(Sarasota, FL) The Sarasota Millionaires opened its home schedule with a 9-7 win over its cross-bay rival St. Petersburg Sharks Saturday night at Booker High School’s Tornado Alley in Sarasota.
In a game dominated by defensive play, the Millionaires “blackout” defense kept the Sharks offense off-balance by rushing quarterbacks Gary Fiegel and Chris Bryant all night long, giving them little time to set up in the pocket. Brandon Johnson reaped the benefits when he picked off a Chris Bryant pass and ran it back 60 yards for a touchdown at the 10:21 mark of the second quarter to give the Millionaires a 6-0 lead. Ian Kitchell kicked a 28 yard field goal less than 4 minutes later to put Sarasota up 9-0.
St. Petersburg got its lone touchdown when DeAngelo Woodie ran back a missed 53 yard field goal attempt by Kitchell 105 yards down the far sideline to pull the Sharks within two points going into halftime.
The second half was a struggle of offenses as both teams missed field goal tries of 37 and 39 yards respectively. The Sharks had a final opportunity late in the fourth quarter, but fumbled the ball which the Millionaires recovered with 3:16 left in the game. Mike Petersen then connected with receiver Gus Blanc on a 45 yard pass play to put the Millionaires on the Shark’s 5 yard line. Sarasota ran out the clock to seal the win.
“It wasn’t pretty, but we’ll take it”, said Millionaires owner and offensive coordinator Calvin Williams. “We tried some different things on offense this week by putting Justin Brienich in at quarterback. It’s a good win.”
The Millionaires defense had four sacks in the game.
Brandon Johnson had two interceptions in the game.
The Millionaires travel to Ft. Myers to face the Spartans on Saturday January 30th in a 4PM kickoff.
The game will be broadcast locally on radio over WTMY 1280 AM with an audio/video simulcast at www.dougmilesmedia.com