ALTAMONTE SPRINGS — Lake Brantley gave Titusville some homework Friday before districts: stop the run.
Trace Christian ran for 109 yards and two touchdowns to help the Patriots beat Titusville 40-14.
Christian ran for touchdowns of 3 and 65 yards for the Patriots (2-0).
“They stacked the box a bit,” Christian said. “So once we got through the (defensive) line, we could break it.”
Titusville knew they faced a tough challenge after the Patriots ran for 440 yards as a team last week. But the Patriots’ three-headed running attack of Christian, Tim Marinan and quarterback Jared Bernhardt kept the Terriers off guard. Marinan ran for another touchdown, while Bernhardt ran for a 15-yard score.
“Playing Lake Brantley was a calculated move on my part; they’re a great big, physical team,” Titusville coach Wayne Lawrence said. “We play in the SEC of Brevard football with Palm Bay, with Merritt Island. We wanted to play teams early on that were big and physical.”
Yusuf DeReese attempted to keep the Terriers close, throwing for 158 yards and a touchdown. However, he also threw two interceptions.
The Terriers made several key miscues. Trailing 14-7 early in the second quarter, Titusville committed an offside penalty on a 4th-and-11 field-goal attempt. After the penalty, Bernhardt ran for 7 yards on the resulting 4th and 6. Marinan capped the drive with a 1-yard TD on a trap for a 21-7 lead. The Terriers got no closer after that point. Titusville also lost a late touchdown because of penalty.
“Some of it is unacceptable, and we’ll go back and fix it,” Lawrence said. “In order to beat a good football team, you have to be a disciplined team.”
DeReese also came out before a key fourth-down play in the second quarter. After losing his helmet, DeReese went to the sideline for one play as mandated by FHSAA rules. However, that was 4th and 4 at the Lake Brantley 34. Chace Gadapee subbed in but threw an incompletion to end the Titusville threat.
Lake Brantley’s Devin Frazier then ran 63 yards to the Titusville 3 to set up Christian’s 3-yard run and a 27-7 Patriots lead.
Jaleel Davis gave the Terriers a late rushing attack. He ran for 108 yards and a touchdown.
Lawrence said the running attack is just another weapon to be used depending on the foe.
“From week to week, you look at matchups,” he said. “I felt like our skill guys matched up well against their secondary. I wanted to spread them out, because they weren’t as fast as we were.”