LAKE WALES — The score of this regional quarterfinal was not indicative of the type of game that was played.
Spoto moved the ball nearly at will. However, a fumble on the 2-yard line, an interception at the 5 and other costly mistakes made this a one-sided game by score — 28-0 Lake Wales in a Class 5A-Region 3 quarterfinal.
If a play typified the kind of game that was played, it was a fourth-down punt by Lake Wales in the third quarter. The punt went up, looked like it was going to land short of the end zone but probably bounce in, and instead, took a sideways bounce and went out at the 9-yard line, pinning the Spartans deep in their territory.
The Highlanders took the opening kickoff and marched 65 yards in seven plays to take a 7-0 lead at the 8:46 mark.
Spoto took the ensuing kickoff and in eight plays found itself at the Lake Wales 35. However, it could not convert the drive into points despite running back James Bethea running the ball three times for 36 yards.
The game went back and forth until Lake Wales took the ball with 2:33 left in the half. The Highlanders drove down the field 61 yards in five plays.
Spoto earlier in the quarter had back-to-back sacks on Lake Wales quarterback Railond Garrett.
The Spartans were playing a stiff defense and on a blitz during that second-half drive, Lake Wales guessed right and let the defenders into the backfield. Garrett threw it over their heads for a short pass that resulted in a 17-yard gain. That was followed by a 12-yard gain by Justin Henderson, who finished with 15 carries for 151 yards.
Spoto 0 0 0 0 — 0
Lake Wales 7 7 7 7 — 28
L – Henderson 8 run (Smith kick)
L – Henderson 3 run (Smith kick)
L – Staten 42 pass from Garrett (Smith kick)
L – Henderson 12 run (Smith kick)