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By Drew Truitt
Associate Editor 

Undefeated Highlanders Take On Tampa Jesuit in 5A Regional Final Friday at Legion Field


Last updated 11/21/2019 at 7:59am

Lake Wales High School

And then there were eight.

Of the eight teams remaining with the prospect of being crowned the FHSAA 5A State High School Football champion our own Lake Wales team is very much in the hunt.

Next up at 7:30 p.m. Friday night at home are the Tampa Jesuit Tigers, 10-2, opposing the undefeated Highlanders in a 5A regional final.

Lake Wales is 12-0 after running over Port Orange Atlantic, ending the Sharks season last Friday in front of a boisterous partisan, standing room only, home crowd of supporters.

Head coach Tavaris Johnson, who has been selected as a High School Coach of the Week by the Tampa Bay Bucs, is in the pool as a deserving candidate for Bucs Coach of the Year selection to be announced after the conclusion of the season.

Coach Johnson praised his team for not only going undefeated, but also from bouncing back from having just one win three years ago.

"Momentum is with us," stated the Coach, and that was clearly the case when on the opening drive Lake Wales quarterback Eric Williams rolled over the Atlantic defense with a 42-yard run up the middle setting up the initial score by running back Johnny Richardson.

Three field goals by place kicker Andrew Daly provided the glue to cement the team's twelfth victory of the season which began in August with a 50-point differential over Lakeland Kathleen.

Since then Lake Wales overcame a close call by winning by a single point over Sebring in the regional quarterfinals two weeks ago in the start to finish thrilling contest of conference rivals.

In the Atlantic game Nelson Zenteno Jr. was named overall Player of the Game.

This year has been particularly outstanding as many Highlander teams advanced well into the playoffs

as we head into 2020.

It would certainly be the ultimate crowning coronation to secure a title in the FHSAA High School State Football Championship. One way to make that happen is to once again fill the stands and go hoarse cheering for the Highlander stand out goliaths of the gridiron.

Bring friends and family to the infamous House of Pain, otherwise known as Legion Field, and help take this outstanding team to the State Finals.


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