Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

3A football: Jefferson 20, Lakewood 15

TAMPA — Close playoff games leave a smile on only one team's face, and Jefferson coach Mike Fenton was glowing.

Fenton gathered his team after another dramatic Jefferson win Friday — another second-half comeback — and another night that makes anyone who has seen this Dragons team believe it might be up to something special.

"Next week," he told his team. "Region championship."

The Dragons' 20-15 victory over district rival Lakewood at Sam Horton Stadium propelled Jefferson to its first region final since 2004, when the Dragons advanced all the way to the state title game.

"It's playoff football at its finest," Fenton said. "I had a feeling it would be a lot closer than the first game, and it was. When you're playing for your playoff life, both teams, in the second half, really came to play."

But it was the way the Dragons won — with a vaunted rushing attack and an opportunistic defense — that made this victory an impressive one.

"The sky's the limit right now," said Jefferson quarterback Quentin Williams said, who threw for 225 yards on 11 for 21 passing.

The Dragons sputtered through the first half, riddled by penalties — including a go-ahead touchdown pass late in the second quarter negated by a holding call — and trailed the Spartans 15-13.

Jefferson came out in the second half and quickly took the lead, marching 81 yards on just six plays — all running plays — capped by LaDarius Moye's 28-yard touchdown run through the heart of the Spartans defense.

"We were a little sluggish in the first half, but in the second half we came out and showed what kind of team we were," Fenton said. "I had a talk with them at the half. They came out with their chinstraps buckled and ran it right to them."

Star receiver Andre Davis, who injured his ankle in the first half, wasn't a factor, but junior Chris Moore stepped up with 124 yards on three catches. Demetrius Russell paced the ground game with 74 yards on 18 carries.

The Dragons defense also clamped down, limiting Lakewood to just two second-half first downs. But Jefferson's defense made its biggest play on Christian Calle's interception with 4:04 remaining just two plays after the Dragons fumbled in their own territory as the game clock crept under five minutes.

"Jefferson didn't beat us," Lakewood coach Cory Moore said. "It was just small things on us. In the second half, not being able to put drives together, it hurt us."

Jefferson, a team that has thrown for more than 3,000 yards, made just three pass attempts in the second half. Two of those passes came on the victory-sealing drive, when Williams rolled out and tossed to Fred Overstreet for a pair of first downs to secure the win.

"We've been through so much since January," Williams said. "It was a team effort, especially that defense. They gave us the ball back when we needed it. We all came out and played hard.

"We don't want to go home."

up next

Up next

All games Dec. 4 at 7:30

Region finals

5A: Plant at


4A: Tarpon Springs at Orlando Edgewater

4A: Armwood at


3A: Jefferson at

North Marion

State semifinals

2A: Robinson at

Belle Glade Glades Central

2B: Tampa Catholic at

Hollywood Chaminade

Jefferson 20

Lakewood 15

3A football: Jefferson 20, Lakewood 15 11/27/09 [Last modified: Saturday, November 28, 2009 12:36am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Buccaneers WR Mike Evans previews 2017-18 NBA season, predicts Warriors will be dethroned


    Tampa isn't the greatest basketball market. In fact, it's just about the worst.

    Mike Evans and Jameis Winston celebrate after connecting for a touchdown against the Bears in September. [LOREN ELLIOTT | Times]
  2. Peter Budaj, Lightning lose to Devils in shootout; Nikita Kucherov scores

    Lightning Strikes

    NEWARK, N.J. — For Peter Budaj, Tuesday's season debut had a shaky start.

    The Lightning’s Vladislav Namestnikov, right, battles Damon Severson for the puck.
  3. Lightning's Steve Yzerman enjoying Nikita Kucherov's scoring run

    Lightning Strikes

    NEWARK, N.J. — If anyone knows what it is like to be as hot as Nikita Kucherov is right now, it's Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman.

    Tampa Bay Lightning right wing Nikita Kucherov, of Russia, celebrates after scoring a goal on the New Jersey Devils during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2017, in Newark, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
  4. Bucs journal: Offense needs to get off to a faster start


    TAMPA — The past two games have seen the Bucs offense muster furious rallies in the fourth quarter of losses, with 229 yards against the Patriots and a franchise-record 27 points against the Cardinals.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter walks the field before an NFL game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., on Sunday, Oct. 15, 2017.
  5. NFL players, owners hold 'constructive' talks on issues


    NEW YORK — NFL players and owners met Tuesday to discuss social issues, a session Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross called "constructive" and Colts defensive back Darius Butler termed "positive."

    A coalition of advocacy groups 'take a knee' outside of a hotel where members the quarterly NFL league meetings are being held on Tuesday in New York City.  Owners, players and commissioner Roger Goodell are all expected to attend. The activists spoke of having solidarity with athletes and coaches around the country who have also kneeled in protest of racial injustice, especially in policing.
 [Getty Images]