High School Sports

Prep football | Mustangs grind out 27-0 victory over Booker in game halted by lightning

LAKEWOOD RANCH -- Lakewood Ranch's spring football game with Booker was stopped less than four minutes into the third quarter because of lightning.

It didn't matter to Mustangs head coach Mic Koczersut. He had already seen what he needed to see. In fact, it was a confirmation night of sorts.

Coach K came into game with the mindset his offense next fall would rest on the strength of his offensive line and running backs.

Nothing changed that thinking for the host Mustangs in their 27-0 victory on Friday night.

Top running back Justin Fischer was virtually unstoppable on Lakewood Ranch's first offensive possession of the night. He sparked a five-play, 60-yard touchdown drive with 38 yards rushing and capped it off with an 11-yard scamper to pay dirt.

The Mustangs drove 66 yards on 15 plays on their next possession with Fischer taking it in from one yard out for a 14-0 lead two minutes into the second period.

"I am very happy with the way we moved the ball. What I was hoping would happen happened," Koczersut said. "Our offensive line was very effective tonight. There was a lot of room to run the football. We were pretty physical, and we've got seven guys who are a pretty good size we can put on the line."

Fischer finished the night with 78 yards on 11 carries. His backup, Darren Lowery, rushed for 54 yards on 11 carries, including a 14-yard touchdown.

"Justin did a great job and ran hard. He missed the first week and a half because of baseball and came back right where he was," Koczersut said. "He is stronger than last year and just as hard-nosed a runner as he was."

There was one question Koczersut could not answer, but that might be good. Grant Weisman and Justin Curtis shared the quarterback duties and neither separated himself from the other, leading Koczersut to say he could use both next season.

Weisman completed 3 of 4 passes for 83 yards, including a 48-yard touchdown pass to Trevor Losada to cap the night's scoring.

Curtis, who is more of dual-threat quarterback, completed 1 of 4 passes for 10 yards and picked up 28 yards on five carries. Losada had three receptions for 72 yards.

"Both quarterbacks didn't make things easier for me in making a decision going into the summer, and that's going to make me work harder," Koczersut said. "We also had a couple of kids receiver-wise made the plays we need to make, and we were able to run the football, which gave us room to throw it."

The Mustangs came into the game with question marks on defense that included two new starters in the secondary who are playing football for the first time, and the coaches were pleased with that unit.

The defense dominated Booker, limiting the Tornadoes to 61 yards total offense in the first half on 41 yards rushing and 20 through the air. Lakewod Ranch had 160 yards rushing in the first half and 95 yards passing.

"We had two corners out there who didn't play last year (Devon Twenty and Blauvelt Georges), and they did a heckuva job," Koczersut said. "Defensive line at times we did some things we need to do, but we can play better. At linebacker we were physical, but sometimes they got pushed around. I think we need to play with a little more energy, and that is something I have to fix."

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