Braden River was twice up 14 points, but lost 56-49
Both the Braden River High and Lake Gibson High offenses were on fire Friday night, going score for score throughout the game.
In the end, it was the Pirates that got burned.
Braden River (4-4) fell 56-49 to Lake Gibson (10-1), coming within a few plays of taking down an elite team, again. For a time, it looked like the Pirates were primed to pull the upset. Braden River took a 21-7 lead in the first half after recovering a Lake Gibson fumble at the 12 yard line, which it quickly turned into a Lavontae Youmans touchdown run. The Pirates would maintain a lead throughout the first half, entering halftime up 28-21.
When the Pirates took the ball down the field with ease on the first possession of the second half, ending it with another Youmans touchdown run to go up 35-21, it seemed like it might be their night. But after that, Lake Gibson's defense adjusted — and its offense turned on the afterburners. Braves running back Jaylon Glover, who holds offers from Florida State, Miami and Cincinnati among other schools, had five second-half touchdowns, most of them coming on inside zone plays that the Pirates could not stop. Glover would finish the game with 295 yards and seven touchdowns. Glover's runs were supplemented by big passing plays to sophomore receiver Cormani McClain, who holds offers from Florida State and Penn State among others, and junior receiver/defensive back Sam McCall, a Florida commit.
Still, the Pirates had a chance late. Down 56-42, Pirates senior quarterback Shawqi Itraish found junior receiver Bryan Kearse for a touchdown with 18 seconds left to cut the lead to 56-49. The Pirates needed an onside kick, and got one. That's where their luck ran out: with time for just two plays, one Itraish pass fell incomplete, and one backyard lateral attempt was stopped after just a few yards.
Youmans finished with four touchdowns and Itraish had three passing touchdowns, one each to Kearse, Gregory Cotton and Logan Lipker.
Pirates Coach Curt Bradley took responsibility for the loss, saying he had to come up with a better game plan to stop Lake Gibson's vaunted offense. He also praised his outgoing senior class and thanked them for their effort.