TAMPA — Berkeley Prep is playing at another level. On Friday night, the Bucs blanked visiting Tampa Catholic, 38-0.
Berkeley Prep (5-0) has won four straight games against the Crusaders, and this was their first shutout victory over them since 2014.
Senior running back and Iowa State commit Xavier Townsend totaled four of the five touchdowns. The other score came from senior running back Travis Bates on a 49-yard run in the opening quarter.
Ahead 10-0 near the end of the first, Townsend fielded a high punt on the right sideline. He proceeded to juke past every tackler down the left sideline, taking the ball back untouched 65 yards for a score.
Berkeley Prep’s defense totaled three sacks, an interception and forced Tampa Catholic to punt seven times. Most impressively, the Crusaders had only two drives inside Berkeley Prep territory, both ending in punts.
After a scoreless second quarter, the game opened back up for the Bucs on their first drive of the third — which started at their 2. Townsend totaled 86 yards on seven touches, capping things off with a nifty 15-yard scamper to put his side ahead 24-0.
On the ensuing Tampa Catholic drive, senior free safety DJ Hooker jumped a route and nearly took the interception back for six down to the 1-yard line. Townsend earned the carry on the next play and punched it in.
Another Berkeley Prep defensive stop led by a sack from junior defensive end Keon Keeley forced a Tampa Catholic punt early in the fourth quarter. Keeley had an active night for the Bucs, totaling five tackles (two for a loss) and a sack.
With the Bucs simply trying to run the clock, freshman Joseph Troupe earned some carries alongside Townsend and Bates. It was Townsend again who completed his special night with his fourth score, a 4-yard run down the left sideline with 7:33 left.
Tampa Catholic (3-2) punted it away one more time after a third-down sack from sophomore linebacker Titus Bullard.