Deondre Francois rushed for two touchdowns and threw for two more Friday night as the visiting IMG Academy football team avenged last season's loss to Clearwater Central Catholic with a 50-21 win.
Francois put the Ascenders (8-1) on top with his two rushing scores in the second quarter. He found KJ Osborn and Tavares Chase with scoring strikes in the fourth quarter to put the game away.
The Marauders (8-1) entered the game as the state's top-ranked Class 3A team.
Jack Wegher and Tony Jones rushed for touchdowns in the first half for IMG, which is ranked No. 29 in the nation by MaxPreps. Special teams ace and highly coveted cornerback Saivion Smith scooped his own blocked punt and returned it for a touchdown. It was Smith's fifth non-offensive touchdown of the season.
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LAKELAND VICTORY CHRISTIAN 45, OUT-OF-DOOR ACADEMY 0 -- The Thunder (2-7) closed out their season with a loss on the road against the No. 2-ranked team in Class 2A.
The Storm, which hasn't lost since Week 2, improved to 8-1. They defeated Cardinal Mooney last week.
CLASS 3A-REGION 3 MEET -- Ryan Walker won a pair of region championships and led the Pirates to a sixth-place team finish at North Shore Aquatic Center.
Walker won the 50-yard freestyle in 21.97 seconds and the 100 freestyle in 48.57 seconds.
The top two finishers in each event advance to next week's state meet in Stuart. Other participants throughout the state will vie for 16 at-large berths to be announced Sunday.
Braden River scored 174 points, 15 more than rival Lakewood Ranch, which finished seventh. Punta Gorda Charlotte won the boys team event with 313.5 points.
Mustangs Luke Hanner and Daniel Erlenmeyer also won individual championships. Hannder won the 200 freestyle in 1:41.32, and Erlenmeyer took the 500 freestyle in 4:39.34.
The Braden River 200 freestyle relay finished second.
In the girls event, Lakewood Ranch came in fourth with 197 points. Naples Gulf Coast won the event.
Courtney Chapin was the lone area champion, claiming the 500 freestyle in 56.37 seconds. She also finished second in the 100 backstroke. Madison Jean was second in the 100 butterfly, and the Mustangs were second in the 400 freestyle relay and 200 medley relay.
-- Herald staff reports