DUNEDIN — Seniors Patrick Miller and Montel Johnson scored two touchdowns each as Tarpon Springs defeated Dunedin 44-7 on Friday night.
Miller finished with 104 yards on the ground, while Johnson tallied 78 rushing yards and 88 receiving yards.
The Spongers (3-1, 1-0) opened district play without starting quarterback Jarrett Battyanyi and running back Michael Ford, both out with injuries.
“A lot of people think all we have is Michael Ford. We’ve got a few other running backs and a few other athletes on this team,” Tarpon Springs coach Ron Hawn said.
Backup quarterback Brandon Casler was efficient, completing 6-of-8 passes for 124 yards and two touchdowns.
Tarpon Springs struck first on a 3-yard touchdown run by Miller. The Spongers then surprised the Falcons (1-3, 0-1) with an onside kick. Tarpon Springs recovered the kick and scored on a 1-yard run by Johnson.
Dunedin fought back as freshman Janero Crankfield connected with Jayven Fitzpatrick on a 14-yard touchdown to cut the deficit to 21-7 at the half. Crankfield, making his first varsity start, finished with 95 yards on 13 carries.
In the second half, the Spongers defense and special teams were on display. Tarpon Springs forced a safety and Maurice Turner returned the ensuing kick for a touchdown.