ST. PETERSBURG — After a switch at quarterback at halftime, Lakewood outlasted Gibbs 24-14 Friday night.
Lakewood got onto the scoreboard first after Ryan Davis completed a short pass to Jocqui Ellison, who made two Gibbs defenders run into each other before he took off down the sideline for a 70-yard gain. Once in the red zone, Davis found Andrew Davis on a jump ball to put the Spartans in front 6-0.
The Gladiators answered on the ensuing kickoff when senior Maurice Hall returned the kick 91 yards to put Gibbs in the lead 8-6 after a Brevet Killett two-point conversion run.
Neither team could get much going on offense after that; it was penalty after penalty or incompletion after incompletion.
On the Spartans' final drive of the first half, Ellison replaced Davis at quarterback, where he stayed until midway through the fourth. Ellison led Lakewood down to 10-yard line before time expired at the half.
Using his legs and his arm, Ellison led Lakewood to two touchdowns on their first two drives of the second half.
Gibbs decided to switch quarterbacks as well. Killett replaced Xavier Kirnes in the second half. And while one of his attempts was picked off, he put the Gladiators within 10 points after throwing a 15-yard touchdown to DaQuan Pittman.
Davis finished 7-of-14 for 168 yards, while Ellison was 5-of-7 for 58 yards and he rushed for 99 yards on eight carries.
Justin Miller, Times correspondent