Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Football: Berkeley Prep 30, Fort Meade 7 (Tampa Bay Times article, by John C. Cotey)


Football: Berkeley Prep 30, Fort Meade 7
From the Tampa Bay Times
Wed. October 8, 2014 | John C. Cotey | Email

TAMPA — The Fort Meade fans unfurled a huge yellow banner that nearly blanketed the entire visitor stands prior to the second half kickoff of a game delayed after the lights went out at Berkeley Prep last week.

It read: “Keep the lights on, you don’t want to miss the show.”

The Show, however, was Gordon Stetson.

The Berkeley Prep sophomore running back turned in an award-worthy performance in the Bucs’ completion of a 30-7 victory over Fort Meade in a key Class 3A-4 showdown Wednesday.

Berkeley Prep ran 26 plays on offense, and Stetson carried the ball on 21 of them for 117 yards and two touchdowns in a briskly played 51-minute half of football, as Berkeley Prep (6-0, 2-0) took over sole possession of first-place in the district.

For the full game, Stetson had 31 carries for 174 yards.

“We came into this game like it was 0-0, and we just had to win this second half thing,” said Stetson, who has now scored at least one touchdown in every game this season.

Fort Meade got the ball first, and was driving until attempting a long pass towards the end zone that Addison Grams intercepted.

The Bucs drove 80 yards in 11 plays, feeding Stetson seven times for 47 yards, including a 5-yard touchdown run. Stetson also made a spectacular diving catch on a 17-yard gain.

In the fourth quarter, Bucs defensive back Chris McWilliams stripped Tyler King of the ball and recovered the fumble, setting up the drive of the game.

Stetson carried 12 straight times for 68 yards, including a 2-yard touchdown run. Running behind the big boys up front — Ben Root, Nick Petit-frere, Aidan O’Carroll, Andrew Basham and Bryce Benjamin -— with an occasional hand at fullback by 6-foot-3, 290-pound defensive tackle Bo Peek, Stetson picked up five first downs as he slashed, slithered and stuttered his way downfield.

“We knew (Fort Meade) was explosive on offense, so we felt we had to run the football and hold the ball and make some big plays,” said Berkeley Prep coach Dominick Ciao.

“Our offensive line did a tremendous job tonight. They controlled the line of scrimmage, and that was the key.”

Berkeley Prep quarterback Brad Mayes didn’t need to do much, throwing just four passes, but he threw for a touchdown and ran for one last week to give the Bucs the 17-7 lead they entered Wednesday with. He finished 10-for-13 for 170 yards, with favorite target Jacob Mathis catching six passes for 120 yards.

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