CLEARWATER — To win football games, especially games this deep in the playoffs, teams need to limit mistakes.
Unless that team is Hollywood Chaminade-Madonna.
The Lions turned the ball over six times and committed 11 penalties for 115 yards. But they defeated Clearwater Central Catholic 16-0 Friday night in the Class 3A state semifinals.
It was the Marauders' second straight loss to the Lions in the playoffs. It was also the first time they have been shut out since 2012.
"It's a weird game," CCC coach Chris Harvey said. "But their defense is pretty stout. That team just flies around."
The Marauders (12-1) couldn't get anything going on offense. They turned the ball over five times, all on interceptions. They had a total of 152 yards on offense.
CCC's defense kept it in the game with turnovers and key stops. But the running of Willie Davis proved too much to contain. Davis ran for 221 yards on 31 carries and scored on a 33-yard first-half run, the only score in the half.
The Marauders were a bit fortunate to only be trailing 7-0 at halftime. On the Lions' first possession, JerJuan Newton came up with an interception to end a potential scoring drive. On their second possession, quarterback Daelen Menard threw a backward pass that was recovered by CCC's Johnny Newton.
The Lions followed that with another interception and another lost fumble. Four possessions, four turnovers.
The Marauders weren't that sharp either. They were intercepted twice and had four possessions end in punts. The lone highlight came early in the second quarter.
Davis plowed through a hole up the middle and outraced defenders to the end zone.
CCC had a 10-play drive in the final minutes of the half, but it turned the ball over on downs.
Chaminade-Madonna (11-2) marched down the field to start the third quarter. The drive stalled on the 17-yard line and it had to settle for a 34-yard field goal from Carter Davis.
The Lions' next drive ended with a 19-yard field goal from Davis.
The game was still within reach for CCC when the Lions lost a fumble on the first play of the fourth quarter. But the Marauders gave the ball back on an interception.
The last score of the game came midway through the fourth when Davis kicked a 32-yard field goal. That was set up by a 60-yard run by Davis that moved the ball from one 20-yard line to the other.
"Defensively we played well," Harvey said. "Our guys played hard and did exactly what we needed them to do.
"We just came up short this time."
This will be the third straight season Chaminade-Madonna will play for the Class 3A state title.