Prep football | Largo Packers jump on Lakewood Ranch Mustangs, win 38-0

Unbeaten Packers jump on Mustangs, win 38-0

adell@bradenton.comOctober 27, 2012 

LAKEWOOD RANCH -- The Lakewood Ranch football team hoped to put itself in the driver's seat in the race for the Class 6A-District 7 title.

Instead, the Mustangs will be fighting for their lives next week.

Unbeaten Largo left no doubt why it's ranked fifth in 6A, romping over host Lakewood Ranch 38-0 Friday night to spoil the Mustangs' homecoming and win its second straight district title.

Lakewood Ranch (5-3, 3-1) will play host to Seminole Osceola next week with the winner getting the final playoff berth as district runner-up.

Largo (9-0, 4-0) has a boatload of weapons, led by junior running back Jarvis Stewart and senior quarterback Juwan Brown, two highly touted college prospects. They broke Ranch's defense several times on the ground and in the air.

"The big plays on defense were the killer. Against athletes like that, you can't give up big plays," Lakewood Ranch head coach Shawn Trent said.

"We overran some things on defense on the back lanes and stuff that really hurt us, and they hit some big passes. They have some unbelievable athletes, the running back, the quarterback and their two receivers. They can play against anybody."

Stewart had an efficient game, picking up 132 yards rushing on only 10 carries, while Brown connected on 10 of 12 passes for 170 yards and two touchdowns.

Largo didn't waste any time getting on the board. On the game's second play from scrimmage, Stewart hit the perimeter, broke a few tackles and outraced everyone for a 56-yard touchdown.

On Largo's second possession, the Packers went 80 yards on 10 plays with Brown throwing a 31-yard scoring strike to Reggie Campbell.

Two plays later, Ranch quarterback Chad Rex was picked off by Jonathan Crawford, who returned it 55 yards to give Largo a 21-0 lead less than nine minutes into the game.

Lakewood Ranch then put an 18-play drive together that ate up almost 10 minutes, but the Mustangs failed to punch it into the end zone from the 2 when Wyatt McLeod was stopped a yard short.

"When the defense is struggling and as young as we are it filters over to the offense," Trent said. "We had two or three opportunities where I thought we could've scored and possibly should've scored, and we didn't get a couple of things to go our way. That's what happens."

Largo picked had 247 yards from scrimmage in the first half, mixing its plays up well. Stewart had 87 yards on six carries, and Brown completed 6 of 8 passes for 113 yards. Chris Pearcey led Ranch in the first half with 54 yards rushing on 11 carries.

Pearcey led Lakewood Ranch with 84 yards rushing on 16 carries, and McLeod had 51 yards on 12 carries. The Mustangs' passing game struggled; Rex got picked off twice. The sophomore connected on 5 of 10 passes for 35 yards.

Lakewood Ranch had a chance to score in third quarter when it drove to the Largo 18, but an interception ended the drive.

The loss sets up the exact scenario for Lakewood Ranch as last year when it beat Osceola to claim a playoff spot as the district runner-up. The Mustangs did it on the road, but will be home this time.

"They (Osceola) are still a very good team. I think they are every bit as good as or better than they were last year, and I don't think we are as good as we were last year, at least not at this point," Trent said. "We are going to have to play better to have a chance to beat them."

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