Largo did not record a shutout on Friday, something the Packers’ stellar defense had done five times heading into the second round of the playoffs.
But that unit did what it was supposed to do.
Linebackers Adarius Hayes and Zayvion McCluster zeroed in on East Bay ball carriers. Whenever the Indians tried to run the ball, they were typically met by a wall of pads.
By stymying that vaunted rushing attack, the Packers were able to turn what was a close contest into a comfortable 28-12 victory in the Class 3 Metro Division region semifinals.
This week, Largo will travel to play Jesuit in the region final.
Through three quarters, the Packers were locked in a nailbiter. Quarterback Jeremy Thomas scored twice on the ground to help Largo hang on to a 14-12 lead.
In the fourth quarter, Largo broke the game open. Thomas scored his third rushing touchdown to make it 21-12.
Down by two scores, East Bay was forced to throw. The Packers took advantage with McCluster and Ricky Shaw each picking off passes.
McCluster’s interception, his second of the night, set up a touchdown run by Chase Green that rounded out the scoring.