Carmine Dascoli III carried defenders 15-yards into the end zone to score the decisive touchdown in Columbus’ 21-13 victory against Jackson at Curtis Park.
His fourth quarter score was the gem in a game loaded with more than 200 yards in penalties.
“Honestly I really don’t know how far I dragged him down,” Dascoli said. “I just caught the ball and ran as hard as I could. It was my first touchdown so I was really excited. I saw the goal line right there and I told myself I’m not going to stop.”
“I felt a lot of weight on top of me. I felt them coming from the side and the back and I just kept driving my legs until they gave out.”
The Explorers (1-0) spoiled the debut of Jackson coach Lakatriona Brunson’s regular season debut as the first female high school football coach in Florida history.
“Today was bitter sweet,” Brunson said. “It was our first regular season game, unfortunately we fell a little short. The guys worked really hard. We had some tough penalties and some dumb penalties. We are a young team so that’s something that you would expect but it’s another thing we gotta pretty much get under wraps. Our offense was a little slow, our defense had a couple of blown coverage’s, other than that, the kids fought. They fought to the bitter end and that’s all I can ask for. We came up short…I don’t like losing.”
“I always say you gotta play the best to no where you stand. I can’t be anymore proud of my guys because I am very proud of them. It let us know the little things we gotta tweak to be on the same level as some other teams. Like I said, you gotta play the best to know where you stand. Right now I feel pretty good about where we are standing.”
Michael Rodriguez had four sacks in the victory. Marcelo Rodriguez completed 9-of-15 passes for 163 yards and two touchdowns for Columbus.
“They definitely got tired,” Michael Rodriguez said. “With our conditioning program I feel fresh just like in the first quarter, so I mean I’m just happy to win.”
Tyler Harrell returned the game’s opening kickoff for a 93-yard touchdown. Jackson’s Terrance Craig then found Seven Fleurimond for a 32-yard touchdown with 1:38 remaining in the first have to keep the game locked at halftime.
Orlando Hidalgo Jr. caught a 69-yard score from Rodriguez in the third quarter, before Gabriel Dunn’s 80-yard kickoff return got the Generals within one point. Then came Dascoli’s dagger.