Liberty wins homecoming game
By Rick Pedone
Liberty’s Kyle Sharman blocked a punt and ran for two second half touchdowns to help the Chargers snap a four-game losing streak with a 28-13 homecoming win over Celebration.
Sharman blocked a Storm punt just seconds into the third quarter that was recovered by Michael Joynes at the Celebration 2. Sharman, playing quarterback, ran up the middle for the touchdown that expanded a 14-13 halftime lead to 21-13.
The Chargers improved to 2-4 and won for the first time in District 7A-6, where they have a 1-2 record. Celebration slipped to 0-6 and is 0-2 in the district.
Sharman said the Chargers struggled through the first half.
“I was surprised it was that close. We are playing to the level of the team we are playing instead of playing Charger football,” he said. “We did a little better job of that in the second half.”
The Storm threatened to score late in the fourth quarter, driving to the Liberty 17, but the Chargers held on downs. Then, Sharman broke free for a 69-yard TD dash with 58 seconds left to seal the victory.
Markel Brown and Justin Winkler had second half interceptions for the Chargers.
Brown caught a touchdown pass from Pat Knight in the first half and Cruz Madero ran for a touchdown.
Stefano Saragusa, the county’s leading rusher, ran for both Celebration touchdowns.
Storm Coach Dennis Thomas said he was encouraged by his team’s play.
“I think we saw a turning point,” he said.
Lake Wales 55, Poinciana 7
Poinciana opened its 5A-10 district schedule against the preseason favorite, and Lake Wales did nothing to dispute that notion after bolting to a 35-7 first-quarter lead against the Eagles, 2-3 and 0-1.
The Highlanders, 3-3 and 2-0, scored on six of seven first-half possessions, five on plays of 30 yards or more.
Lake Wales’ Darion Staten scored four touchdowns, three on plays of more than 90 yards. He scored on 50- and 99-yard pass receptions from quarterback Railond Garrett in the first half and then late in the second quarter he returned an interception 98 yards for a score. He scored on a 97-yard pass play in the third quarter.
The Highlanders led 48-7 at the half. The game finished under a running clock.
The Eagles scored early in the first quarter on Josh Lopez’s 99-yard kickoff return to make the score competitive at 14-7.
Poinciana drove from its 15 to the Highlander 4 yard line in the second quarter before Staten snared a third-down pass in the flat and scored.