LAKELAND — Berkeley Prep held off Nekari Jones (141 yards receiving) and Victory Christian 27-22 Friday night at Kathleen High School.
The Bucs held Victory scoreless in the rain-filled first half. Berkeley jumped out to a 21-0 lead thanks to defense and special teams.
On the opening kickoff Bucs defensive back Michael Hicks ran 78 yards to pay dirt. On the ensuing kickoff, Victory fumbled, giving Berkeley possession at the 16-yard line. That led to an Austin Iglehart 28-yard field goal.
The next kickoff again was fumbled by the Storm; however, despite a recovery — the Storm’s punt attempt was muffed and gave the Bucs possession on their own 32-yard line. That led to a 12-yard touchdown pass to N’Namdi Green from Brad Mayes.
To top off the first-half struggles, Hicks picked off a pass from Victory quarterback Caleb Lewis and returned it 36 yards for a touchdown.
Lewis battled back and finished with 339 yards passing and two touchdowns, 276 of those yards and the two scores coming in the second half.
Victory running back Kevin Coy also came alive in the second half — mostly the fourth quarter. He had two scores, one a 36-yard rush with 4:15 left in regulation and the other a 37-yard screen from Lewis with 1:20 remaining that brought the game to 27-22.
Victory lined up for an onside kick but kicked the ball out of bounds. Berkeley ran out the clock.