Fort Meade Rallies for Last-Minute Win Over Lakeland Christian, 37-34
Fri. October 19, 2012 at 10:00 p.m. | By Polk Preps Staff
Fort Meade's Devante Clark runs into Lakeland Christian defenders as he tries to pick up some yards during Friday night's game. (Photo by GEORGE AYCRIGG | LEDGER MEDIA GROUP )
By Mike Akins
FORT MEADE | In a contest that featured more than 800 yards of total offense, and one big momentum switch in the second half, Fort Meade defeated Lakeland Christian 37-34 in a thrilling clash of Class 3A, District 6 teams on Friday night at Frank S. Battle Field.
The Miners, who earlier rallied from a 21-0 halftime deficit, rallied again in the fourth quarter.
Trailing 34-30, the Miners scored the game-winning touchdown on a 40-yard pass from Jay Smith to Tobias Culpepper with 47 seconds remaining.
Fort Meade came into the game on a 13-year unbeaten streak in home games against district teams. That was tested early as the Miners fell behind 21-0.
The Vikings (5-2, 1-1) dominated on both sides of the ball in the first half as sophomore quarterback Christian Alexander threw three touchdowns passes and running back Rafeal Pressley rushed for 140 yards.
"I don't care what anybody says, he (Alexander) is the best quarterback in Polk County," Vikings coach Wayne Peace said. "Coming into the game, nobody gave us a chance to win. So for being a team that is in their second year of district football, this was a big step forward."
Said Fort Meade coach Jemalle Cornelius, "I have been in a lot of close games over the years, here and in the SEC and this ranks right up there. We got our rear ends handed to us in the first half that is as simple as i can say it."
The Miners used a ground game with running back Devante Clark in a attempt to cut into the Vikings 21-0 first-half lead.
Clark scored on a 44-yard run with 4:44 remaining in the third quarter for the Miners' first score.
The Miners completed the 22-point comeback as Ryan Fulse scored from 14 yards out with 4 minutes left in the third quarter.
The Vikings stormed back on Alexander's fourth touchdown pass of the day. The visitors then attempted a squib kick which was picked up by Clark at his own 40, and ran down the near sideline before he was tackled at the 1-yard line, one play later Smith scored from 2 yards out.
"We have been a second half team all year," Cornelius added. "Both teams left everything out on the field."
A rushing touchdown by Alexander gave the Vikings a 34-30 lead with 2:46 left,