ST. PETERSBURG — Without quarterback Tracy Johnson, Lakewood came out flat in the first half of its 26-7 victory over St. Petersburg on Thursday.
In the second half Lidell Golden resuscitated the Spartans running attack. Golden scored from 3 yards out as the Spartans (9-1, 8-1) took a 12-7 lead they would not relinquish.
The Spartans continued to move the ball at will as Jocqui Ellison ran 23 yards for a touchdown with help from a crushing block from Marquez Valdes.
Later in the fourth quarter Rodney Adams scored on a 7-yard reception from Ellison to make it 26-7.
“In the second half we relaxed and slowed the game down,” Lakewood coach Cory Moore said. “We did a great job with moving Adams and Ellison around with the ball. We are starting to peak at the right time.”
St. Petersburg used its running game to keep the potent Spartans at bay in a penalty-laden first half.
The Green Devils (4-6, 2-4) got on the scoreboard with two seconds remaining in the second quarter on a 1-yard sneak by quarterback Corey D'Angelo.
The Spartans’ personnel changes in the third quarter gave their offense the spark it needed.
Johnson is still suffering from symptoms of a concussion sustained several weeks ago.