ST. PETERSBURG — If Countryside was to have any chance against highly regarded Lakewood Friday night, somebody had to emerge as a playmaker.
Dante Satcher was that player.
Satcher gained 287 yards on 30 carries and scored on runs of 60 and 20 yards to lead the Cougars to a 25-20 win. It is the second straight season Countryside beat Lakewood in the opener.
"Everybody doubted us," Satcher said. "We had to prove a point."
Things did not start well for the Cougars. Lakewood scored on its first possession. It rolled 85 yards on eight plays and scored when Ryan Davis hit Adrian Adams on a 14-yard pass that was tipped by Countryside defender Damien Howard. The extra point was blocked. Davis was 4-for-5 for 47 yards on the drive, and he also had a 15-yard run.
Countryside mounted a drive late in the first quarter and had a fourth and goal at the 5 when play was delayed due to lightning. After nearly an hour, the Cougars went for it on fourth down and did not convert.
Lakewood put together a 95-yard, eight-play drive capped by a 21-yard Ryan Davis run around the left sideline. The Spartans led 12-3 at halftime. Then the Cougars started rolling.
First came a six-play, 45-yard drive that ended on a Trent Chmelik 1-yard run. Then early in the fourth quarter, Satcher really started running.
He had a 20-yard run that made it 16-12. And after a fumble gave Countryside the ball, Satcher raced 60 yards around the left side to make it 23-12.
"My coaches teach me to make one cut and go," Satcher said. "On that play, I made my cut and I went."
Lakewood did not go away. With just over five minutes left, Davis conducted a 78-yard drive capped by his 1-yard touchdown run. The-two point conversion was good, and the Spartans trailed 23-20.
After a stop, Lakewood got the ball with 1:08 left at its 10. But on the second play, the ball was snapped when Davis wasn't looking. He recovered the ball in the end zone but sacked for a safety.
Davis finished with 141 yards rushing and 166 passing. Chmelik was 9-for-16 for 187 yards.