Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Eagles Put Scare in Dreadnaughts; Fleming Island Leads in the Third Quarter before Falling to Lakeland

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Eagles Put Scare in Dreadnaughts; Fleming Island Leads in the Third Quarter before Falling to Lakeland

Article excerpt

Byline: HAYS CARLYON

Fleming Island wanted to make a name for itself by beating nationally ranked Lakeland.

The Golden Eagles didn't get the victory, but they certainly earned some respect around the state.

Fleming Island led Lakeland 29-28 in the third quarter before finally giving way in a 43-29 defeat to the visiting Dreadnaughts in a steady rain in Friday's Region 1-5A final.

"It's disappointing to lose, but I think this will make the guys coming back go harder in the offseason," Fleming Island senior quarterback Rookie Gunn said.

Running backs Malcolm Jones and Robert Boswell both shined as Fleming Island rushed for 321 yards. Jones carried 17 times for 147 yards and two touchdowns, and Boswell gained 156 yards on 12 carries.

"Our backs are good," Fleming Island coach Jeff Webb said. "They are the truth."

Lakeland put the game away after connecting on a 52-yard pass from Jarred Haggins to Theodore Wright to convert a third-and-18 early in the fourth quarter. The Dreadnaughts went on to score on the drive on a 1-yard touchdown run by Rodney Watson to seal the victory.

Fleming Island turned the ball over on downs on its last two possessions.

Lakeland, ranked 23rd in the nation by USA Today, will move on to host Tampa Plant in the state semifinals.

Fleming Island's season ended at 10-3.

"We feel fortunate to get out of here with a win," Lakeland coach Bill Castle said. "My hat is off to them. They are a great team with a great offense. They do a good job coaching them up."

Despite Lakeland's quick-strike offense, Fleming Island stayed right with the Dreadnaughts in the first half.

The offensive line consistently blew Lakeland off the ball, opening up holes for running backs Jones and Boswell. Both backs had more than 100 yards at halftime. Jones jump-started Fleming Island after Lakeland took a 14-0 lead. The senior broke free for a 78-yard touchdown run to cut the lead in half with 5:37 left in the first quarter. …

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