SARASOTA — At the time, Brian Ragone didn’t know how important his first rushing touchdown would be.
The Out-of-Door Academy quarterback wasn’t even supposed to carry the ball. But when a huge hole opened in front of him, the sophomore couldn’t help but tuck the ball and take off down the sideline.
Ragone’s 36-yard touchdown run on the Thunder’s second possession of the game gave ODA a 6-0 lead over St. John Neumann.
It would be the lone score of the game as the Thunder (3-1, 1-0 Class 1B-District 6) went on to defeat the Celtics (1-3, 0-1) 6-0 in their district opener Sept. 29.
“I thought it would be the first of many, but that wasn’t the case at all,” Ragone said of the touchdown. “We actually didn’t have any plays designed for me to run, but we installed a couple this week for Evangelical Christian.”
The ODA defense held St. John Neumann to 100 yards of total offense. Grant McCarthy had three sacks; Jake Siciliano had 12 tackles; and Ryan Kaminski had eight tackles to lead the way for the Thunder.
The Thunder will return to district action tomorrow night versus Evangelical Christian School. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.
The undefeated Sentinels have outscored their opponents 191-50, including a 66-0 thrashing of Gateway Charter School last Friday. A season ago, Evangelical Christian defeated ODA 35-13.
The Thunder will need another big game from their defense tomorrow if ODA wants to remain atop the district standings.
“Our defenders need to wrap guys up — if they get their hands on a guy with the ball they’ve got to make a tackle,” Ragone said. “On offense, we need to learn to block downfield and make some game-changing plays. Really we just need to execute.”
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Food and fun
The Lakewood Ranch Business Alliance and its Young Leaders Alliance have something to talk about: the organizations collected 764 pounds of nonperishable food and $1,295 cash to benefit The Food Bank of Manatee/Meals on Wheels PLUS.
River Club’s Cheryl Kaufman says she’s still pinching herself.
A little “Ho! Ho! Ho!” can go a long way this holiday season.