Coral Reef showed up just 10 minutes before kickoff because of a late bus, but that gave the Barracudas just enough warmup time to spoil Palmetto’s homecoming 23-0 Thursday night at Southridge.
Down 10-0 early in the fourth quarter, Palmetto was driving inside the Coral Reef 10 when quarterback Matt Coll fumbled a keeper that was returned 94 yards by Josh Vergara for a touchdown that killed all hopes of a Palmetto comeback.
Coral Reef quarterback and Duke oral commitment Nico Pierre got off to a rocky start with two Blue Devil coaches watching from the sideline. He only completed 4 of 14 first-half passes for 10 yards, but he hooked up with West Virginia recruit Jacob McCrary for a late 19-yard touchdown .
“He had guys wide open and he had some errant passes, but he’ll be OK,” Coral Reef coach Chevas Clements said.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to the Miami Herald
The Barracudas (4-2, 2-0 District 16-8A) ran the first 11 minutes off the second-half clock with an 18-play drive that culminated in a field goal.
Their first touchdown came on a fake field goal that wide receiver/holder Tristen Ferguson was able to run in from five yards away.
Palmetto (2-3, 0-1) turned the ball over five times — four on fumbles.