BRADEN RIVER — Coming off a monumental win over DeSoto County High two weeks ago, Braden River had high expectations heading into its district showdown with Southeast Oct. 9.
Riding a three-game winning streak and situated atop the Class 3A-District 10 standings after shutting out Bayshore 39-0 Sept. 25, the Pirates looked to further distance themselves in the district standings, while the Seminoles looked to rebound in district play after a dismal 1-3 start.
But it soon became apparent that it wasn’t going to be Braden River’s night as the host Seminoles stunned the Pirates 33-6.
Southeast (2-3, 1-0) bounced back from a 34-10 loss to Venice, forcing five turnovers and racking up more than 300 yards of total offense. Defensively, Braden River (4-2, 1-1), who had allowed an average of 13.5 points in its first five games, was unable to find an answer for Southeast quarterback Dyron Speight, who threw for more than 200 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
Offensively, the Pirates struggled to find momentum as the Seminoles picked off quarterback Stephen Fischer three times and held running back Tevin Bryant to under 100 yards for the first time this season.
Bryant, who scored Braden River’s lone touchdown on a 2-yard carry in the fourth quarter, was limited to just 73 yards on the ground.
“Our inability to force them to play our style of (football) was the difference in the game,” coach Ed Volz said. “We did not run the ball well. We turned the ball over and we gave up big plays defensively — things that we have not done all year.”
Braden River will look to rebound tomorrow night when the team travels to Manatee to take on the undefeated Hurricanes. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.
Last week, the Hurricanes defeated Sarasota 35-20 in district action. Manatee, ranked 55th in the nation according to
, has outscored its opponents 180-63 through the first five games of the season.
If the Pirates are going to come out victorious, they’ll need to win the turnover battle and revert to their style of play — running the football and creating big plays on both sides of the ball.
“We just didn’t play well,” Volz said. “If we are going to be successful, we have to limit the (mistakes).”
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