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FOOTBALL: PHU varsity tops Jesuit, 14-10, after 3 Q's


Published:   |   Updated: August 23, 2013 at 04:45 PM

TAMPA — The overall final score may show Jesuit pulling out Thursday night's rainy Kickoff Classic against visiting Palm Harbor University, but the Hurricanes left Tampa knowing they were on top during the time that mattered most.

Using a mix of bend-but-don't-break defense, opportunistic offense and stellar special teams play, PHU's varsity squad hit the sidelines up 14-10 after three quarters.

“I was pretty happy,” said PHU coach Matt LePain of his team's preseason showing. “I wasn't sure, honestly, what kind of team we had yet. You go through three weeks of hitting each other and you haven't seen anybody else. But coming out here and playing Jesuit 14-10 after the third quarter, the varsity's done, we get the win; I was extremely happy.”

The Tigers eventually flipped the advantage in the fourth quarter playing primarily against PHU's junior varsity team. Jesuit's Malik Davis returned a punt early in the period to put the Tigers ahead for the first time, 17-14, and Parker Looney recorded a late safety to get to the 19-14 final.

Prior to that, though, PHU controlled the scoreboard, if not the stat sheet, for three quarters.

Jesuit outgained PHU 192-71 during that span and moved the chains 10 times compared to three by the 'Canes, but was unable to convert much of that covered ground into points.

The Hurricanes opened the night's scoring by taking advantage of a Jesuit turnover inside the Tigers 15. Three plays later, Stephen Charron's 6-yard run put PHU ahead, 7-0.

Both teams relied heavily on the run Thursday night, given the wet, slick conditions on Jesuit's turf field. LePain and PHU offensive coordinator Joel Slawinski commented positively on the Hurricanes ability to run the ball against a quality Tigers defensive front.

PHU's special teams unit made its first impact shortly after Jesuit kicker Rhett Waldron boomed a 47-yard field goal early in the second quarter. Dominic Bonelli answered by returning the subsequent kickoff 83 yards to the Tigers 13. PHU quarterback Tyler Kaminski quickly ensured the effort didn't go to waste, running the first play from scrimmage in for a 14-3 lead.

Jesuit pulled back to within four points on its next possession. Running back Kevin Newman (nine carries for 49 yards) capped a six-play, 75-yard drive with a 3-yard scoring run with 5:33 left in the half.

PHU nearly tacked a few more points on the board late in the second but ran out of time before spiking the clock and getting off a 29-yard field goal attempt. All three of the Hurricanes' first downs were converted on that 12-play drive that began with another solid Bonelli kick return.

Neither team's offense managed to gain any traction in the third quarter, primarily trading punts and failing to record a single first down.

Overall, LePain left Tampa feeling confident heading into Week 1's home opener against rival East Lake.

“My biggest thing was wondering how my kids would react – playing on turf, a beautiful stadium. They played well.”

SCORING:

PHU - 7 – 7 – 0 – 0 --- 14

Jesuit - 0 – 10 – 0 – 9 --- 19

PHU – Charron 3-yard run. PAT kick (Colleary) – 1st Quarter (8:27)

JHS - Waldron 47-yard FG – 2nd Quarter (8:37)

PHU – Kaminski 13-yard run. PAT kick (Colleary) – 2nd Quarter (8:19)

JHS – Newman 3-yard run. PAT kick (Waldron) – 2nd Quarter (5:33)

JHS - Davis punt return – 4th Quarter (11:00)

JHS – Looney safety – 4th Quarter (2:49)

TEAM STATS:

-----------------------PHU-------JHS

First Downs---------3---------10

Atts./Rush Yds.---24-61----27-133

Comp./Atts./Int.—2-7-0----5-12-0

Passing Yds.--------10-------59

Total Offense------71-------192

Fumbles/Lost-------2-1-------1-1

Punts/Avg.---------4-43.3---4-31.5

Penalties----------2-20-------5-60

INDIVIDUAL LEADERS:

RUSHING

PHU – Kaminski (7-41, TD), Charron (5-21, TD).

JHS – Newman (9-49, TD), Black (9-37).

PASSING

PHU – Kaminski (2-7 for 10).

JHS – Testaverde (4-10 for 26), Wessel (1-2 for 33).

RECEIVING

PHU – Tinsley (1-7), Bonelli (1-3).

JHS – Newman (1-33), Alfonso (2-17).

ehorchy@suncoastnews.com

(727) 815-1071

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