Lutz — Steinbrenner held on late on senior night.
“I’m proud that we were able to finish out the game,” said senior Shaheem Barthel, who ran for touchdowns of 5 and 4 yards.
The win kept the Warriors (3-5, 2-2 Class 7A, District 7) alive for a playoff berth. A win next week over Gaither combined with a Sickles win over Tampa Bay Tech would leave Steinbrenner, TBT and Gaither tied for second at 3-2 with each 1-1 against the other two.
Steinbrenner took an early lead when long punt returns by Kezio Snelling set up Drew Stevens’ 34-yard field goal and Barthel’s 5-yard run.
Freedom (1-7, 0-4), countered with a field goal and DJ Grant touchdown pass to Johnny Rodicio with 18 seconds to go in the half. But the extra point failed. In the second half, Freedom failed on a tying two-point conversion.
With just more than two minutes to play, Barthel fumbled and Steinbrenner coach Andres Perez was penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct. A play later (a 12-yard scramble by Grant), Perez received another unsportsmanlike and ejected. Two plays after his departure, Freedom fumbled at the Steinbrenner 23.
“It was scary,” Barthel said. “It was crazy.”