- September 24, 2021
The Lakewood Ranch High football team held a 20-14 road lead on Manatee High at the half, 24 game minutes away from the first win over the Hurricanes in program history.
Manatee was having none of it.
The Hurricanes (5-1) controlled the game and the clock in the second half, running through the Mustangs (4-2) defense, on their way to a 35-23 victory.
Lakewood Ranch's defense bolstered its offense in the first half. Senior defensive tackle Cameron Caudill fell on a fumble on Manatee's first possession, setting up a four-yard touchdown run by senior Kevin Everhart that gave the Mustangs a 7-0 lead. After Manatee rebounded and led 14-7, Mustangs sophomore Trey Schwartz picked off a pass and scored, though the extra point was blocked. The Mustangs' biggest offensive play of the game was Everhart's 79-yard touchdown run in the second quarter, which gave Lakewood Ranch its halftime lead.
After that, the team sputtered. Lakewood Ranch's defense could not get the timely stops it got in the first half — Manatee threw for 237 yards and ran for 256 yards for the game — and the offense could not sustain drives.
"We didn’t come here to just lead or win the first half," Lakewood Ranch Head Coach Rashad West said. "The goal was to win the game. We gave it all we had. We just came up short."