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Football: St. Petersburg 27, Largo 21

Published Aug. 25, 2018|Updated Aug. 25, 2018

LARGO — St. Petersburg stopped Largo on fourth and 1 at the 36-yard line with 1:12 remaining to hold on for a 27-21 win Saturday.

The Green Devils (1-0) had a 21-14 lead at halftime and blocked a punt in the third quarter to get a first down at the Largo 24. Tonio Shavers completed a 10-yard pass to Seyvion Scott on a third and 2 to get a first and goal at the Packers' 9. Two plays later, Shavers called his own number to score from 2 yards out to take a 27-14 lead.

"Toni showed a lot of maturity there and hit a big pass," Green Devils coach Joe Fabrizio said. "He made a couple of mistakes today but he bounced back and he didn't let them keep him down. It was a good to see."

Largo (0-1) stumbled on offense for much of the second half but got a big play at the right time late in the third quarter when recent Anclote transfer Manny Higgins hauled in a pass from Keon Gulley and went 58 yards for a touchdown to make the score 27-21.

The Packers had several opportunities in the fourth quarter to pull out to win but could not take advantage of turnovers and favorable field position.

After recovering a fumble, Largo had a first down at the Green Devils' 40 but Gulley threw an interception to Jeremie Robinson.

The Packers, however, got another turnover when Higgins intercepted Shavers and returned the ball inside the Green Devils' 10 but was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct, pushing Largo back to the 22. Two plays later Khaishef Edwards fumbled and St. Petersburg defensive back Andre Dixon recovered.

"We had a lot of opportunities but we couldn't cash in," Packers coach Marcus Paschal said. "There were penalties and turnovers and we just didn't execute the game plan as well as we should have. But we'll bounce back from this."

The first half was full of big plays. St. Pete took the opening drive and scored on a 17-yard run from Aumhryaun Brown to take a 7-0 lead.

Largo answered after an interception by Keylen Gulley set up the Packers with first down at the St. Petersburg 11. Two plays later Edwards scored from 10 yards out to tie the score.

Edwards struck again at the end of the first period when he scored on a 43-yard pass from Gulley to make the score 14-7.

"We knew we had to look out for their passing game and I thought we did a great job," Fabrizio said. "They caught us a couple of times on the big plays but for the most part our kids were great. We had a great week of practice and we're going to start the year 1-0. That's a good feeling."

St. Petersburg answered back as Dixon picked off Gulley and returned it 52 yards for a touchdown to tie the score 14-14. Near the end of the first half, St. Petersburg had third and 21 at its 46, but Shavers completed a screen to Artez Hooker for a 54-yard score and 21-14 lead at halftime.

"Give credit to Coach Fabrizio and St. Pete because they did a great job and came to play," Paschal said. "We're going to learn from this and get better during the week…working hard in practice so this doesn't happen again."

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