The Braden River Pirates (4-2) faced the Bayshore Bruins (2-5) in their Homecoming game Oct. 11.
The game was very exciting for all in attendance, as it was a fight until the very end for both teams.
In the first quarter, both teams were unsuccessful in their attempts to make a touchdown. One of the most significant turnovers in the first quarter was when a Bayshore player was able to intercept Pirates junior quarterback Dusty Peebles’ throw to a fellow Pirate receiver. But the Bruins were unable to find the end zone.
The Bruins made a quick turnaround in the second quarter. Less than a minute into play, senior Dereck Williams was able to make a 2-yard run into the end zone. Junior Michael Wemheuer’s kick was good, putting the Bruins in the lead 7-0.
Hope was rediscovered for the Pirates in the second quarter with only 4:22 to go. Senior Austin Fox was intercepted a pass from the Bruins’ quarterback.
The Pirates’ change of pace transferred well into the second half of the contest. The team found itself making bigger plays in order to make a comeback in the third quarter. They were determined to catch up to the Bruins, as the phrase “all we need is a chance,” was continuously repeated on the sideline from numerous players.
Peebles was able to give the team that chance after completing a pass to senior Andre Mays in the third quarter. Mays ran the ball 33 yards into the end zone, making the first touchdown of the evening for the Pirates. Senior Austin Myara’s kick was good, which tied up the score 7-7.
In the fourth quarter, senior Marcus Balliette blocked a Bruins punt and recovered the ball. With 3:41 left in the game, junior Andrew Garcia recovered a fumble, encouraging the team to continue to fight hard in the remaining minutes of the game.
“We were able to make a big play there at the end on special teams,” Curt Bradley commented. “Andrew Garcia recovered a fumble that enabled us to go down there and score the winning points.”
With 1:42 remaining, Peebles was able to pass the ball off to junior Carlos Crawford. Crawford ran the ball 1 yard before reaching the end zone, locking up the Pirates’ Homecoming victory over the Bruins.
This was the first Homecoming victory for the Pirates since 2009 when they faced DeSoto County.
The Bruins will resume district play and host the Hardee Wildcats (5-1) Oct. 18. The Pirates have a bye week and will host the North Port Bobcats (2-4) when they resume district play Oct. 25. These two games will mark the final home games of the season for both the Bruins and the Pirates.