In high school football turnovers will hurt you every time, not just some of the time.
To sum up the Williston versus Crystal River football game played Friday night Sept. 9, some will say the turn overs by the Pirates was the difference. In this game, however, it was the outstanding defensive play by the Red Devil secondary that took the game totally away from the Pirates.
The much improved Red Devil offense had only one fumble on the night, and just one interception.
With the game tied at 14-14 at the half time break, the Red Devils took the opening second half kick off and drove to the Crystal River 12-yard line where they missed a 30-yard field goal that was just wide left by inches.
The Pirates began a long drive before Red Devil Michael Hall picked of a pass and returned it 85 yards for a Red Devil touchdown.
The PAT was good giving the Red Devils a 21-14 lead with 3:10 left in the third quarter.
The Pirates fumbled the football stopping another drive at the Red Devil 15-yard line where Red Devil Damien Strange recovered the loose football.
After running one play the Red Devils began the fourth quarter at their own 29-yard line. On the second play Brandon Preston slashed the Pirate defense for a 7-yard touchdown run. With the good PAT the Red Devils held a 28-14 lead. The Pirates began another drive with 8:20 left in the game.
The Red Devil defense recovered another Pirate fumble but was held to four and out. Brandon Quinn pinned the Pirates deep in their own end of the field with a punt that fell dead on the four yard line.
The Pirates threw a short pass and the receiver fumbled the ball back into the end zone where Josh Jones fell on the football for another Red Devil score by the defense. Again the PAT was perfect for a 35-14 Red Devil lead.
The Pirates, although down by 21 points with just over four minutes remaining in the game, took the kick off and on the first play from scrimmage scored on a 52-yard pass catch and run. The PAT made the score 35-21.
The Pirates lined up for an on-sides kick but the Red Devils fell on the football. The Red Devils were held to another four and out and had to punt the football away again.With 1:44 left in the game the Pirates went to the air again. This time Deshard Rollins picked off the pass and returned it 65 yards for another Red Devil touchdown by the defense.
What is believed to be a record of consecutive PATs by a Red Devil place kicker was right through the middle.
Six straight kicks by Jorge Deciderio and the Red Devils now led 42-21 with one minute remaining in the game. Red Devil Fred Burns picked off the pass attempt for the Red Devil defense for the sixth interception of the game by the Red Devil defense. 5A Crystal River falls to 1-1 on the season and the Red Devils are now 1-1 following their season opener loss by one point to the PK Yonge Blue Wave.
The Red Devil schedule does not get any easier as they will host West Nassau from Jacksonville Friday, Sept. 16. This is the last home game for the Red Devils for six weeks as they hit the road for their next 5 games with one off week. Game time is 7:30 p.m.