ST. PETERSBURG — St. Petersburg’s Aumhryaun Brown’s two touchdowns helped overcome the ejection of quarterback Tonio Shavers as the Green Devils cruised to a 23-6 win against Gibbs on Friday.
As time expired during the first half, with the Green Devils leading 14-0, Gibbs blocked a field-goal attempt. During the recovery, play spilled over onto the Green Devil sideline. While the teams were separating, Shavers was called for an unsportsmanlike penalty for punching a Gibbs defender. He was immediately ejected.
St. Petersburg coach Joe Fabrizio said he did not see what happened.
"My back was turned to it, so I missed it," he said. "All of a sudden I saw people talking and jawing a little bit. They all know each other they’re all really close friends; they all played against each other for years."
Fabrizio said the team always focuses on maintaining its composure during games against local rivals.
"We talk about it all week," he said. "We talk about being focused and doing what you’re supposed to be doing between the whistles. You hope you talk to them enough. I guess nobody talked to him enough."
Barring a reversal of the penalty, Shavers will be suspended next week. He could be suspended for up to six weeks, depending on what the Florida High School Athletic Association rules.
With Shavers out, the Green Devils relied on their two-headed monster of Derrel Kelley and Brown. The two combined for 106 yards with Robert Dudley chipping in another 42.
"Aumhryaun is an unsung hero," Fabrizio said. "He just carries the ball and nobody knows how well he’s doing. He did a really good job for us again tonight."
Brown’s signature play came during the fourth quarter, when he pushed through contact from five Gibbs (0-5) defenders to move the chains for a first down.
"It’s always good to go get extra yards," Brown said. "Having those linemen contribute even after they finished their blocking, that’s always good."
Kelley had four runs of 10 yards of more, and would have had an even bigger night if not for having two long runs called back on penalties.
"DK is an explosive player. You just never know when he’s gonna take it all the way," Fabrizio said.
Fabrizio is unsure who will start for him at quarterback next week when St. Petersburg (4-1) hosts Pinellas Park.
"We’ll install some new plays and see who we’re comfortable with," he said.