By Tamas Mondovics
“This will not be an easy night,” said East Bay Indians Varsity Football Head Coach Frank LaRosa just moments prior to his team welcoming its Class 7A, District 9 rival Plant City in game five of the 2015 fall football season.
Four quarters later, East Bay suffered its second straight loss leading to posting a mid-season (2-3, 0-2) record, while the Raiders (4-1, 2-0) claimed a 22-7 victory, the team’s second conference game and fourth consecutive win of the season with Jefferson, Brandon and Strawberry Crest already in the bag.
From the start Plant City dominated the field as junior quarterback Corey King gave fans a taste of what is to come after connecting with junior wide receiver Antoine Thompson (who finished with 87 receiving yards) to pull off an 80-yard beauty in the first quarter to put the Raiders up 7-0.
In the second quarter, things only got worse for East Bay thanks to a bad snap, resulting in a safety followed by another 10-yard run to put the Raiders up 15-0.
While collecting 25 penalty yards, East Bay managed to score in the third on an 8-yard K.J. Sails run.
It is noteworthy that East Bay wasn’t the only program to suffer loss midway through the season.
Steinbrenner, led by Jayquese Dantley, who rushed for 163 yards, remained unbeaten after defeating Riverview 37-20, Sharks (2-3) Quon Lambert rushed for 140 yards, while teammate AJ Evans earned two touchdowns.
In the wake of its first win against Freedom a week earlier, but continuing its difficult season, Spoto walked way with another disappointing night after a 28-8 loss to Hillsborough. The Spartans lone score is credited to running back Demarco Archie on an 11-yard touchdown.
Perhaps the best mid-season game of the night was the 7A-District 9 clash between Lennard (4-0, 1-0) and Durant (3-1, 1-1), which kept fans at their seat until the game-ending 2-yard drive in double overtime and the final score of 27-24 in the Longhorns favor.
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