By Bryan Levine, SunCoast Sports
IN A NUTSHELL: There were 114 offensive plays run in Friday night’s game between Lemon Bay and Cardinal Mooney. The Manta Rays were responsible for 80 of those, as they controlled the ball for much of the night, but a handful of big plays for the Cougars was the difference. Two touchdowns on more than 45 yards helped Cardinal Mooney to a 27-14 win. Lemon Bay had just five plays exceed 10 years.
DID YOU SEE THAT: With about 30 seconds remaining in the first half, the Manta Rays had the ball near midfield on fourth down. Rather than punting, Lemon Bay elected to go for a first down, but failed, which gave the ball to Cardinal Mooney. The Cougars needed just one play to get into the end zone, as a a 47-yard pass from Tristan Hillerich to Jack Koscho gave them a 20-14 lead very late in the first half.
THE GAME WAS OVER WHEN: Early in the third quarter on third down from its own 10-yard line, Cardinal Mooney needed 20 yards to pick up a first down. Running back Bryce Williams picked up 31 yards on that play, allowing the Cougars to milk the clock a bit, essentially ending the Manta Rays’ chances of coming back.
UNSUNG HERO: Victor Mellor was targeted 19 times, and caught eight passes for 72 yards. His 16-yard catch in the back of the end zone gave Lemon Bay a 7-0 lead in the first quarter.
THEY SAID IT: “I really felt we had the opportunity to gain two yards. I really believed that. Obviously, it didn’t workout. Our punting game has not been one of our strengths. I had more faith in us getting two yards than us punting and getting field position. – Lemon Bay coach D.J. Ogilvie.
CARDINAL MOONEY 27, LEMON BAY 14
C. Mooney 0 20 7 0 – 27
Lemon Bay 7 7 0 0 – 14
LB – Victor Mellor 16 pass from Hayden Wolff (Summer Rusher kick), 7:56
CM – Bryce Williams 15 run (Ryan Blechta kick), 9:37
LB – Brayden Curry 6 run (Rusher kick), 2:45
CM – Sean White 46 pass from Tristan Hillerich (Blechta kick), 1:40
CM – Jack Koscho 47 pass from Hillerich (kick failed), :27
CM – Hillerich 19 run (Blechta kick), 6:04
First Downs 7 18
Rushes/yds 22-123 42-89
Passing yds 112 185
C-A-I 4-12-0 18-38-0
Fumbles/lost 1-0 0-0
Penalties/yds 11-95 3-25
Rushing: Cardinal Mooney: Bryce Williams 16-77, Tristan Hillerich 6-46; Lemon Bay: Brayden Curry 25-84, Hunter Weir 10-14, Victor Mellor 2-(-1), Hayden Wolff 5-(-8),
Passing: Cardinal Mooney: Hillerich 4-12-112-3; Lemon Bay: Wolff 17-37-164-1; Curry 0-1-0-0.
Receiving: Cardinal Mooney: Sean White 2-68, Jack Koscho 2-54; Lemon Bay: Mellor 8-76, Logan Lydic 6-45, Weir 1-44, Curry 3-20