VALRICO — Bloomingdale made a costly third-quarter safety sting a little bit more as speedy senior Doug Sandberg returned the ensuing kick 72 yards for a touchdown as the Bulls topped Freedom.
The Bulls’ offense found a little rhythm in the first half as quarterback Isaiah McIntyre took advantage of Sandberg’s speed, mainly in screen passes, connecting with him six times in the opening half. However, Freedom was able to keep its opponent off the scoreboard. Sandberg finished with 108 yards receiving.
Penalties were costly for the Patriots as they racked up 18 in the game, including a pair of false starts on the opening drive of the third quarter, pushing them deep into their own territory as an errant snap resulted in a safety. After Sandberg’s touchdown return, the two teams traded possessions before Shane Nesmith’s 35-yard field goal extended the lead.
“Special teams changed the game,” Sandberg said. “If we didn’t get that touchdown this is a much different game.”
The third quarter did see a right knee injury force McIntyre from the game and new Bloomingdale coach Brian Surcy said he didn’t know the extent of the injury, although the junior quarterback remained with his team on the sidelines for the rest of the game.
Freedom 0 0 0 3 — 3
Bloomingdale 0 0 12 0 — 12
B – Safety
B – Sandberg 72 punt return (Nesmith kick)
B – FG Nesmith 35
F – FG Heath 34