Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Indians Blank Sailors | Venice Defense Dominates in Eighth Straight Win over Sarasota

Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Indians Blank Sailors | Venice Defense Dominates in Eighth Straight Win over Sarasota

Article excerpt

VENICE 48, SARASOTA 0

SARASOTA -- Venice High head football coach John Peacock called it a statement game.

A statement with an exclamation point.

Held to 14 points in the first half Friday night, the Indians exploded for 34 second-half points in a 48-0 victory over the host Sarasota Sailors in a Class 7A-District 11 game at Cleland Stadium at Ihrig Field.

The win improved the Indians' record to 5-0 and 2-0 in the district. It also maintained their dominance over Sarasota (2-3, 0- 2). The victory was Venice's eighth straight over the Sailors.

Venice stayed perfect on the season with a variety of contributors. Quarterback Bryce Carpenter finished 10-of-20 for 117 yards and touchdown throws to wide receiver Jaivon Heligh, covering 25 yards, and two to tight end Aaron Hackett, of 2 and 5 yards.

Running back Matt Laroche, who rushed for a game-high 204 yards, scored on runs of 14 and 12 yards. Carpenter also scored on a 12- yard run in the fourth period, and Chris Bandiera recovered a fumble on a backward Sailor punt and returned it for the Indians' final touchdown.

But it was the Indians' defense that really shined in this one. It held Sarasota star running back Josh Booker to a season-low 42 yards on 16 carries, sacked Sarasota quarterback Bryan Gagg six times for 60 yards in losses, got interceptions from Steele Wilson and Sage Lee, and limited Gagg to 4-of-12 passing for 14 yards.

In their previous four games, all at home, the Indians outscored their opponents 155-17. Friday night's domination was a continuation, this time on the road.

"The defense has been playing well all year," Peacock said. "The defense played unreal. They prepared well all week. We had a great week of practice. I think Bryce played a hell of a game compared to last week. I think we're on the right track."

The Sailors, meanwhile, had their one score called back on a penalty. …

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