BRADEN RIVER — It’s been on the Pirates’ mind since well before the season began.
And last Friday, the Braden River High football team advanced one step closer to its goal of reaching the state playoffs with a 39-0 victory over Bayshore in Class 3A-District 10 action.
Braden River (3-1, 1-0) scored on its opening possession and never looked back as the Pirates recorded their first shutout of the season.
“I think we played a pretty well-rounded football game, coach Ed Volz said. “Defense obviously pitching a shutout — they’ve been pretty consistent. I think offensively we showed a little bit. I think we returned to the power run game that we had in the beginning of the season, so that was exciting and it was nice to create some plays in the passing game.”
Running back Tevin Bryant found the end zone from two yards out halfway through the first quarter, capping off a 70-yard drive as the Pirates took a 7-0 lead. Braden River further extended its lead on its ensuing possession when wide receiver Sharrod Neasman-Glover returned a punt 75 yards for a touchdown with 3:59 left in the first quarter.
Neasman-Glover followed up his punt return with a pair of touchdown catches in the second quarter. The senior hauled in a 40-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Stephen Fischer to open the quarter and closed out the half with a 20-yard touchdown reception, giving Braden River a 28-0 lead.
Neasman-Glover spent most of last season on the sidelines, shuffling in and out of games as a backup. But this season, Neasman-Glover has become Fischer’s go-to receiver.
“He’s one of our leaders,” Volz said. “When Sharrod Neasman gets the chance to make plays he makes them.”
Braden River extended its lead in the third quarter on a 39-yard field goal by Kadin Kerns before Bryant scored the Pirates’ final touchdown on a 45-yard run.
The Pirates will return to action tomorrow night versus former district foe DeSoto in the school’s Homecoming game. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.
Braden River finished 0-2 in the series a year ago as the Bulldogs ended the Pirates playoff run with a 14-7 victory in their final meeting. The Pirates will need to contain Bulldogs running back Marcus Shaw, who torched the Pirates for 423 yards on the ground and three touchdowns last season.