(Sarasota, FL) The Palmetto Tigers took advantage of a Sage Hansard fumble forty seconds into the game, turned it into a quick touchdown and never looked back on its way to a 35-14 victory over the Sarasota Sailors Friday night at Ihrig Field in Sarasota.
Hansard started at quarterback for the Sailors, replacing Hunter Dewitt who injured his shoulder in week one against Booker. Sarasota was also without running back Madison Dubil who suffered a concussion last week against the Tornadoes.
The Sailors played the field position game in an attempt to keep the high powered Palmetto offense as far back in their end of the field as possible. That strategy was effective for most of the first half until Tiger quarterback Trent Miller connected with Shaquille Harris on a 23 yard touchdown pass with forty seconds remaining in the second quarter to give Palmetto a 14-0 lead at halftime.
Palmetto’s Cory Crawford opened the second half with a 65 yard kickoff return to the Sailors 30 yard line. Two plays later, running back Joshua Hicks rumbled in from 10 yards out to make it 21-0.
Sarasota answered back on its next possession when Sage Hansard found Mack Dancer on a 44 yard touchdown pass to pull the Sailors to within 21-7.
Sarasota had its chances to get back in the game. The Sailors recovered a Palmetto fumble on the ensuing kickoff, but were unable to score. Lenard Rivers intercepted a Trent Miller pass on Palmetto’s next possession, but could not advance to the end zone. Jonathan Berman missed a 45 yard field goal attempt.
The Sailors got another reprieve when a roughing the kicker penalty gave Sarasota the ball on its own 48, but wound up with another missed field goal try from 41 yards.
At 8:56 of the fourth quarter, Joshua Hicks ran virtually untouched into the end zone from 18 yards out to make it 28-7 Palmetto. Less than three minutes later, Trent Miller hit Shaquille Harris in stride over the middle for a 60 yard touchdown giving Palmetto a 35-7 margin.
The Sailors scored with 2:35 left in the game when Fritz Maxwell recovered a fumble and took it in to give Sarasota its second touchdown of the game.
Joshua Hicks rushed for 118 yards on 21 carries and scored two touchdowns while quarterback Trent Miller completed 8 of 16 for 175 yards and two passing touchdowns and one rushing for Palmetto.
Marlon Mack ran for 93 yards on 22 carries for Sarasota. Sage Hansard went 5-10 for 93 yards and one touchdown. He was also sacked four times.
Palmetto is 2-0. The Sailors are 1-1.
Sarasota will travel to North Port on Friday September 16 to play the Bobcats (1-1) who defeated Braden River 7-6 Friday night at home in the Preserve.