Dunedin’s playoff run ends in Bradenton

by Staff Writer

BRADENTON- The Dunedin Pirates were hoping after last Saturday’s 48-26 thumping of the Space Coast Tar Heels that they would have the confidence to overtake the defending league champion Southwest Florida Gladiators.

In what looked like it might be upset of the year turned into another letdown against the Gladiators, as the Pirates fell 22-13 at Lakewood Ranch Park. The Pirates finish the season at 6-6, 8-6 including preseason play.

Dunedin started the game off fast with a big pass and catch between quarterback Eric Vitale and wide receiver John Lewey, who scored twice last week against the Tar Heels. Vitale eventually ran in the score and later in the first quarter threw a touchdown to tight end Dashawn Brooks to put Dunedin up 13-0.
The Gladiators’ offensive line wore down the Pirates’ front seven on defense, as they pounded the ball with running backs Rashad Lewis and Ahkeem Spikes. 22 unanswered points and numerous missed opportunities became Dunedin’s undoing.