LEHIGH ACRES — Seth Browning walked off the field in the fourth quarter clutching his helmet in disbelief.
After hooking an extra point off the left goalpost with 7:40 left in the game, the Lakewood Ranch High junior kicker couldn’t help but feel as if he had let his teammates down.
“I was obviously frustrated, but being a kicker you’ve got to forget those things,” Browning said.
Luckily for Browning, he would get the chance to redeem himself. With 11.8 seconds left in the game, Browning drilled a 32-yard field goal, propelling Lakewood to a 23-20 victory over East Lee County High in Lehigh Acres Sept. 17.
“I was nervous a little bit, but when you’re a kicker you want to be able to win games,” Browning said. “I’m glad I got the opportunity.”
Browning’s game-winning field goal was his first field goal attempt in a varsity uniform. But Browning, who has been known to hit 50-yarders in practice, wasn’t worried about the distance as much as he was about getting the kick off.
“I had never been in a situation like that — especially on varsity,” Browning said. “I was just trying to square up, get my alignment right and follow through. I hit it good, but I was still nervous that I was going to hit the goal post.”
After trailing 6-0 in the first quarter, Lakewood running back Taryn Laws found the end zone from two yards out, capping off a 59-yard drive. The Mustangs extended their lead on their next possession when quarterback Reggie Lindsey connected with Octavious Washington for a 23-yard strike and a 14-6 halftime lead.
The Jaguars tied the game on a 46-yard run and a two-point conversion before Lindsey regained the lead on a 3-yard keeper with 7:40 remaining.
East Lee County tied the game with 3:11 left in the game on a 2-yard run by Holland but failed to make the extra point, giving Browning another chance to win the game for the Mustangs.
“I felt comfortable with our kicker; I had no problem with that,” said coach Shawn Trent. “It was the rest of the game that I had a problem with. We played flat, which I think part of that was the big game last week and then the long trip and the short week. I didn’t feel like we really played well, but I’ll take a W right now.”
The Mustangs will return to action tomorrow night when they play host to Ida Baker High for their Homecoming game. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.
Contact Jen Blanco at firstname.lastname@example.org.
LR — 0 14 0 9 — 23
EL — 6 0 0 14 — 20
EL — James Holland 9 run (Michael Cole kick failed), 0:33
LR — Taryn Laws 2 run (Seth Browning kick), 11:56
LR — Octavious Washington 23 pass from Reggie Lindsey (Browning kick), 8:42
EL — Holland 46 run (Taylor Garrett 2 pass from Holland), 10:14
LR — Lindsey 3 run (kick failed), 7:40
EL — Holland 2 run (kick failed), 3:11
LR — FG Browning 32, 0:11