Bulldogs beat up after loss
By Rick Pedone
The balance of St. Cloud’s football season got tougher after it lost three starters, perhaps for the remainder of the season, during last week’s 49-8 setback at South Lake (6-1).
The Bulldogs, 2-5 and 1-2, visit Lake Nona Friday at 7:30 p.m. for a 7A-6 district contest.
Quarterback/running back Brian Steinmetz and receiver Reece Austin left the South Lake game with concussions, and linebacker Juan Diaz injured his Achilles tendon. Diaz is out for the season, and Steinmetz and Austin, who was airlifted from the game, will not return until they complete the concussion protocol.
“We got banged up,” Bulldogs Coach Bryan Smart said. “South Lake is a good football team. They’re athletic, they’re physical, and they’re very well coached.”
The Bulldogs led, 8-7, in the first quarter when Jonathan Stewart scored and ran for two points, but South Lake countered with a quick-strike TD on its next play and then a Bulldog fumble opened the floodgates.
Smart said that the Bulldogs likely will go to the JV team to fill spots on the varsity roster that opened after the injuries.
“We’re just trying to fight through this. It hasn’t been an easy season and we’ve had our problems, but from here everything can only go up,” Smart said.
Lake Nona, a 35-21 loser to Osceola last week, is 4-2 and 2-1. Quarterback Ryan Sousa has passed for 1,900 yards. Like St. Cloud, it must win Friday to stay in the playoff hunt.
“It’s not great timing (to have so many injuries), but we’ll do what we can. We’re not out of it, yet,” Smart said.