Football: Steinbrenner 13, Freedom 6

LUTZ — A wet, torn-up field led to a sloppy game that included seven fumbles and an interception as Steinbrenner beat Freedom 13-6.

“When you’re playing like that, in the mud, it just makes it extremely tough,” Steinbrenner coach Floyd Graham said.

Steinbrenner’s offense totaled just 96 yards and the Warriors (3-1) didn’t attempt a pass in the second half.

Trailing after a Freedom (0-4) touchdown midway through the second quarter, Zack Jones fielded the ensuing kickoff at the 15-yard line and took it the distance. Cornerback Daniel Fernandez returned an interception 23 yards for a touchdown in the third.

Freedom drove to the Steinbrenner 27 in the final minute but a false start and four incomplete passes sealed the win.

The article was originally published in The Tampa Bay Times.

Football: Jesuit 25, Middleton 6

TAMPA — A game that featured two teams with the same name, 25 penalties and two safeties ended with an appropriately odd score as the Jesuit Tigers defeated the Middleton Tigers, 25-6.

Jesuit started Aaron Paulsen at quarterback, but after an ineffective first drive ended with a punt, coach James Harrell put in Paulsen’s fellow senior, Tommy Eveld. Eveld finished 10-of-16 with a touchdown pass.

Jesuit benefited from poor Middleton special teams on multiple occasions. Two botched punts led to safeties and Jesuit had 202 kickoff return yards, including a 75-yard touchdown by Bryce Walker in the fourth quarter.

Harrell wasn’t worried over his team’s unconvincing win, and he says they’ll be prepared for next week against Robinson.

“We’ll be ready,” Harrell said. “It’ll be an emotional game. … I’m sure our guys will be up for the challenge.”

This article was originally published in The Tampa Bay Times.