On Friday, Oct. 17, the undefeated Berean Christian School football team traveled west to play the undefeated, top-ranked Community School of Naples for the Gulf Atlantic Division Championship, coming home victorious.
Quarterback Chris Mauck began his aerial assault immediately, with a first play, 20-yard dart to Daniel Pinkerman. Six plays later, Mauck hit Pinkerman again for a 41-yard touchdown. The kick failed, giving the Bulldogs a 6-0 early lead. The Bulldog defense stopped the Seahawks quickly and put the ball right back in Mauck’s hands. The junior quarterback wasted no time as he surgically began to dissect the Seahawk’s secondary. Mauck hit Daryk Racine, running a precision stop-and-go pattern, down the right sideline for a 48-yard touchdown. Racine’s kick put Berean up 13-0.
The Seahawks began to move the ball in the second quarter and threatened inside Bulldog territory, but Kasey Montrois made a great diving play to knock down a Seahawk pass, and the Bulldogs took over on their own 35. The offense began to click once again and moved the ball to the Seahawk 10.
Mauck hit Pinkerman in the left end zone for a third touchdown, but the Bulldogs were called for holding and were pushed back to the 20. On third and goal from the 20, Mauck’s pass found Joe Hendricks on a quick slant, and the senior made a great run to get it into the end zone. The failed kick put the score at 19-0. The Seahawks returned the kickoff well inside Bulldog territory, driving to the 5. With a quick counter off tackle, the Seahawks had their first score. The kick was good and the first half ended with the score at 19-7.
CSN took the second half kickoff and got their running attack working. A long third and 20 completion kept them alive, putting another 7 points on the board, making it 19-14. Early in the fourth quarter, Mauck and his crew of receivers got back into sync and moved the ball to the Seahawk 15. A holding call hurt the drive and three incomplete passes forced Racine into action with his leg. Racine punched one through the uprights from 23 yards out to give the Bulldogs some breathing room at 22-14.
CSN was forced out of their comfort zone of running and took to the air. On fourth and 12, the Bulldog defense did what it does best. Daniel Downey stepped in front of a sideline pass and the senior raced 46 yards to make it 28-14. Racine made it 29-14, ensuring the win for the Bulldogs. A CSN last ditch effort was picked off by Hendricks, and Mauck took a knee to finish the game. With the win, Berean gained home field advantage in their first playoff game, set for Oct. 31.
The Bulldogs travel to Orlando this Friday to play their final regular season game against International Community School.
ABOVE: The Bulldogs celebrate the team’s big victory.