The Sarasota Millionaires entered regular season play in a new league, playing on the road and came out with a 34-6 win over the Tampa Bay Stallions Saturday night in Oldsmar, FL. Quarterback Mario Davis threw three touchdown passes and ran for another while the Millionaires “Blackout” defense held the Stallions to a lone second quarter touchdown .
Sarasota opened the 2013 United Football Federation season in flashy style when Davis connected with Ben Seymour on a 75-yard touchdown pass on the Millionaires second possession of the game with 2:29 left in the first quarter. A missed two-point conversion gave Sarasota a 6-0 lead after the first fifteen minutes.
Early in the second quarter, both teams traded fumble recoveries. After a Mario Davis fumble, the Millionaires got the ball back on the next play. The Millionaires didn’t score on that sequence but pinned the Stallions deep in their end of the field. Lenny Davis forced a fumble, scooped up the ball and ran it in from 15 yards out to extend the Millionaires advantage to 14-0 after former Sarasota High School standout Mike Ford converted the two-pointer.
Tampa Bay tallied its only points of the night on its next possession on an 80-yard touchdown pass to Javez Mitchum. A missed extra point kept the score 14-6.
Mike Peterson ran the ensuing kick-off 63 yards to the Tampa Bay 37 yard line setting up an eventual 12 yard touchdown pass from Mario Davis to Gus Blanc, the first of two scoring receptions for the longtime clutch receiver playing his first game back with the Millionaires after a year away from the team.
Mike Ford punched in the two-pointer giving the Millionaires a 22-6 halftime lead.
The Davis-Blanc duo hooked up again midway through the third quarter on a 9-yard touchdown pass capping off a 7 play, 70-yard scoring drive extending Sarasota’s lead to 28-6.
Davis topped it off with his fourth touchdown of the game, this time running it in from the 9-yard line, late in the third quarter.
“I feel more comfortable with the offensive line we’ve got and a lot of new receivers”, Davis said about his performance. “We’ve got a lot of guys making plays. It’s not all about me.”
Head Coach Ernest Givins was pleased with the win but emphasized the need for improvement if the Millionaires are to be considered a championship caliber ballclub. “We did fairly well to start off, but we’ve got a long ways to go”, he said. “A lot of the guys had first game jitters and once they got the jitters out of the way, they started relaxing and played some football. But we’ve got a long ways to go.”
Video interviews with Ernest Givins, Mario Davis, Lenny Davis and Gus Blanc are posted to this article and can also be seen by clicking here.
The Millionaires (1-0) open their home schedule on Saturday February 16 at Booker High School against the Bay Area Pirates in a 4:00 p.m. scheduled kickoff.