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Lakewood wins shootout over Calvary Christian to reach states for third time in four years

The Spartans compile over 600 yards of offense in the region final victory over the Warriors

CLEARWATER, Fla.- It’s starting to become an annual Black Friday deal seeing the Lakewood Spartans clinching a trip to the state semifinals. 

On Friday night, the Spartans booked their ticket for a road trip down to Miami to face the Central Rockets next week. Lakewood amassed over 600 yards of total offense and rolled to a 63-42 win over Clearwater Calvary Christian in a Class 2M, Region 2 final. 

Miami Central defeated Miami Norland 34-20, setting Lakewood up for a ride down to Traz Powell Stadium to face one of the state’s top teams in the Rockets. Before any of that was decided, the Spartans had to partake in a track meet of a football game against the Warriors off Drew St. 

Coming off a thrilling 44-41 win over Tampa Catholic last week, Lakewood had plenty of big plays left in the tank going up against a Calvary Christian team that has put up some impressive numbers themselves. From the outset, the Spartans looked to make the game an offensive shootout and the Warriors obliged. 

It would be Calvary Christian finding the scoreboard first when running back Sean Cuono found pay dirt after a 59-yard touchdown run. Not too long later, Lakewood would answer on a 54-yard scoring strike from Anthony Colandrea to wide receiver Antonio Bell (five catches, 108 yards). 

When you want to talk about some numbers out up by players in the region semifinal round, you can’t miss Colandrea on this specific stat sheet. The Virginia commit completed 23-of-28 passes for 404 yards, five touchdowns and even added one on the ground for good measure. 

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It wasn’t just Colandrea all by his lonesome making all the throws, however, as he was aided by some strong performances around him. Running back Tra’quan Johnson rushed 12 times for 167 yards and three touchdowns and wide receiver Shamar Rigby had eight catches for 117 yards and two touchdowns. 

The scoring free for all on a day that shopping is usually the spree was evident after one quarter when the teams were tied at 21-apiece. Lakewood went into halftime up 35-28 and kept up the momentum of being up into the second half. 

The Spartans finally got their two score advantage when Johnson scored on a 17-yard scamper with 11:15 remaining in the game and gave Lakewood a 49-35 lead. That’s when the game began to get away from Calvary Christian as Colandrea would find Gage Nix on a 12-yard strike to put the Spartans ahead 56-35, giving Lakewood a commanding lead. 

Calvary Christian put up its own impressive set of numbers when it came to offensive production as quarterback Jacob Drackett finished the game completing 21-of-34 passes for 210 yards and two touchdowns. Cuono was the game’s leading rusher, ending with 187 on 16 touches and two touchdowns. Lakewood would out-gain Calvary Christian 626-411 on the night. 

Lakewood clinched its third state semifinal appearance in four years and facing the night Central Rockets will be no easy task as they defeated IMG Academy earlier in the season. 

Andy Villamarzo can be reached at andyvillamarzo@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter @Andy_Villamarzo.