The Miners’ 35-3 victory over Cardinal Mooney gave Fort Meade the 14th straight year with a perfect district record.
Fort Meade Miners traveled to Sarasota to face district rival Cardinal Mooney, having already clinched the Class 3A-6 title.
Expecting a tough Cougars squad, the Miners came to Cougars Field all business. After yielding an onside kick to Mooney, the Miners defense held the Cougars to minus-1 yard rushing and forcing a Mooney punt.
The Miners went 77 yards in seven plays getting a 41-yard touchdown dash from Ryan Fulse for the first score of the night. The PAT kick by Jack Cortez was good and the Miners led 7-0 with 7:08 left in the first quarter.
Mooney with the help of two long penalties would drive for a 27-yard field goal and trail the Miners 7-3 with 2:22 left in the quarter.
Following the kickoff the Miners would use the run game as senior DJ Clark went 47 yards culminated with an 8-yard scoring run. Cortez was true and the Miners led 14-3 with 11:07 left in the second quarter.
The Miners defense would rise yet again to halt the Cougars at the Mooney 36-yard line. On the punt, Fort Meade would take over at their own 30-yard line. Nine plays later the Miners would face a fourth and six at the Cougars 30 when Jay Smith found Clark on an 8-yard pass and a Miners first down at the Cougars 22.
On the next play Clark burst through the line and cut to the sidelines to race for a 22-yard scoring run. Following the Cortez kick, the Miners led 21-3 with 4:17 left in the second quarter.
The Miners would get the ball one final time with 1:05 and drive to the Mooney 31 for a last-second, 48-yard Cortez field goal that would fall just short going into halftime.
The Miners in the second half were intent upon choking off any thoughts of a Cougar comeback and they would do it with defense. With the Cougars at the Miners 39-yard line midway through the third quarter, Fulse would strip the Cougars back of the ball and Devin McCalebb would scoop up the ball and scoot 55 yards and extend the Miners lead to 28-3 with 5:11 left in the third.
On Mooney’s first play following the kickoff, McCalebb would come up big again picking off the Cougars pass for a second big play in a row.
The Miners would be held on downs. The Cougars would move out on a 14-yard drive but would stall at midfield.
After another failed Cortez field goal, the Cougars would drive to the Miners 44 only to have Chris Morris snatch a Cougars pass and drive 60 yards for the final Miners score. Cortez would kick it through the uprights giving the Miners a 35-3 lead with 5:13 left in the third quarter.
The Miners would run out the clock finishing with a perfect district record for a 14th consecutive year. The Miners will host the Tenoroc Titans for senior night in Fort Meade.