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Lakeland 28, Kathleen 27 (11/9/12)

November 10, 2012

A matchup of two central Florida powers came down to the final seconds, and then needed even more time to decide the victor in a fantastic rivalry game. The Lakeland Dreadnaughts came in at 8-1 and a playoff-position already clinched, while the Kathleen Red Devils stood at 6-3 and missed out on the playoffs thanks to some disappointing results in other games in the district last week. This meant the game was all about the rivalry.

Trailing 21-14 with just under two minutes to go in the game, Kathleen scored when senior A’Treyu Farrior found Virginia Tech commit Ja’Von Harrison on a route across the middle and the receive did the rest of the work taking it fifty yards to the end zone to pull the Red Devils within one with just over 30 seconds left to go. After the play, however, the referees penalized Harrison and the Red Devils for an excessive celebration penalty, meaning the extra point would be attempted from 34yards out. Kicker Omar Carvajal calmly stepped into the kicked and made an extra point that would have been good from fifty yards to tie the game and force overtime.

In the overtime period, Lakeland got the ball first and scored on an end-around by receiver Shaquan Perkins to take a 28-21 lead. Kathleen scored on their very first play in overtime when running back Rovonta Johnson ran for ten yards straight up the middle of the Dreadnaught defense. After lining up for the extra point, the Red Devils called a timeout and came back to the field lined up for a two-point conversion. After a Lakeland timeout, Kathleen came back out in the same formation. Farrior called his own number and snuck up the middle, but the Dreadnaught defense stiffened at the one and drove the quarterback backwards to seal the victory and the Great American Rivalry Series Trophy.

Kathleen had taken the lead early in the game on a 50-yd touchdown run, but Lakeland quickly responded to score two touchdowns in the first quarter of their own for the 14-6 which they carried into halftime. The Dreadnaughts added another touchdown in the third to take a 21-6 lead heading into the final period.

The Red Devils got a 75-yd touchdown run from Johnson on the first play of the quarter to spark new life into the home crowd, and the Harrison touchdown absolutely turned Kathleen’s Johnny Johnson Stadium electric. The home crowd had hopes of defeating the Lakeland Dreadnaughts for the first time in twenty years, and Coach Strickland made the incredibly gutsy call to go for that victory in the first overtime period. Unfortunately for the home crowd, the Red Devils were not able to convert the two-point conversion and the Dreadnaughts took home the victory and the hardware.

Lakeland quarterback Isaiah Walker was named Great American Rivalry Series MVP by the media in attendance for his overall performance in leading the Dreadnaught offense.


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What is the Great American Rivalry Series?

Each fall for over a century, high school football has been the centerpiece for families and communities on Friday night. In 2004, iHigh, Inc. created the Great American Rivalry Series to celebrate this uniquely American sport and the cultural phenomenon of “Friday Night in America.” The Series shines the spotlight on top high school football rivalries across the nation, where long-standing traditions are valued, expectations are sky high, and followers are committed.