Lakeland Downed by Osceola, 16-2
Sat. November 17, 2012 at 12:25 a.m. | By Solange Reyner
By SOLANGE REYNER
KISSIMMEE | All game long on Friday night, Lakeland's defensive unit kept encouraging their counterparts on offense.
"Let's get it going," senior defensive end Jalen Stevenson yelled from the sideline midway through the second quarter.
"You've got this," he said another time while patting quarterback Isaiah Walker on the back as he ran off and Walker ran on.
The defense was doing its job but the offense couldn't buy first downs no matter how hard they fought.
That trend continued the rest of the evening and it cost the Dreadnaughts in their Class 7A quarterfinal game against Kissimmee Osceola Friday night.
The outcome: Lakeland's first first-round playoff loss in 10 years.
The score: 16-2 Osceola, which hosts Ridge Community in a semifinal game next Friday. Ridge beat Harmony, 24-0, at home.
"Our defense played hard all night but we couldn't get it done on the other side of the field," Lakeland coach Bill Castle said.
The defense only gave up one touchdown and it happened late in the game when running back Stafon McCray broke away for a 62-yarder up the middle and around the left side. Before then, McCray, a six-foot, 210 pound senior only had two big runs. Both were for 17 yards.
The game was a defensive battle through three-and-a-half quarters.
All nine offensive series in the first half were three-and-outs and Lakeland only had 57 yards of offense in the first half, Osceola 110.
But Osceola broke through early in the fourth after securing good field position on a Lakeland punt. The Kowboys (11-0) started their offensive series on Lakeland's 37-yard line and got in the red zone after a big run by McCray, another from Dwight Fagan and a few more short gains on the ground. Lakeland's Devon Denson and Stevenson stopped them there, though, forcing them to try a 26-yard field goal, which they made.
The Dreadnaughts (9-2) went three and out on the next series, but Osceola made a huge play on Caleb Hough's punt attempt to push the game in its favor. Shayvai Gordon blocked the kick and Dominic Lee recovered it to make it 9-0 with 10:07 left.
Lakeland's Walker was intercepted on the team's ensuing series, a ball that popped out of Xavier Spann's hands and into Osceola's Brandon Baker.
Lakeland 0 0 0 2 — 2
Fort Meade 0 0 0 16 — 16
K — Cristano Nogueras 26-yard field goal, 11:16
K — Dominic Lee recovered blocked punt (kick failed), 10:07
K — Stafon McCray 62 run (Nogueras kick), 4:30'
LHS — Safety, 0:43
L || K
First Downs 10 12
Rushes/yards 27-97 39-219
Passing yards 78 3
Passing 8-25-1 1-8-0
Total offense 175 222
Fumbles/Lost 1-0 1-0
Punts/avg 7-34.71 6-38.5
Penalties/yds 3-25 8-65
Records 9-2 11-0
Rushing: L — Robert Smith12-49; K — Stafon McCray 21-145.
Passing: L — Isaiah Walker 8-25-1.
Receiving: L — Jacquan Foster 3-30.