ST. PETERSBURG — In the interest of full disclosure, Lakewood coach Cory Moore estimated that 90 percent of his starting lineup spent at least part of this past week battling the flu.
In the interest of fuller disclosure, it may not have mattered Friday night.
Jefferson was that dominant. Behind a defense as unyielding as it was unheralded, the Dragons (4-1, 2-0) took a giant step toward the Class 3A, District 8 crown with a 27-6 triumph that could've been worse.
Subtract the first play of the game — Jermiel Douse's 77-yard kickoff return — and Lakewood (4-2, 1-1) was shut out. The Spartans managed 41 first-half yards and didn't advance inside the Dragons 40 until the fourth quarter.
Only two Jefferson fumbles inside the Lakewood 15 thwarted a potential 35-point rout.
The defensive effort "was fabulous, no doubt about it," Dragons coach Mike Fenton said moments before being doused with ice water by a couple of team managers. "Offensively we did enough to get by; we were a little sloppy at times. But I can't say enough about the defense. It was a fabulous job."
While the Dragons defense displayed brutality, the offense showed balance. With Lakewood playing press coverage on 6-foot-3 receiver Andre Davis, Jefferson went to its running game.
The result: 139 ground yards, with junior Demetrius Russell (17 carries, 92 yards, one touchdown) leading the way.
Quarterback Quentin Williams still passed for 158 yards, but only one of his eight completions went to Davis. In fact, he had as many receptions on defense (a fourth-period interception) as offense (a 14-yard touchdown catch in the third).
"I've said all along that we've got other guys," Fenton said.
Among them: rangy tight end Ramik Wilson, whose 39-yard reception on third and 6 set up LaDarius Moye's 2-yard touchdown run that gave Jefferson a 7-6 lead. On Jefferson's next possession, 6-foot-2 wideout Chris Moore beat his defender for a 23-yard scoring catch.
Russell's 20-yard touchdown run with 7:05 left in the third gave Jefferson a 21-6 lead. Lakewood's ensuing three possessions ended with an interception, punt and fumble, respectively.
"We had a lot of guys who couldn't practice this week because they had to be separated because they had (the flu)," said Moore, noting he had players cramping up before kickoff.
"But I think Jefferson did a fantastic job on the defensive side to keep us off-balance. We have to learn from that and be ready to play if we're trying to go to Orlando (site of the state championships) to play over there."
Cambridge 34, Santa Fe Catholic 14: The host Lancers (2-3) beat Santa Fe for the first time thanks to 27 unanswered second-half points. Cambridge quarterback Michael McDermott threw three touchdown passes, two to Brandon Park.
Carrollwood Day 54, All Saints' Academy 0: Two-way star Darius Bing had five touchdowns, including four rushing, for the host Patriots (5-0). Bing added an interception return for a touchdown for the Patriots, who led 47-0 at halftime; the second half was played with a running clock. Deuce Gruden had 15 tackles and a touchdown reception.