ST. PETERSBURG — Lakewood advanced to its first region final in school history by turning a close game at halftime into a 30-9 rout of Tarpon Springs on Friday night.
The Spartans face South Sumter on the road in next week’s region final.
Ryan Davis led Lakewood by passing for two touchdowns and running for two more.
“It feels amazing,” said Davis, who completed 10 of 16 passes for 175 yards. “We’ve been focusing on taking one game at a time because we knew how special this team was and what we were capable of. We didn’t want to think about (making the region final) until after we had accomplished it.
“Now, we can celebrate a little bit, but we just have to maintain that focus moving forward.”
Neither team did much as far as scoring points in the first half with Lakewood holding an 8-6 lead late in the second quarter. The Spartans, though, had the ball on the 2-yard line when Davis attempted a jump pass into the end zone only to have Leonel Hernandez intercept it with five seconds left before the half.
“That play really got us going because we knew we should have had more points going into the locker room,” Davis said. “We feel like we can score every time we have the ball.”
The Spartans almost did just that in the second half, scoring the first three times they had possession.
Davis capped an 80-yard drive to open the third quarter with a 1-yard run.
After Louis Zervos connected on a 48-yard field goal for the Spongers, Davis finished another drive with a similar quarterback sneak to give Lakewood a 23-9 lead.
After the Spartans stopped the Spongers on fourth down on Tarpon Springs’ next possession, Davis connected with Darquez Watson for the second time in the game for a 34-yard touchdown pass.
T. Springs 0 6 3 0 — 9
Lakewood 0 8 15 7 — 30
L — Watson 23 pass from Davis (Boykins pass from Ellison)
TS — Johnson 1 run (run failed)
L — Davis 1 run (Ellison run)
TS — FG Zervos 48
L — Davis 1 run (Bryant kick)
L — Watson 34 pass from Davis (Bryant kick)