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Football: Lakewood 29, Boca Ciega 28

Published Aug. 25, 2018

ST. PETERSBURG — Lakewood had just broken a 22-22 tie and seemed to have won the game when quarterback Deuce Spann connected with Samari Smith over the middle for an 84-yard touchdown late in the fourth quarter on Saturday.

So Boca Ciega did what it had to do when Chris Phillips returned the ensuing kickoff 80 yards to bring the Pirates within 1. Rather than settle for the tie, Boca Ciega went for two, but Taffrey Peterman's quick pass over the middle fell incomplete. Lakewood kneeled to run out the clock for a 29-28 win in the first game of the regular season.

Lakewood opened scoring in the first quarter with TJ Tampa's 75-yard return of a Boca Ciega fumble. The Pirates, who outgained the Spartans in offense 165-111 in the first half, tied it up when Phillips went 8 yards into the end zone.

In the second quarter, they took the lead on Peterman's 11-yard pass to Jason Washington. The Pirates might have put more points on the board, but holding penalties negated a 50-yard catch and run into the end zone by Phillips, and later a kickoff return that went for an apparent TD.

The Pirates' lead would hold until Philip Pierre knocked a 37-yard field goal through with 1:11 left in the third, giving Lakewood a 16-14 lead. Earlier in the third quarter, Tampa had scored his second TD on a 25-yard catch from Spann to bring Lakewood within 14-13.

The Spartans extended their advantage on a fourth-quarter interception return for a TD by Cornelius McKenzie to put Lakewood up 22-14. Boca Ciega tied the score on Peterman's 37-yard TD pass to Washington along the right sideline with 3:35 left in the game. Peterman then connected with Kyren Taylor for two points.

Spann started out slow, but finished with 193 yards on 13 of 25 passing, including two touchdowns and one interception.

"I was pleased with how they overcame adversity," said Lakewood coach Cory Moore. "I think we have to work on our conditioning. It was unbelievably hot."

Anthony Salveggi, Times correspondent


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