SARASOTA -- When in doubt, give it to Courtney Allen.
Southeast did just that, and the junior running responded by crashing his way through the Sarasota defense for a 5-yard touchdown run to give the Noles a 34-31 overtime victory Friday.
Sarasota (2-2) had the ball first in overtime and took a 31-28 lead on a 25-yard field goal by Ian Grubb.
Southeast (3-1) then got the ball at the 10 and went right to Allen. He ran around the right side for five yards and then took it up the gut on the next play to end the game.
Never miss a local story.
"My offensive line never gave up on me and executed the whole game," Allen said. "Sarasota is not a weak team. Those boys stepped up. I know coach trusted me to put the team on my shoulders and I was OK with it.
"I had to put my head down and use all my power to get it in on that last run. All the hard work with those squats paid off. Now we just got to get ready for next week."
Sarasota did a good job holding Allen in check all night and preventing any breakaway runs. He finished with 110 yards on 25 carries and had to work for every yard.
Southeast seemed to have the game won when Jacob Sannon scored on a 23-yard pass from Myles Braxton-Johnson to take a 28-21 lead with 2:32 left in regulation.
But Sarasota stormed back and went 66 yards on 10 plays, capped off by a 16-yard pass from Hunter DeWitt to Shawn Bane Jr. to tie the game at 28 with 28.9 seconds left.
Southeast could never break anything big on the ground and used the arm
of Braxton-Johnson, who completed 13 of 24 passes for 175 yards and two touchdowns.
The game was tied at 14 with 1:14 left before halftime when Southeast took a 21-14 lead on a 28-yard pass from Braxton-Johnson to Sannon to cap an 11-play, 82-yard drive that used a good mix. Braxton-Johnson threw for 53 yards in the drive, completing four of five passes.
"We did what we had to do to get the W. It was a wet ball and that affected my passing," Braxton-Johnson said. "At the end we knew we could get a push for Courtney. He is a powerhouse. They blitzed a little bit more than last year. When they scored to tie it at the end I thought of the Largo game, but I wasn't going to let that happen again (lose on the last play). I am just glad to have Courtney on my team."
"Our defense in overtime was outstanding after the way they got pushed around in the fourth quarter," Southeast head coach Paul Maechtle said. "To hold them to a field goal was big. We were just missing some things and not playing as well as we would like and that is why we keep practicing. If Allen didn't get any yards on that first run (in overtime) we were going to try something else, but it worked. They had a lot of guys in the box, which made it hard for him and we didn't get him on the perimeter like I had hoped."