Though the field looked at times like a slip-n-slide, Strawberry Crest and Palm Harbor University were able to get through a preseason game on a night where many Tampa Bay-area schools did not.
Friday’s contest did not go in the Chargers’ favor, as Palm Harbor scored 30 of its 37 points in the first half en route to a shutout win in Dover.
The Hurricanes struck first at the 8:02 mark of the game with a Dray’sun Bonney rushing touchdown from inside the red zone. After that touchdown, Palm Harbor forced back-to-back three-and-outs from Crest’s offense and scored on the first play of their next drives — once on a 43-yard catch-and-run touchdown pass (after which the PAT attempt skidded on the ground), once on a 15-yard run up the middle. Crest did get a big play from Jhadin McKinnie, who returned a kickoff to the 50-yard line, but the Chargers couldn’t capitalize on the ensuing drive.
In the second quarter, Palm Harbor went up 23-0 on a 23-yard field goal with 8:36 left in the half. The Hurricanes scored on a 10-yard run with 50 seconds left until halftime. Bryant Lazare broke off a big run to get the Chargers into Palm Harbor territory, but Crest couldn’t get any points on the board before the half ended.
Palm Harbor nearly opened up the second half with a 60-yard touchdown run just a few minutes in, but the referees saw a hold at the line of scrimmage and called it back. Both teams traded punts on every drive until, with 3:21 left in the fourth quarter, Harold Marion caught a deep pass along the Crest sideline and ran it in for the final score.
Crest will open the regular season at Leto next Friday night at 7:30 p.m.