At Nature Coast Tech
Score: Nature Coast 33, Tarpon Springs 24
Spring game-breakers: Nature Coast appears to have found a suitable replacement for star RB Matt Breida, as DeShawn Smith broke loose for 221 yards and two first-half touchdowns. On his 80-yarder that opened the scoring, Smith fumbled the handoff and had to go backward to get the ball. He had 173 yards by halftime. … Jonathan Thomas turned the game in the Sharks’ favor with a 58-yard interception return to start the second half, putting NCT in front 24-21. … Rohan Blackwood had two sacks. … His counterpart on Tarpon was Mitchell Wilcox, who had two sacks and also caught a touchdown pass. … New Spongers starting QB Jarrett Battyanyi completed his first five passes, two for touchdowns, and ran for 56 yards on 22 carries. … Patrick Miller carried the load for the Spongers with 18 carries for 73 yards; no other running back carried the ball until the fourth quarter.
Did you know? Nature Coast lineman Nick Vogel is headed for basic training with the Army in Fort Benning, Ga., next month. He wants to split his training between the summers after his junior and senior seasons to accelerate the process.
Audible 1: “I’m just trying to keep up the tradition of No. 4 here.” Smith, on trying to fill Breida’s shoes. His best run was not a score, but a 41-yarder in the third quarter where he appeared hemmed in on the sideline but cut upfield.
Audible 2: “Nobody ever pronounces it right.” — Battyanyi, who says it rhymes with “Catania” from the law office commercial