For all the parents and local prep football fans who filled the bleaches and came out to support their favorite team, this year’s kickoff classic did not bring disappointment.
While Newsome tied Steinbrenner 34-34 in a high-scoring game, East Bay defeated Chamberlain 55-20, Strawberry Crest left Freedom scoreless (29-0) and Brandon held Blake to just six points (20-6).
As expected; however, one of the night’s most awaited games played itself out inside Cougars Stadium as Durant welcomed the Bloomingdale Bulls and turned game night into one of the best events in Hillsborough County with a final score of 34-17 in favor of the home team.
In the wake of a hectic summer, but also anticipating a strong game was Bulls head coach John Booth, who begins his fourth season at Bloomingdale ready to turn in a winning season.
“Defense is our strength this year and we will be relying on it for sure,” Booth said just minutes before game time, drawing his attention to the 15 returning players.
The Cougars, however, proved a bit too much for the Bulls defense, scoring three touchdowns, two two-point conversions and a field goal.
Completing a decade-long run with the program this year, Durant head coach Mike Gottman was ready to see his boys do what they have been practicing all summer.
“This is real football tonight,” Gottman said. “We are going to hit it hard. This will be a great introduction to the season.”
Relying on returning players like Jarmarlon Hamilton, who rushed for more than 1,000 yards and scored nine touchdowns last year, Gottman hopes to take the program to next level.
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