TAMPA — After leading 6-0 at the break, Tampa Bay Tech wore down visiting Chamberlain in the second half to pitch a 25-0 shutout Friday night.
This marked the teams’ first matchup since 2012 and now the Titans have won five consecutive games dating to 2009. Graduating 18 starters, Tampa Bay Tech didn’t seem unprepared one bit.
The Titans (1-0) came charging out of the gates following a 45-yard kick return from senior Bobby Moore. Five plays later, on fourth and goal from the 1-yard line, senior running back Osmanis Aguilera pounced in for a score to put Tampa Bay Tech ahead 6-0.
No scoring came until the 8:08 mark of the third quarter when the Titans recorded a safety on a high snap on a long punt.
Aguilera recorded his second score, another 1-yard touchdown run at the 1:03 mark in the third quarter to put his side ahead 18-0. He finished the night with 17 touches for 107 yards and two scores, filling the void left behind by 2019 graduated and current Florida State running back Treshaun Ward.
“(Aguilera) performed the way we knew he would. He’s a big physical presence who runs with great vision. There are not many high school linebackers who are going to take on a 220-pound back,” Tampa Bay Tech coach Jayson Roberts said. “So, eventually, he wore them down and started open up things for the other backs to have success.”
Chamberlain was hanging around for much of three quarters, but the offense failed to score and the defense was on the field a lot trying to stop the combination of Aguilera and junior quarterback David Wright (47 rushing yards).
“Our game plan defensively, we knew they were a team that made a lot of plays, the quick screen game with the inside trap,” Roberts said. “Me and my co-coordinator, we worked all week long devising a plan to take away their top guys. Offensively, our game plan was to be a bunch of bullies and wear them down.”
The final score of the night came at the 9:43 mark of the fourth quarter on a 2-yard touchdown run from sophomore Chris Perkins.
Tampa Bay Tech’s defense racked up four sacks including two from junior linebacker Matthew Myles. The Titans defense held Chamberlain senior running back Antony Guzman to 39 yards on 13 touches.
The Titans also earned a fumble recovery from freshman lineman Donteye Drew. Junior defensive back Steven Parker was very active with eight tackles.
Chamberlain’s defense had one sack from Wake Forest commit James Ash. The senior also piled up seven tackles alongside junior cornerback Nick Poole’s six-tackle evening.
“James Ash is one of the best athletes in the country. Wake Forest is so blessed to receive such a quality human being,” Chamberlain coach Jason Lane said. “He played both sides of the ball, never complained about the score, remained positive, led our team and didn’t ask to come out one time. He went out there fighting for us and that is the heart and soul of our team and mentality.”
Both teams failed to get much going through the air as the two quarterbacks, Wright and Chamberlain junior Bruce Jackson, combined for 9-of-22 attempts for 97 yards. Just one catch came in the second half, a 10-yard grab by Chiefs senior Joe Hodge.
Tampa Bay Tech used all the motivation it could get after coming into this season with a new-look group following seven playoff appearances over the past eight years.
“The rankings don’t mean anything to me, but they mean something to the players and we just used it as motivation,” Roberts said. “We talked about that and how respect is earned and not given, and we have to do it week after week and dominate. We are off to a good start.”
Up next: Tampa Bay Tech hosts Plant City while Chamberlain welcomes East Bay for a home tilt.