The Mustangs beat Lemon Bay High 19-9.
The drought has ended.
For the first time since Sept. 28, 2017, the Lakewood Ranch football program won a regular season game. The Mustangs defeated Lemon Bay High 19-9 at Veterans Stadium in Englewood, starting the Rashad West era strong.
It was not always a graceful performance. The Mustangs recorded just 36 yards of offense in the first half, finishing with 146. Junior quarterback Jimmy Kelly completed 16 of 26 passes for 96 yards, 93 of which went to senior Michael Cucci. The receiver finished with seven catches, including two touchdowns.
West said the missed preseason and regular season games affected his team "a lot," but was happy to get the win, even if he knows his players can do better.
He was more cheery when discussing his defense, which held the Manta Rays to 200 yards of offense and forced three turnovers. The Mustangs also blocked two Lemon Bay punts.
"Thank God for those guys," West said of his defense, complimenting defensive coordinator Cody Montgomery on getting his unit ready to play.
The offense took advantage of the turnovers, scoring all three of its touchdowns on ensuing drives.