On Halloween night Clearwater High had just enough tricks to treat themselves to a victory over visiting East Lake.
The Tornadoes battled their way back from a halftime deficit to earn a 25-14 victory.
PLAY OF THE GAME: With his team trailing 14-12 and having only seven minutes left in the game, Clearwater quarterback Brice Lawrence dropped back and found receiver Brad Sommerville on third and four for the go-ahead 15-yard touchdown, after which Clearwater never trailed again.
PLAYERS OF THE GAME: The players of the game were the entire Clearwater defensive team. They held East Lake to just 14 points on 222 total yards, 58 of which came on East Lake's last drive after the game was already out of reach.
KEY STATISTIC: The statistic key to Clearwater's victory was second half rushing yards. Clearwater racked up 142 second half rushing yards on 20 carries, averaging 7 yards per carry. This big second half of rushing led Clearwater to the victory.
THEY SAID IT: "My guys came out in the second half and made up their minds that they were gonna win. We are a young team and we just keep getting better."_ Clearwater coach Tom Bostic.
_ CHAD GOEBERT
Booker 61, Lakewood 21
SARASOTA _ The Tornadoes hit Lakewood hard Friday night, but not quite when forecast.Undefeated, fifth-ranked (Class 3A) Sarasota-Booker found the winless Spartans to be full of fight _ at least for a half _ before scoring 32 unanswered points in the second half and pulling away to a 61-21 rout at Lakewood.
Terrence Jones rushed for three touchdowns and 210yards on 18 carries, but it was his 87-yard kickoffreturn for a score on the second-half kickoff thatturned a 29-14 shootout into a laugher for theTornadoes (9-0 overall, 4-0 in 3A-District 11). Bookeradded three more TDs within a 4:30 span late in thethird quarter, including a 63-yard fumble return bylinebacker Donald Hubbard.
Lakewood is 0-9 overall, 0-4 in the district. "A lot of our problems are about a lack of execution," said Spartans coach Brian Bruch. "But we've given uptouchdowns in every conceivable way this season. Nineinterceptions for touchdowns, blocked punts, fumblereturns, safeties, you name it.
"We play lights-out for about six or eight minutes ata time, and then we find a way to screw it up."
Jones, a 5-foot-10, 183-pound senior, scored on runsof 2, 6 and 47 yards for Booker. Lakewood's twotouchdowns came on a 95-yard kickoff return by seniorDaron Welch and a 9-yard pass from Chris Bryant toJamal Simpson on the last play of the first half.
"I don't know why they're 0-9, because I'm not up hereevery day," said Booker coach Fred Gilmore. "Buttalent for talent, speed for speed, there isn't thatmuch of a difference in our two football teams. Yousaw what happened when they got in our secondary.Speed kills, and they+ve got speed."
Lakewood will try to avoid its first winless seasonsince 1992 _ Bruch's first season as the Spartans'coach _ when it visits rival Boca Ciega next Friday.While eight different players scored for the visitors,12 players touched the ball offensively for Lakewood,which carries just 12 seniors on its 47-man roster.Mike King carried five times for 40 yards, whilequarterback Chris Bryant was 7-of-12 passing, for 77yards and the TD to Simpson.
Welch's kickoff return came with 5:54 left in thesecond quarter, after Booker had piled up a 22-0 lead.He took a lateral from James Green at his 5 and shotup the middle of the field, almost untouched to theend zone. The Spartans drove 61 yards on their nextpossession for another score, with Bryant findingSimpson for 32 yards on the first play of the driveand Welch dashing for 20 yards to the Booker 9,setting up Bryant+s scoring pass.
_ DONNIE WILKIE