Harmony and St. Cloud have both clinched berth in their flag football district tournaments, and now it’s time to settle a long-standing score between the two teams who were ranked in the state to start the year in their classes.
The two will meet Tuesday at Harmony; usually that is the de facto Orange Belt Conference championship game, but Gateway (9-1 defeated both and clinched its first conference title.
Still, … Harmony took a 6-0 defensive struggle on a 26-yard pass from Baylee Edwards to Bryn Hudson. The Longhorns needed four interceptions to get the win; the score was set up to get one.
That was St. Cloud’s only loss in the regular season before falling in the District 2A-5 title game to Lake Nona. Harmony also lost its title game, 7-0 to Jones in District A-10. So a bitter game against a rival should help set their jaws for district play, and settle second place in the OBC.
St. Cloud geared up for Harmony and the postseason with a 28-6 win Wednesday over Osceola. The Kowboys started with the ball but the Bulldogs forced a punt and scored on their first possession when Elly Schmidt hit Maria Sandoval on a 24-yard touchdown strike in the corner of the end zone. Schmidt hooked up with Tina Velez on a 4-yarder midway through the second quarter.
A third-quarter strike from Angie Rodriguez on a halfback pass to Kierstyn Kelly gave St. Cloud breathing room, and another from Schmidt to Sandoval in the fourth quarter was icing on the cake.
Kayla Blackwood and Rachel Jimenez had interceptions for St. Cloud, who still didn’t play its best game according to Coach Shawn Beck.
“It was a good win but we can play better, I know,” he said. “We’ll need better effort to beat Harmony and if we want to win in the district tournament … and beyond.”
The Bulldogs close the regular season with Harmony, and will face Oak Ridge in the 2A-5 district semifinals on April 23 at Freedom. Cypress Creek and Gateway, who moved to 8-1 themselves Tuesday with an overtime victory over district foe Cypress Creek. The semifinal winners will play on April 25 at 7 p.m. at Freedom.
Gateway played Tohopekaliga Friday night in search of an undefeated OBC record, and close the regular season at home Monday against Freedom and Tuesday at Lake Nona.
Gateway and St. Cloud came into this week ranked No. 14 and 15 in the state in the Florida High School Football 2A state rankings.