Lakeland remained undefeated with a come-from-behind 20-16 victory against district rival Kissimmee Osceola in the Class 5A-Region 2 semifinals, beating the same team that eliminated the Dreadnaughts from the postseason a year ago.
Lakeland (12-0) overcame a 10-point halftime deficit as its offense finally got rolling behind running back Aaron Truedell, who ran 13 times for 90 yards and scored all three Dreadnaughts touchdowns.
It looked like the Dreadnaughts would get the early lead when Osceola turned the ball over on its first play from scrimmage but could not convert when Aaron O'Brien missed a 32-yard field-goal attempt.
Momentum then shifted to the Kowboys (8-4) when quarterback Bryant Butler threw a nifty screen pass to running back Frank Thomas that resulted in a 79-yard score.
Lakeland fumbled on the ensuing possession, which the Kowboys turned into points when kicker Chris Elstermann booted a 25-yarder through the uprights, giving Osceola a nine-point lead.
After Lakeland scored on a 15-yard run by Truedell, the Kowboys quickly answered with a touchdown of their own by Semaj Washington to make the score 16-6 at the half.
Lakeland then dominated the remainder of the game, as the defense stiffened and the offense, which managed only 27 total rushing yards in the first half, finally got on track.
Kissimmee Osceola61000-16Lakeland0677-20 O-Thomas 79 pass from Butler (kick failed)
O-FG Elstermann 25
L-Truedell 15 run (kick failed)
O-Washington 5 run (Elstermann kick)
L-Truedell 30 run (O'Brien kick)
L-Truedell 7 run (O'Brien kick)