Auburndale Chews Up Lake Wales, 21-0
Fri. November 02, 2012 at 11:57 p.m. | By Solange Reyner
AUBURNDALE'S DERWIN JAMES looks for running room against Lake Wales in the Bloodhounds' victory on Friday night. (Photo by RICK RUNION | THE LEDGER )
By SOLANGE REYNER
LAKE WALES | Moments after Auburndale rocked Lake Wales for the Class 5A, District 9 title with a 21-0 victory Friday night at Legion Field, Auburndale coach Kenneth Grantham was informed that his team rushed for over 300 yards.
"That's not bad," Grantham.
That's quite an understatement considering who the Bloodhounds did it against: A hard-nosed, physical Lake Wales team that was allowing fewer than 100 yards per game on the ground.
Granted, the Highlanders (5-4) were without big man Bobby Leath for most of the game — the senior lineman injured his right knee in the second quarter and didn't return — but Auburndale had already started putting a dent in Lake Wales' defense by that point.
"They were bringing some blitzes and that confused us, but we figured it out," Grantham said. "The process was constant. They kept throwing blitz packages at us but the kids just stepped up and played super hard."
Looking at the scoring summary, one would assume that Friday was the Charles Taylor show. The senior had all three scores for Auburndale, including a huge 61-yard run up the middle and around the left with 2:27 left in the game. But the Bloodhounds (5-4) didn't just ride one back to win their first district title since 2008.
Taylor finished with 142 yards on 12 carries, but sophomore Derwin James added 123 yards of his own on the ground. He carried the ball 11 times, putting him at an 11.2 yard average per rush. Wilbur Cooper, another sophomore, finished with 41 yards.
When those guys weren't picking up their own yards, they were opening holes for each other.
"They kept the chains moving for me," Taylor said. "And DeAndre Thomas, Antonio Thomas, Cody Green, Colton Rausch, and Wyatt Hine, too."
Those are Taylor's offensive linemen.
Lake Wales couldn't get its offense moving, with quarterback Railond Garrett finishing 5-for-16 with an interception. The running game looked dormant, too, likely due in part to Leath being out.
The Highlanders did get a good defensive effort from Jonte Sergeant, though. The senior had a few tackles for losses.
Lake Wales will have to travel to Southeast for its first playoff game on Friday, Nov. 16 while Auburndale plays host to Palmetto.
Auburndale 7 0 7 7 — 21
Lake Wales 0 0 0 0 — 0
A — Charles Taylor 30 fumble recovery (Burris Warner kick), 1:30
A — Taylor 11 run (Warner kick), 1:16
A — Taylor 61 run (Warner kick), 2:27
A || LW
First Downs 10 7
Rushes/yards 37-310 32-82
Passing yards 5 78
Passing 2-7-1 5-22-1
Total offense 315 160
Fumbles/Lost 3-1 2-2
Punts/avg 3-26.5 5-39.6
Penalties/yds 6-60 10-75
Rushing: A— Charles Taylor 12-142; LW — Justin Henderson 11-29
Passing: LW — Railond Garrett 5-16-1-101.
Receiving: LW — Tony Reeves 3-45.