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By Doug Miles


The Sarasota Millionaires don’t make it easy on themselves or their fans nervous systems. The team’s 36 point lead heading into the fourth quarter nearly evaporated in what would’ve been an epic collapse. But Frank Young’s interception with 1:06 remaining in the game ensured the Millionaires 42-34 win over the Bay Area Pirates in the UFF Wild Card game at Booker High School Saturday night. Millionaire’s running back Mike Ford put together his best game of the season, topping his 122 yard rushing performance on April 14 against the Pirates in New Port Richey, with 151 yards on 22 carries, 3 touchdowns and a pair of 2 point conversions Saturday night. “Today I was hitting the hole hard and I felt good”, said Mike Ford. “Part of ‘Ford Tough’, that’s my job.” Ford opened the Millionaires scoring with a 6 yard run for a touchdown on Sarasota’s first possession of the game, tallying 59 of the scoring drive’s 72 yards. The “Moneymen” led 6-0 four minutes into the first quarter.  The Pirates tied the game at 6-6 after Frankie Solomon intercepted a Mario Davis pass and returned it to the Millionaires 10 yard line. Two plays later, Brian Koesling fired a quick pass to Solomon in the end zone from 6 yards out. The 2 pointer was no good. The Millionaires engineered their best second quarter of the season, scoring 4 touchdowns, including two more from Mike Ford, to build a 36-6 lead at halftime. Marvin “Mo” Harris added a defensive touchdown with a 34 yard interception return. Mario Davis tossed a touchdown pass to Germaine Green with 25 seconds left in the half. Willie Phelps scored on a 7 yard run with 4:02 remaining in the third quarter, lifting the Millionaires to what seemed like an insurmountable 42-6 lead at the time.
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