Friday night, Braden River used a one-two punch of Raymond Thomas and Deshaun Fenwick to run past Lakewood Ranch 31-7.
There weren’t many empty seats on both sides, but for anyone who missed the game and just saw the score they wouldn’t get the full story.
The Pirates (4-0, 3-0) dominated all aspects, and if not for dropped touchdown passes in the first half, the game would have gotten out of hand before halftime.
“You have to give them a ton of credit; they had a great game plan, and we didn’t execute early on,” Pirates head coach Curt Bradley said. “It gives us something to work towards, and improve on moving forward.”
The Mustangs hung in there trailing 10-0 at the half, but they weren’t able to get anything going offensively, producing only 149 yards of total offense with their lone touchdown coming with just under three minutes left.
“Penalties killed us tonight. We got ourselves in too many second and longs due and that didn’t allow us to get anything positive going,” Lakewood Ranch head coach Mick Koczersut said. “This was a big game for both schools, my guys played hard, and we will just have to regroup and come back next week ready to go.”
Free safety Demetrius Lawson sparked his team after he jumped a Justin Curtis pass, intercepting it and returning it to the Mustangs’ 19-yard line. From that point on, his Pirates scored 21 unanswered.
“We talked about that at halftime; my guys came out and made plays in the second half and gave us a nice cushion,” coach Bradley said.
Thomas finished with 129 yards on 19 carries and two touchdowns, while Fenwick racked up 106 yards on 20 touches and one touchdown.
“When you have a great combination of backs like us, it keeps the defense off balance” Fenwick said. “You have a speedy guy your chasing one minute, sucking wind and then here I come running your over, not to mention we have the best offensive line in the county.”
The two have a mutual respect for one another, and each understands the importance of the other.
“I do my thing, and when I come out I love watching what he does,” Thomas said. “Together we get the job done.”
Curtis lead the Mustangs (0-3,0-0) with 89 yards passing and 47 yards rushing to go along with one touchdown.
Lakewood Ranch looks to rebound next week as they travel to Land O’Lakes Sunlake, while the Pirates travel to Leesburg in an attempt to keep the undefeated season going.
Friday: Lakewood Ranch at Land O’Lakes Sunlake, 7:30 p.m.