ST. PETERSBURG — Lakewood dropped its regular-season finale 26-7 to St. Petersburg on Friday, and might have lost much more in the process.
Senior quarterback Jacquez Jenkins injured his left knee on a draw play with 7:02 remaining in the third quarter after a jarring hit along the St. Petersburg sideline. Jenkins, who didn't put any weight on the leg as he was helped off the field, is questionable for the Spartans' first-round playoff game Friday at Plant.
"I think for the severity of it, it must be pretty bad," Lakewood coach Cory Moore said. "Now, I'm moreso focused on him health-wise."
Jenkins sat on the sideline in visible pain with a bag of ice around his knee and didn't return.
"We wanted momentum into the playoffs, but that's how it is," Moore said. "Of course, if we knew he would hurt something, he wouldn't have played. But, you know, it's all a part of the game. We'll be fine."
The rest of the second half wasn't much better for Lakewood (7-3), which jumped to a 7-0 first-quarter lead on Bernard Reedy's 1-yard plunge. After Malik Wilson tied the score at 7 with 30 seconds left in the first half on a 53-yard touchdown run, the Green Devils' Dondre Davis returned the opening second-half kickoff 99 yards to paydirt, putting St. Petersburg (8-2) ahead for good. Devon Papandrew hit field goals of 30 and 32 yards, giving the Green Devils a 19-7 lead after three quarters.
Withouth Jenkins, Lakewood gained 53 yards in the second half and couldn't establish any offensive rhythm. St. Petersburg, meanwhile, kept pounding away with its running game. The Green Devils didn't attempt a pass in the second half, rushing 30 times for 123 yards.
Ben Sams put the game away late in the fourth on a 5-yard touchdown carry, culminating a 11-play drive that started at the Green Devils' 42.
"We just kept wearing them down," said Sams, who gained 139 yards on 24 rushes to lead St. Petersburg. "We condition harder than any other team in the county, and it shows. None of us are tired out there. We just keep pounding it."