Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Braden River Earns First District Title

Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Braden River Earns First District Title

Article excerpt

BRADENTON

CLASS 7A-10: Pirates gain 514 yards and pick off four passes in rout of Palmetto

The Palmetto High football team came out fast.

Braden River came out faster.

The Tigers slowed down after the first quarter.

The Pirates executed until the final horn.

That is why Braden River celebrated the first football district championship in school history, and Palmetto returned with the runner-up trophy.

The Pirates amassed 514 yards of total offense and blanked the Tigers during the final three quarters of what turned out to be a 38- 14 rout in the game that decided the top two teams in Class 7A- District 10 Friday night at Braden River High.

Both teams advance to the playoffs in two weeks, with Braden River (8-0, 4-0) getting a home game against District 9 runner-up Pinellas Park, and the Tigers (3-5, 3-1) heading on the road to Tarpon Springs to face East Lake, which ended Palmetto's season a year ago.

"You've got to give them all the credit in the world," Palmetto coach Dave Marino said. "They were hungry. They outplayed us. They were more physical than us. You've got to give them all the credit. They were hungry for a championship; we were not."

"In the weight room, commitment from the coaching staff, the community, but from the players. They bought in and didn't waver," said Pirates coach Curt Bradley on transforming a 1-9 team two years ago into district champs. "They took all the chastising from the community, and they bowed their neck, went into the weight room and went to work. That's why we're here."

The outset resembled a track meet that was going to test the limits of the Pirates' scoreboard.

After Braden River held the Tigers on their first possession, the teams traded touchdowns on the next four drives to make it 14-14 after one quarter. Justin Ross was on the receiving end of a pair of scores from Jacob Huesman, covering 60 and 12 yards for the Pirates. Palmetto got an 8-yard pass from Jack Allison to Dearius Washington and a 43-yard run from Quincy Washington. …

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