The Eau Gallie High football team sailed their way to victory through the wind and rain Friday night, shutting out Pine Ridge 9-0 in three soaked quarters of football before lighting brought the night to an early end.
Slippery conditions played a huge factor in this one from the get-go, with Pine Ridge coughing up and giving away the football on the very first drive of the night.
Senior quarterback Devan Lormand and the Commodore offense would not let the opportunity go to waste. Despite the rain, Lormand was able to find several different receivers as Eau Galllie made their way into the red zone for what would lead to a successful 20-yard field goal kick from Alec Burak to put the home team up 3-0.
That would be the closest either team would be able get to an end zone for the rest of the first half as possession would be punted back and forth around midfield until halftime.
“The rain affected the game big time,” Eau Gallie head coach Tim Powers said. “Being out there in the elements — that’s the beautiful part of football. You’ve got to be ready for anything.”
The effects of the downpour reached their height midway through the third quarter when a snap slid through Lormand’s hands and bounced 10 yards behind him, resulting in a 23-yard loss for the Commodores.
Pine Ridge, however, would go on to fumble the ball on their next possession, giving Eau Gallie a chance to redeem themselves and capitalize once again.
With about five minutes left in the quarter, Powers put his offense on the shoulders of senior running back Tim Price, who methodically pounded his way down the field, capping off a long drive with a one-yard touchdown run to seal the game.
“Tim Price did a great job tonight,” Powers said. “In that kind of whether you worry about ball security issues. Him and Devan did a great job of protecting the football. We were just trying to keep it inside the tackles as much as possible and not give up a turnover.”
Lightning flashes overhead would prevent the game from entering the fourth quarter, giving Eau Gallie the opening night win.
“It was the first game of the season, we were pumped up and ready to go,” Powers said. “Fortunately it ended the way that it did for us.”
• KEY PLAYER: The harder the rain fell, the more often Price’s number was called — and the better Eau Gallie seemed to move the ball. The running back would finish the night with 91 yards on 15 carries and the game’s only touchdown.
• THEY SAID IT: “With the weather, it was just good to get the game in and get out healthy, which both teams did,” Powers said. “We didn’t play very well tonight at all. We’ve got a long way to go on both sides of the ball.”
• WHAT’S NEXT: Eau Gallie at Space Coast Friday; St. Petersburg Catholic at Pine Ridge.