TALLAHASSEE -- FAMU High School struck for a pair of first-quarter touchdowns and went on to keep North Bay Haven winless on the season with a 32-8 decision on Friday night.
The outcome not only reversed a win by the Buccaneers over the Baby Rattlers last season, but dropped them to 0-3 on the season. FAMU evened its record at 2-2.
FAMU led 18-0 by halftime and was up 26-0 early in the third quarter. The Bucs, missing starting quarterback Ray Tynan, who is sidelined with a strained knee, were at a marked disadvantage on offense considering that Tynan is a four-year varsity veteran.
Yet is wasn't a lack of moving the football that cost the Bucs in this game. Head coach Andy Siegal said that NBH had one touchdown called back by an inadvertent whistle, it lost a fumble on FAMU's 1-yard line that was returned 99 yards for a touchdown and the Bucs also gave up a kickoff return for a TD.
Michael Panariello started at quarterback in place of Tynan, and was denied a 25-yard scoring run by the inadvertent whistle. Cam Gant rushed for a majority of the Bucs' offensive output and scored on a short run in the fourth quarter. Trey Johnson passed to Brody Casiple for the conversion.
"We moved the ball up and down the field," Siegal said. "We turned the ball over on downs at the 1, the 10 and the 20. It was just unfortunate."
Siegal said that NBH continues to be limited by injuries on the offensive line where a majority of the starters are now freshmen.
Defensively, however, the Bucs stood out with Denzell Moore at strong safety, Hunter Malone at middle linebacker, Joe Carpenter at linebacker and Bryce Ray at cornerback all with strong efforts.
North Bay Haven hosts Wewahitchka next week at Arnold's Mike Gavlak Stadium.