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)

Football: Sunlake 22, Ocala Vanguard 21

OCALA — Having just watched his team drive 98 yards in less than three minutes to cut Ocala Vanguard's lead to a point with 6:02 remaining in the fourth quarter Friday, Sunlake assistant coach Brandon Browning asked his dad, head coach Bill Browning, a simple question.

"Did you come here to win or tie?" the younger Browning queried into the mouthpiece of his headset.

From there the answer was simple, made even simpler when the Knights jumped offside, cutting the distance to go in half. Seconds later 230-pound running back Jerome Samuels plunged into the end zone from a yard out to give the Seahawks their final margin of a 22-21 victory.

The win came in the first playoff game in school history and puts Sunlake (10-1) into the Class 6A, Region 2 semifinals.

Browning's call might be talked about for a long time.

"It was one of those decisions where you could be a hero or the biggest jerk in the world," he said.

Behind Florida State commitment P.J. Williams (15 carries for 147 yards with a rushing and return touchdown), the Knights led most of the game and were on their way to taking a 28-14 lead with fewer than nine minutes to play.

That's when the Seahawks played perhaps their best defense of the season.

After Kyle Sandner was tackled just shy of the goal line on second down, Vanguard had two tries to get into the end zone. However, Sandner (14 carries for 96 yards, one touchdown) was stopped for no gain then dropped for a loss.

From there, Cameron Stoltz (9-of-15 for 157 yards, two touchdowns) led an eight-play, 98-yard drive culminated when he dove in from a yard out, setting up the two-point conversion.

After each team punted, Vanguard got the ball back on the Seahawks' 42 with less than 20 seconds to play.

After a 15-yard completion from Cody Miller to Williams, senior Lee Brown attempted a 44-yard field goal with seven seconds remaining.

The kick had the distance but sailed slightly wide left.

"It's a shame it came down to that, but give (the Seahawks) credit," Vanguard coach Alex Castaneda said. "They went (98) yards and then went for two and got it. That's tough to do and they did it."

Football: Sunlake 22, Ocala Vanguard 21 11/18/11 [Last modified: Friday, November 25, 2011 8:16pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Alex Faedo, Florida advance to face LSU in College World Series finals


    OMAHA, Neb. — Alex Faedo pitched three-hit ball for 71/3 innings in a second straight strong performance against TCU, and Florida moved to the College World Series finals with a 3-0 win Saturday night.

    Florida’s Austin Langworthy scores on a single by Mike Rivera in the second inning during a 3-0 victory over TCU.
  2. Jones: Bucs need success to get national respect


    Tampa Bay Times columnist Tom Jones offers up his Two Cents on the world of sports.

    No respect

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter walks the field during the second day of mandatory minicamp at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday, June 14, 2017. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times
  3. Rays journal: Jumbo Diaz falters after getting within a strike of ending rally

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Saturday's game got away starting with a leadoff walk in the seventh inning by Rays LHP Jose Alvarado, who was brought in exclusively to face Baltimore's lefty-swinging Seth Smith.

    Rays reliever Jumbo Diaz wipes his face as he walks off the mound after the Orioles score four during the seventh inning to give them a 7-3 lead. Diaz was one strike away from working out of the jam before he allowed a two-run double and a two-run homer on back-to-back pitches.
  4. Rookie Jake Faria dissatisfied with performance in Rays' loss to Orioles

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The rookie pitcher walked to his locker Saturday after tossing the fourth quality start in as many tries to begin his career. He held the potent Orioles bats to three runs and for six innings gave his team a chance to win.

    Orioles third baseman Manny Machado tags out the Rays’ Mallex Smith at third after a rundown in the first inning.
  5. Roger Mooney's takeaways from Saturday's Rays-Orioles game

    The Heater

    It was refreshing to see RHP Jacob Faria take the blame after the loss even though he gave the Rays a chance to win. Too often young pitchers are encouraged by what they did and not necessarily the outcome, but Faria, making just his fourth big-league start, came to the Trop to win, didn't, and pointed the finger …