ST. PETERSBURG — When you sift through Lakewood's assortment of big pass plays Thursday night — a bushel so thick the task could require hours — one that stands out is the 55-yard bomb from quarterback Jacquez Jenkins to receiver Bernard Reedy.
Jenkins thew it on the fly, arching it beautifully between two Largo defenders and perfectly into Reedy's arms as the defenders sprawled on the turf. Three players deep downfield in a tangled web of arms and legs lunging for the ball, yet Jenkins placed it where only Reedy could catch it.
The long touchdown set the tone during a wild fourth quarter in which the Spartans came back from an 18-point deficit to defeat county power Largo 32-24.
That snapped the Packers' 15-game regular-season win streak.
"We showed a lot of heart and we never gave up," said Jenkins, who threw for 357 yards, ran for another 49 and accounted for four touchdowns. "I think this showed that Lakewood is for real."
The Spartans (5-1) scored first on a 15-yard pass from Jenkins to Andre Taylor. The extra point was blocked. Soon after, Largo (5-1) came up with some big plays of its own.
Myrick Gwynn took a shovel pass from Ryan Eppes and went 80 yards for a touchdown. Charles Howe kicked the extra point to give the Packers a 7-6 lead. Gwynn then blocked a punt that Daniel Tillman recovered in the end zone to make it 14-6 at the half. Largo tacked on two more scores on fullback Sean Holte's 22-yard touchdown and Howe's 30-yard field goal to lead 24-6 with seven minutes remaining in the fourth.
Points became a premium for Lakewood. And the Spartans provided them. After throwing a touchdown to Reedy, Jenkins scored again, this time by diving toward the corner of the end zone on a 15-yard run.
That cut the deficit to 24-19. Lakewood then forced a punt. Jenkins was sacked on the next play on his own 8-yard line.
But he engineered a drive with his ability to strike deep from anywhere on the field. Three quick strikes to Reedy got the ball to Largo's 8-yard line. Jenkins then connected with Marcus Jackson on a 7-yard touchdown in what proved to be the winning score.
"We never doubted that we could win," Jackson said.
Jackson put the exclamation point on the victory, returning an interception 24 yards for a touchdown for the final score.