Mulberry Shuts Out Hardee, 37-0
Fri. September 28, 2012 at 9:00 p.m. | By Polk Preps Staff
By DEL MILLIGAN
MULBERRY | Quarterback Austin Strickland tossed three touchdown passes, and Mulberry's defense came up with two fumble recoveries deep in Hardee territory to set up touchdowns as the Panthers steamrolled the Wildcats, 37-0, Friday night at the Phosphate Bowl.
"They came up with the first shutout we've had in a while here,'' Mulberry second-year coach Raleigh Jackson said of his defense.
The Panthers moved to 3-2, the three prep football victories more than the two they earned all of last season.
"We're just coming around. We're still under construction,'' Jackson said.
The Panthers' defense has allowed just 12 points in the past three games, including six to Frostproof in a victory last week.
Jackson singled out his linebackers — Jerry Joyce, Henry Berry and Cordairo Brown, as well as defensive backs Jarius Garner and Lorenz Berry.
Henry Berry, Lorenz Berry and Garner also scored touchdowns as Mulberry plays most of its players both ways.
After Mulberry place-kicker Noe Guillen booted a 40-yard field goal to open the scoring in the second quarter, the Panthers offense got untracked in front of about 500 spectators.
Strickland lofted an 18-yard touchdown pass to Benjamin Sirmons after the defense recovered a fumble at the Hardee 19.
Hardee (2-3) made a crucial mistake on its next possession when the punt snap sailed over Octavio Alvarez's head and Mulberry took over at the Wildcats' 14.
Strickland connected with Rashad Parrish on first down for a 13-yard touchdown on the same fade pattern that Sirmons scored on, putting the Panthers up 16-0 at halftime.
Strickland made it 23-0 when he found Lorenz Berry for a 31-yard touchdown pass halfway through the third period.
"Austin is an excellent leader and quarterback,'' Jackson said. "He's getting better with every snap.''
Mulberry overcame 20 penalties for 150 yards.
The Panthers take on Lake Wales at home next Friday night. Hardee has an off week.
Hardee 0 0 0 0 — 0
Mulberry 0 16 14 7 — 37
M - Noe Guilllen 40 FG (11:54)
M - Benjamin Sirmons 18 pass from Austin Strickland, kick failed (10:20)
M - Roscoe Parrish 13 pass from Strickland, Guillen kick (6:46)
M - Lorenz Berry 31 pass from Strickland, Guillen kick (5:23)
M - Jarius Garner 1 run, Guillen kick (1:49)
M - Henry Berry 7 run, Guillen kick (4:57)
H | M
First downs 12 14
Rushes/Yards 33/110 34/191
Passing 7-16-1 9-13-0
Passing Yards 60 169
Total Yards 170 360
Fumbles/Lost 4/3 6/2
Punts/avg. 6/34.5 2/32.0
Penalties/Yards 3/20 20/150
Records 2-3 3-2
Rushing: H— Keyonte Holley 11-77 ; M — Henry Berry 9-61, one TD
Passing: H — Kris Johnson 4-10-1 60 yards; M - Austin Strickland 8-12-0 158 yards, 3 TDs
Receiving: H — Derrick Graham 2-28; M — Lorenz Berry 2-38, 1 TD