EAST LAKE — The week leading up to the Class 8A, District 7 showdown with North Port, East Lake felt it had to make some changes in practice. Coming off a two-game losing streak, a spark was needed for the Eagles to get back in the win column.
"We have been trying to amp up the intensity in practice because we've been kind of dead lately," tight end Stephen Buric said.
"We had a really good practice this week and it showed on the field in terms of physicality."
And East Lake was certainly the aggressor Friday, defeating North Port 29-6.
North Port (2-4, 0-1) fumbled on the opening drive. After East Lake recovered, Pete DiNovo scored on a quarterback sneak three plays later for a 7-0 lead.
The Bobcats answered on a 34-yard touchdown run by Jason Petrone — their only trip to the end zone.
On the ensuing free kick after a high snap led to a safety, DiNovo found an open Artavis Scott in the middle of the field for a 43-yard touchdown pass. Sebastian Gonzalez added a 45-yard field goal at the end of the half to make it 19-6.
East Lake (3-3, 1-0) came out in the third quarter wanting to make a statement. DiNovo zipped a 20-yard pass across the middle to Buric followed by a 21-yard pitch and catch up the sideline to Scott down to the 1-yard line.
After an East Lake holding penalty, Tyler Lane blasted through an open hole for a 10-yard touchdown run. Lane finished with 18 carries for 114 yards and the touchdown.
"We needed consistency from the offensive line and that comes from us as coaches in practice staying on top of them, and believing in themselves and they have to outwork everybody," East Lake coach Bob Hudson said.