TARPON SPRINGS — Pounding the ball almost exclusively between the tackles, Seminole rode senior running back Ra'Quanne Dickens to a convincing 13-play, 80-yard opening march and a shocking 7-0 lead over unbeaten East Lake on Friday.
That was all the Warhawks success that the host Eagles could stand.
"We came out asleep and thought we could just walk on by them," defensive end Carson Lydon said. "We quickly realized that we couldn't take them for granted."
Rising with equal parts wounded pride and anger, East Lake (6-0, 2-0 in Class 7A-9) beat Seminole (1-5, 0-2) badly in every phase, scoring three special teams touchdowns along with a 36-yard score on Dylan Renaker's interception.
"Special teams is the most important part of the game," Lydon said. "If we win that, we win."
Fierce defense led by Lydon (six tackles, three for loss) held Seminole to 65 yards after the first drive. Add efficient offense from tailback Weston Fordham (111 yards and two touchdowns on six first-half carries) and the rout was on. Not that the Eagles were particularly happy.
"Seminole put up a great effort but they shouldn't have scored 13 points on us," Lydon said. "I know we're better than that. Anything over zero (points allowed) is a disappointment."
Chuck Frye, Times correspondent