After a week of game predictions and social media trash talk, it was Mainland (7-1, 3-0) who laughed last as they blanked the Matanzas Pirates (6-1, 2-1) 43-0 Friday, Oct. 16, at Municipal Stadium.
It was fun playing them, knowing they’re having a good season being undefeated, but we knew, going into the game, what we were capable of,” said Randy Baker, who made a big play in every aspect of the game. “Our practices were very hard this week for this game; we didn’t take them lightly.”
It was supposed to be a show of the Bucs’ offense against a Matanzas defense that had only allowed less than 10 points per contest, but Denzel Houston quickly erased that notion by marching down the field and capping off a one minute and 10-second drive with a four-yard Demaurez Bellamy touchdown run.
After forcing a three-and-out, Mainland received the ball again, and Houston connected with Randy Baker for a 25-yard touchdown pass.
After a string of penalties and big plays, including an interception, allowed the Pirates to hold the ball for a large part of the second quarter, Baker, who also played defense, intercepted a pass to give the ball back to his offense. Houston would hit Brant Williams for another score, and Baker took the snap and connected with Jachai Polite for the two-point conversion to give Mainland a 22-0 halftime lead.
Coming out of the break, Mainland’s pressure only got worse. On fourth down, deep in their own territory, the Pirates attempted a punt that was blocked by Ryetavious Sanders, and Kevis Turner scooped it up and fell in the end zone for a touchdown.
On Mainland’s next drive, Polite kept the drive alive, when he hooked up with Williams for a first-down pass on fourth down. Then, Houston shook off a tackle and ran down the sideline for a 23-yard touchdown run. Baker threw and completed the two-point play to Cyrus Fagan to put Mainland up 37-0, which started the mercy clock.
As time ran down pass the three-minute mark, Mainland continued to fire the ball, and Houston found Jason Colubiale, who jumped over a defender, in the corner of the end zone for the final score.
“I felt like we made them abandon the run game, which was what we wanted to do,” said Travis Roland, Mainland’s defensive coordinator. “
Throughout the entire night, Mainland’s defense put the Pirates’ quarterback on his back, and Daniel Dillard, the second leading rusher in the area, struggled to get positive yardage on any of his carries.
Up next for the Bucs is New Smyrna on Friday, Oct. 23, at Municipal Stadium.