ST. PETERSBURG — Admiral Farragut dominated visiting Keswick Christian on Friday night, winning their Class 2A, Region 3 quarterfinal 52-10.
The Blue Jackets (7-3) scored touchdowns on their first three possessions to take a 21-3 lead at the end of the first quarter. Quarterback Tonio Shavers accounted for two of them: an 82-yard pass to Courtney Eubanks and a 1-yard keeper.
Raymond Walker got Admiral Farragut on the board with a 4-yard run on the game's opening drive. He would add a 14-yard rushing score about midway through the third.
Martel Mott's 6-yard TD put the Blue Jackets up 28-3 in the second, and they seemed poised to add to it as they reached the Keswick Christian 24. But defensive end Luke Bacon intercepted a Shavers pass and rumbled 76 yards the other way for a touchdown with five seconds remaining in the first half.
Keswick Christian (7-4) could muster only three points on offense: a 26-yard field goal by Josh Nordaas on its opening drive, which was also the team’s longest. After that, the Blue Jackets’ defense held the Crusaders in check for the rest of the half, forcing them to punt on four drives (including three three-and-outs) and recovering a fumble on another.
“Our defense has played well all season,” said Admiral Farragut coach Rick Kravitz.
The dominance continued in the second half, as the Blue Jackets held the Crusaders to just 9 yards rushing and 52 yards passing, while coming up with two interceptions (Mott and Jaden Shorter). For the game, they limited Keswick Christian to 161 yards of offense.
Although it struggled, Keswick put together an impressive drive in the third quarter, taking the ball from its own 23 to the Admiral Farragut 17 on the strength of two completions of 12 and 30 yards, as well as a 15-yard penalty. But Mott stopped the drive when he intercepted Silas Schoel's pass at the goal line.
On the change of possession, and with time winding down in the third quarter, Uriah Jenkins took the handoff from the 1 and powered 99 yards up the middle for the score that gave the Blue Jackets a 35-point lead and commenced a running clock. They would score once more following a Crusaders turnover. Shorter’s interception gave Admiral Farragut the ball at the Keswick Christian 40, and Eubanks ran it in a few plays later from the 15.
“They’re a well-coached team,” Kravitz said of the Crusaders. “You just take the win and be happy you got it. Now we’ve got a real challenge with (No. 1 seed) Cambridge Christian.” Cambridge Christian beat Farragut 27-9 earlier this season.
Region football semifinals
All games 7:30 p.m. next Friday.
Class 2A, Region 3
• No. 3 Seffner Christian at No. 2 Northside Christian
• No. 4 Admiral Farragut at No. 1 Cambridge Christian
Class 3A, Region 3
• No. 5 Clearwater Central Catholic at No. 1 Berkeley Prep
Class 4A, Region 3
• No. 4 Clewiston at No. 1 Lakewood
• No. 3 Tampa Catholic at No. 2 Delray Beach American Heritage
Class 5A, Region 3
• No. 8 Chamberlain at No. 4 Jesuit
Class 5A, Region 2
• No. 4 Nature Coast at No. 1 Orlando Jones
Class 6A, Region 2
• No. 5 Clearwater at No. 1 Gaither
• No. 3 Lake Minneola at No. 2 Largo
Class 7A, Region 3
• No. 3 Manatee at No. 2 Mitchell
Class 7A, Region 2
• No. 5 Bloomingdale at No. 1 Armwood
• No. 6 Tampa Bay Tech at No. 2 Lakeland
Class 8A, Region 2
• No. 4 Steinbrenner at No. 1 Sarasota Riverview