Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Indians Roll to Victory in Texas | Venice Jumps out Early and Cruises to Win over Host Stephenville

Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Indians Roll to Victory in Texas | Venice Jumps out Early and Cruises to Win over Host Stephenville

Article excerpt

VENICE 37, STEPHENVILLE 8

STEPHENVILLE, TEXAS -- John Peacock did not plan anything "fun" for the Venice High football team on their second trip to Texas in the past three years.

Visiting AT&T Stadium, home of the NFL's Dallas Cowboys, was a thrill, but for fun, all Peacock wanted was a victory.

The Indians opened the season with a huge statement. They scored the first 37 points and rolled to a 37-8 victory over Stephenville High before a large gathering Friday night at Tarleton Memorial Stadium at Tarleton State University.

"This is what we needed," Peacock said. "Our team grew up tonight. I saw a lot of good things."

Venice made its presence felt on the first two plays of the game. Junior outside linebacker Trevor Keller picked off a pass on the first play of the game.

"We were supposed to drop 10 yards and it was just back side one receiver set," Keller said. "It was right in my hands when it was thrown. It was preparation because when we're on the single side receiver, it's always a throw back, and we're just taught to read the running back. If the quarterback sets up for a pass, we're taught to drop straight to the flats."

On the Indians' first offensive play, Matt LaRoche took a pitch on a sweep around the left side and scored from 15 yards out.

"It was a great way to start the game," Peacock said. "LaRoche did a great job after the great fake in the backfield."

Along with a PAT kick from freshman kicker Zach Sessa, that was all the scoring in the first quarter.

But the Venice defense was dominant in holding the Yellow Jackets off the board.

Senior defensive tackle Jarrod Hewitt, heading to Rutgers University, picked up two sacks and a tackle for loss in the first quarter, part of his huge game.

"Jarrod is going to do that every week," Peacock said. "He's one of the best defensive linemen we've ever had here. He's bigger and faster than high school guys. He's kind of a freak. He's fast for his size."

Coming off a 10-2 season when they reached the regional semifinals, the Indians put the game away with four touchdowns in the second quarter, with the defense helped contribute to the offense. …

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