Winter Haven Hooks New Smyrna Beach in Class 5A Regional Quarterfinal, 24-20
Fri. November 16, 2012 at 11:00 p.m. | By Polk Preps Staff
Winter Haven running back Adam Lane attempts to run through New Smyrna defender D'Cota Dixon during Friday night's game. (Photo by NIGEL COOK | DAYTONA BEACH NEWS-JOURNAL )
By JAMES BENNETT
NEW SMYRNA BEACH | Despite an undefeated opponent, a two-hour road trip, and two crucial turnovers, the Winter Haven Blue Devils were able to emerge from their 6A regional quarterfinal with a 24-20 victory over New Smyrna Beach on Friday night.
The Blue Devils (10-1) changed the pace of the game in the second half, going from a fast-paced offensive shootout, to a game that saw only three points scored in the final two quarters.
"We just stood strong and kept our feet under us," Winter Haven head coach Charlie Tate said. "We made some mistakes, but we didn't allow them to beat us. We're definitely happy to come out with the win."
Before Friday night, New Smyrna Beach (9-1) averaged 303 yards on offense, but after the second half, the Barracudas struggled to get going offensively and were held to just 22 yards of offense in the half.
Meanwhile, the Blue Devils leaned on running back Adam Lane and quarterback Luke Borders, who helped keep the ball in their possession and combined for 285 of Winter Haven's 342 offensive yards.
The turning point in a game was a Winter Haven drive that lasted for nearly 9 minutes, and was capped off by a 29-yard field goal by Scott Wampler that extended the the Blue Devils lead to four.
After that, the Blue Devils' defense continued to stifle the Barracudas' offense, even after Lane fumbled the ball with 5 minutes left in the fourth.
Next week, Winter Haven will host Daytona Beach Mainland in a rematch of a 2011 6A regional semifinal in which Mainland beat Winter Haven 23-20.
Winter Haven 14 7 0 3 — 24
New Smyrna Beach 14 6 0 0 — 20
WH – Adam Lane 58 run (Scott Wampler kick good)
NSB – D'Cota Dixon 1 run (Josh Smith kick )
NSB – Diamonte Mitchell 33 INT return (Smith kick )
WH – Eric Atmore 13 run (Wampler kick )
NSB – D'Cota Dixon 18 pass from Marcus Johnson (kick blocked)
WH – Kendrick Holland 23 pass from Luke Borders (Wampler kick)
WH – Wampler 29 FG
WH || NSB
First Downs 9 6
Total Yards 342 184
Rushes-Yards 38-234 16-130
Passing 108 213
Comp-Att-Int 7-12-1 12-18-1
Punts 4-51 5-37.8
Sacks 3 2
Fumbles 2-1 0-0
Rushing: WH Adam Lane 24-153, TD; NSB Diamonte Mitchell 8-35
Passing: WH Luke Borders, 7-12-108, TD, INT; NSB Marcus Johnson 10-19-126, TD
Receiving: WH Kendrick Holland 3-51, TD; NSB, James Clark 8-116