LAKEWOOD RANCH — The play called for Chad Rex to slip in right up the middle. But when that middle got congested, Lakewood Ranch's sophomore quarterback didn't get flustered.
Rather he maneuvered his way to an opening on the left side of his offensive line and plowed into the end zone. It was a crucial two-point conversion right before the first half concluded, and it was also the final points in the Mustangs' Class 6A, District 7 opener against Boca Ciega.
The tally lifted Ranch (3-1) past the Pirates 22-21 as a steady downpour arrived at halftime and forced both teams to rely on a heavy ground game for the final two quarters.
The two-point call from Ranch coach Shawn Trent was made easier by two straight offside penalties by Boca Ciega as the Mustangs lined up for a tying extra-point attempt.
"Really the second offside penalty was the one that really made the decision to go for the two," Trent said. "We just feel like we can get one yard."
Boca Ciega had a chance in the final minute to score, but quarterback Jaire Balloon's only pass attempt of the game was intercepted.