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Lakewood: 2014 football preview

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Tue. August 12, 2014 | Rodney Page | Email

Lakewood: 2014 football preview

Lakewood

Coach: Cory Moore (seventh season, 48-22)

Last season: 10-4

Class/district: 5A-8

Colors: Black and gold 

Stadium: Lakewood Stadium, 1400 54th Ave. S., St. Petersburg

Playoff history: 1980, 1981, 1982, 1988, 1993, 1994, 1998, 1999, 2001, 2002, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013

Last appearance: Beat Hudson 75-19; beat Tarpon Springs 31-9; beat South Sumter 27-21; lost 40-38 to Green Cove Springs Clay.

Season schedule

Aug. 29 vs. Countryside, 7:30

Sept. 5 at Palmetto, 7:30

Sept. 12 at St. Petersburg, 7:30

Sept. 19 at Gibbs, 7:30

Sept. 26 at Largo, 7:30

Oct. 2 vs. Boca Ciega, 7:30

Oct. 10 at Martin County, 7 

Oct. 17 at Dunedin, 7:30

Oct. 24 vs. Tarpon Springs, 7:30

Nov. 7 at Northeast, 7:30 

Mark your calendar

Lakewood at Largo, Sept. 26: Expect a shootout in this one. It is not a district game but it is the fourth straight road game for the Spartans. Last season Largo’s defense held Lakewood to one touchdown in a 20-6 loss. With an improved defense, as well as talented offense, the Spartans could avenge last year’s loss.

Huddle highlights

Targets: Lakewood was undefeated in the district last season and the same is expected this season. Moore believes his offensive and defensive lines are even better than last season. Getting to the Class 5A state final is a clear goal, but the Spartans have to be ready for every opponent’s best game.

Road warriors: Excluding the preseason game against Lynn Haven Mosley, the Spartans play only three home games this season. They are not home at all in September, with games at Palmetto, St. Petersburg, Gibbs and Largo. The only home games are the opener against Countryside, and against district foes Boca Ciega and Tarpon Springs.

Comings and goings: Lakewood has benefitted from transfers the past two years, including quarterback Ryan Davis, defensive back Anthony Foster and wide receiver Sekendric Biddines. But the Spartans also had two key players transfer out. Tyrell Hubbard-Smith, who was going to start at defensive back, is now at Gibbs. And Saivion Smith, who was going to play receiver and defensive back, transferred to IMG Academy.

Reloading: Lakewood graduated 26 seniors, including top athlete Joc Ellison, top offensive lineman Isaiah Wynn and wide receiver/kick returner Donterio Fowler. But there is no shortage of depth. Including junior varsity players, Lakewood tops out at nearly 120 players. “We lose about that many every year,’’ Moore said. “But we just reload.’’

How good can Davis be? Davis has gotten better every year, but 2014 could be special. New offensive coordinator Marquel Blackwell will let Davis do his thing, which could mean more than 2,000 yards passing and 1,000 rushing.

Known quantities

QB Ryan Davis, Sr.: In addition to throwing for  2,000 yards last season, he had 856 yards rushing and scored 27 touchdowns. A four-star recruit, Davis will lead the Spartans for a second straight season. He also started at quarterback his first two years at Northeast.

DE Jordan Edwards, Sr.: He had an eye-popping 25 sacks last season. Despite being on the small side (6-0, 210 pounds), he has a knack for getting to the quarterback.

DB Anthony Foster, Sr.: The St. Petersburg transfer will fit right into the Lakewood defense. He already has offers from mid-major schools and could improve his stock this fall.

OL Nyquel Alexander, Sr: Coaches would like to see this 6-foot-5, 420-pounder lose some weight to improve his agility. If that happens, he’ll be hard to get around in the trenches.

WR Sekendric Biddines, Sr.: The Boca Ciega transfer will likely be the main receiver in Lakewood’s passing game. He could also play some at defensive back.

RB Romello Presley, Sr.: Presley is more of an inside runner who gets the tough yards for the Spartans. He played that role last season, and after good summer workouts he should be even better this season.

Up-and-comers

WR Adrian Adams, Jr.: Buried behind some good receivers last season, this should be Adams’ time to shine. He should be the No. 2 receiver behind Biddines.

RB Tyreik Hopkins, Sr.: Just like Adams, he was behind some good backs last season. Hopkins had a good spring game and should get plenty of carries.

DE Treyon Stubbs, Jr.: A Boca Ciega transfer, Stubbs is 6 feet 1, 205 pounds and will be expected to clog the middle for the Spartan defense.

Coach’s corner

“I don’t think these kids feel any pressure. They have been through this before. They are at the point where they expect to win. So they just go out and play and have fun.’’ — Moore

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