ST. PETERSBURG — Lakewood (9-3) was able to overcome more than 125 penalty yards, 6 tackles-for-loss, and 2 sacks to beat River Ridge (10-2) 26-3 on the legs and arm of senior quarterback Ryan Davis to advance to the Class 5A regional final next friday at Live Oak Suwannee. Davis rushed for 97 yards including touchdown runs of 18, 18, and 24 yards and passed for 128 yards. Senior running back Romello Presley added a late 3-yard touchdown run. Spartans have won seven straight games.
River Ridge got on the board first midway in second quarter following a 32-yard run by junior running back Chris Schwarz to inside the Lakewood 5-yard line but the Spartans defense stiffened to hold the Royal Knights to a 23-yard field goal by junior Tyler Grimes before Lakewood scored 26 unanswered points.
Schwarz who entered the game with the most rushing yards in the state and was 11th in the nation (2,536), rushed for 151 yards on 30 carries.
Royal Knights defense led by the play of junior Brandon Lempfert, senior Dillon O’Toole, and senior Damien Moore did apply constant pressure on Spartans’ Ryan Davis which resulted in sacks and tackles for losses but Davis would answered with electric runs and elusive scrambles to make big plays to lead his team to the regional finals.
Lakewood’s next opponent Live Oak Suwannee (11-1) beat South Sumter (11-1) 24-22.