quarterback Fred Meinke, who paced the Chargers with 115 total yards. He ran 10 times for 64 yards and completed three of 10 pass attempts for 51 yards.

Key statistic: The teams combined for 12 penalties for 140 yards, and the game came to a close with a bizarre melee. As Shorecrest attempted to take an intentional safety in the closing seconds, players from both teams scuffled in the Shorecrest end zone. Offsetting penalties were called and the safety was erased.

_ MIKE STRASSBAUGH

Elsewhere

Springstead 27, Dunedin 26: Dunedin's Sam Pitts had 117 yards passing and a touchdown, but Springstead (3-5, 1-3 in Class 5A, District 7) won when the Falcons misplayed an extra point attempt that would have tied the game. Dunedin (1-6, 1-2) led 20-17 going into the fourth quarter. The game saw four lead changes.

Broward Christian 13, Admiral Farragut 10: Quarterback Corey Pierson ran for a touchdown and threw for the other to lead Broward Christian over Admiral Farragut Friday afternoon.

Pierson tied the game 7-7 in the first quarter on a 5-yard run, and threw a 33-yard scoring strike to Chris Prince to give Broward the lead for good. Quarterback Ryan Leasure had put the Blue Jackets (2-5) on top early with a 1-yard run.

Jacksonville Trinity 72, Indian Rocks Chr. 0: Chip Frazier ran for three touchdowns as Trinity raced to a 36-0 first-quarter lead on its way to the shutout. Trinity (5-2) averaged 11 yards a carry and held the Golden Eagles (1-6) to 60 total yards.

Barons' game canceled: Because of a scheduling problem, St. Petersburg Catholic did not play Orlando Lake Highland Friday night. The contract for the game was not signed and Lake Highland scheduled a game for today against Fort Lauderdale Westminster.

_ SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

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