Despite trailing by four points at halftime, Southeast ran away with a victory in Friday night's football game at Arcadia DeSoto.
The Seminoles dominated the second half, but they didn't do so with long sustained drives. Instead, Southeast broke several big plays and kept DeSoto out of the end zone in order to win 42-25.
Five of Southeast's six touchdowns were plays of 48 yards or more. The only one that wasn't, a 15-yard touchdown run by senior Courtney Allen, was set up by a 77-yard pass from Larry Woodard to Deanthony Warrick on the previous play.
"We were playing some defenses that if we miss, there's not a lot behind us," DeSoto coach Matt Egloff said. "That was part of the gamble that we had, and we missed a couple times."
Egloff was also frustrated with the Bulldogs' special teams. Southeast scored two touchdowns off punt returns: a 67-yard return by Allen in the first half and a 65-yard return by Woodard in the second half.
Allen had four total touchdowns on the night, and Egloff called him the best running back DeSoto has faced this season.
The Bulldogs were able to keep Southeast in check in the first half, thanks in part to the Seminoles struggle to hold on to the ball. Southeast fumbled six times in the first half, with three resulting in turnovers, and again on the first drive of the second half. Most of the fumbles came on poor snaps by the center.
"Our No. 1 center got hurt with a concussion last week, our No. 2 center got hurt tonight, so we were actually playing with our No. 3 or No. 4 center," Southeast coach Paul Maechtle explained. "We should've gone out of the shotgun a little earlier because he wasn't ready for all that."
DeSoto led 18-14 at halftime, but never managed to really seize the game because of its struggle to hold on to the ball. The Bulldogs had fumblitis, fumbling six times and losing three.
The loss dropped the Bulldogs to 0-3 in District 5A-13 play.
Next week, Hardee heads to Bradenton to take on the Seminoles (2-5), who are 2-0 in the district. That game could very well decide who wins the district. Hardee is 3-0 after beating Bayshore on Friday.
After Friday's game, Maechtle told his team that they "went through the entire puzzle box to find the right pieces."
But that isn't giving him any extra confidence heading into next week's game.
"Today it (worked), but I don't know if we can keep winning like that."
JACKSONVILLE TRINITY CHRISTIAN ACADEMY 27, IMG ACADEMY 24 -- The Ascenders (7-1) suffered their first loss of the season on the road despite a pair of touchdowns from Bo Scarbrough. The Conquerors moved to 6-1.
TAMPA CARROLLWOOD DAY 49, BRADENTON CHRISTIAN 0 -- The visiting Panthers suffered their fourth straight defeat, falling out of the race in Class 2A-District 5.
-- Herald staff reports
-- Charlotte Sun reporter Zach Miller contributed to this report.