The Kathleen Red Devils will host the Lakeland Dreadnaughts in a classic Florida rivalry battle. The Red Devils have not defeated Lakeland since 1992, including last year’s 31-21 win at Lakeland’s Bryant Stadium. Lakeland has already clinched a spot in the 7A playoffs, while the Red Devils came up just short of making a three-team playoff for second in the district. Kathleen’s Johnny Johnson Stadium will be the site as the Red Devils try and snap their losing streak.
The Lakeland Dreadnaughts finished last season as district champs, region champs, but could not come up with the title that meant the most. The Dreadnaughts came up just short of the state championship game; they lost to First Coast in the semi-finals to give them their only loss of the season (13-1). Lakeland lost their chance at repeating as District champs last weekend when they lost 7-0 to Ridge. Despite the loss, the Dreadnaughts are still 8-1 on the season and are headed to the playoffs regardless of the outcome Friday night. The ‘Naughts are led on offense by their senior quarterback Isaiah Walker. Walker is a duel-threat quarterback who will pass it just as much as he runs it. A number of players will see carries at running back including Robert Smith, Braxton Huggins and Gabriel Walker. Walker’s go to targets in the passing game are Shaquan Perkins, Jacquan Foster and Xavier Spann. Jalen Stevenson returned from last season to anchor the defensive line with Devon Denson. Stevenson broke the single season sack record at Lakeland with 25 last season. T.J. Simmons will man the linebacking unit. The secondary will feature Tre’ Dempsey, De’Mon Peeples, D.J. Alexander and Bryan Mitchell. The defense was instrumental in the success of last season, allowing just 11 points per game. This season, the ‘Naughts defensive has shut out 4 opponents and allowed just over 7 points per game. If the defense is any indication then Lakeland should be able to make another deep playoff run.
The Kathleen Red Devils recorded a 5-5 record in 2011 and just barely missed the playoffs. This year, the Red Devils came up just short of the playoffs again. Kathleen was looking for some help from Bartow last weekend, if Bartow could beat Winter Haven and Kathleen beat Sebring, then the Red Devils would have entered into a 3-team playoff for 2nd place in District 10-6A. Kathleen handled their business with a 38-0 drubbing of Sebring, but Bartow came up just short of Winter Haven, 28-26. This won’t stop the Red Devils from giving everything they have to end their current losing streak against Lakeland. Senior A’Treyu Farrior leads the Red Devils offense with Rovonta Johnson lining up behind him at running back. Farrior’s go to target all season has been Javon Harrison. Harrison is committed to play at Virginia Tech University. Defensively, Kevin Wilson, Shaquille Black and Greg Abrams will man the Red Devils secondary. DeAndre Owens leads the linebacking unit that includes Demiracle Flournoy, Antonio Jenkins and Justin Andrews. Harrison will man the secondary for the Red Devils on top of his receiving duties.
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