Lakewood is headed to the playoffs after it was revealed Saturday that district foe Blake had to forfeit a district win.
Hillsborough County athletic director Lanness Robinson confirmed that Blake would have to forfeit its 21-14 district win over Osceola for use of an ineligible player, nullifying a three-team tiebreaker scheduled for Monday.
Instead, Blake's district record went to 2-3. The tiebreak between the remaining two teams is their head-to-head meeting, so Lakewood's 28-22 win over Spoto Friday night earned Lakewood a postseason berth.
Lakewood (5-4) went into Friday's game with Spoto (6-4) believing it had to win just to force a three-way tie for second, but the game was essentially for the final playoff spot. The Spartans won 28-22 as Teddy West returned two kicks for touchdowns, including a punt for 45 yards in the fourth quarter that proved to be the difference.
It is the second straight year Lakewood beat Spoto in an all-or-nothing district finale.
"This is a major relief,'' said Lakewood coach Cory Moore, who has guided the Spartans to the playoffs in all three of his seasons. "We hate to play that Monday game and get all beat up for Friday's game against Northeast. The good Lord just keeps on helping us out.''
The Spartans will travel to Dade City Nov. 19 to take on Pasco in a rematch of last year's playoff victory by Lakewood. Jefferson will host Land O'Lakes.