Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Pirates Sink Bulldogs

Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Pirates Sink Bulldogs

Article excerpt

CLASS 7A-REGION 3: They open with a 65-yard bomb for a touchdown on their first play

MURDOCK -- Burning the midnight oil Thursday night, Jordan Ingman and his Port Charlotte High football coaching staff were doing self- evaluations.

Ingman noticed the Pirates had run only two different plays on the first play during the opening 10 games.

"We wanted to break a tendency right off the bat," the second- year coach said.

At 11 p.m., Thursday, Ingman and the staff decided to throw a bomb down the middle of the field on the first offensive play, no matter where the Pirates took the first snap.

"We were hoping just to loosen them up," Ingman said. "It worked out better than expected."

Traige McClary connected with a wide-open Paulsin Heitter for a 65-yard touchdown 3 minutes, 51 seconds into the game. That play and an air-tight defense set the tone for a 35-0 victory over Melbourne in the Class 7A-Region 3 semifinals Friday night at the Pirates Cove.

The last area team alive, Port Charlotte (10-1) will head to Tarpon Springs to face East Lake, a 46-0 winner over Pinellas Park, on Friday for the 7A-3 region title.

The Bulldogs received the opening kickoff after the Pirates won the toss and deferred. Melbourne (9-3) drove the ball to the Port Charlotte 28-yard line before senior linebacker Ryan Harless recorded the first of his two sacks for a loss of 7 yards on fourth- and-8.

In a running formation, McClary took the snap and threw a strike to Heitter who went the distance.

"I knew we had to do something to loosen them up, because they knew we are a running team just like they are," McClary said. "That pass did great for us."

When asked if he was expecting a touchdown, McClary said, "That's the only thing I could expect. I wasn't expecting anything less."

It was one of three touchdown passes for McClary, who connected with Heitter on a 56-yarder late in the second quarter and a 23- yarder to Taylor Severson.

The 35 points, which started a running clock with 7:10 remaining, were the most allowed by Melbourne this season, topping the 26 Charlotte scored a week ago. …

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