After a tumultuous voyage in which the No. 22 Mainland (Fla.) football team had to take a bus to Ohio, the Bucs put up a strong battle but fell to No. 25 St. Edward (Lakewood, Ohio), 47-28.
St. Edward (6-1) took a 35-21 lead at halftime after a pair of second quarter touchdowns broke a 21-21 tie. Carl Jones caught a scree and found running room to get to the end zone untouched with 8:58 left in the second quarter and then Michael O’Malley caught a TD pass on fourth down with 4:48 remaining.
The Eagles would not trail again, but Mainland (6-1) kept fighting. Mainland scored midway through the third quarter on a 4-yard run by Denzel Houston to cut the lead to a score, 35-28.
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An interception gave the ball back to St. Edward and Jake Budyka connected on a field goal for a 38-28 advantage. A safety and a Matthew Gonzalez touchdown reception from Jimmy Keefe capped the scoring.
The nearly 1,000-mile trip would have been a long flight, but Mainland is took the trip by bus, which is a roughly 32 hours, round-trip, without stopping, though the trip was longer because the team stayed overnight Thursday in North Carolina. Mainland initially thought its flight was paid for but had to resort to a bus when it found out the game’s promoter, Hercules Sports Management, LLC, had not paid for airfare.
St. Edward, which has worked with Hercules in the past, including last week when it played host to Cocoa, Fla., helped ensure the game would happen by setting up hotel rooms and meals in Ohio for Mainland.
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