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Polk County football roundup

A big week for the Lakes as Lake Gibson, Lake Region, Lakeland and Lakeland Christian all win
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LAKELAND, FLORIDA – Victory Christian improved to 5-4 and had cleared its bench by the second quarter in a runaway 40-2 win against Spring Hill Bishop McLaughlin on Friday at Southeastern University.

“We just want to stay healthy and make sure our guys are hitting on all cylinders right now,” Victory Christian coach Kendrick Stewart said.

Storm quarterback Jackson Benton fired touchdown passes to Andre Cruz for 25 yards and Connor Goff for 40 yards. Jozia Scott returned an interception 30 yards for a touchdown and Anton Krebs scored on a 5-yard run before the starters were pulled. Sebastian Brown kicked two extra points coming off the bench.

Earlier in the day, senior cornerback Marlon McClendon committed to Georgia State. The two-sport standout started his prep career at Lake Gibson before enrolling at Victory Christian two seasons ago.

The Storm travel to Clearwater American Collegiate Academy Friday but have already secured a playoff spot in the Class 1S playoff bracket.

Victory Christian senior cornerback Marlon McClendon committed to Georgia State on Friday.

Victory Christian senior cornerback Marlon McClendon committed to Georgia State on Friday.

Lake Gibson 25, George Jenkins 7

LAKELAND – Lake Gibson kept its playoff hopes alive with a 4S District 7 home win against George Jenkins on Friday.

The Braves, playing one of the toughest schedules in the state, improved to 3-6 and picked up two receiving touchdowns from Kordell Lewis. Jacobe Fowler rushed for a 10-yard touchdown and Fentrell Graham scored on a 15-yard run. Braves senior quarterback Jackson Akins was 17-of-21 passing for more than 300 yards.

“Defensively we did really well with five sacks on the night,” said Lake Gibson head coach Rich Pringle, whose Braves host Miami Beach Friday in a must-win situation. “Every week for us is a playoff week right now. They are a Miami team that is going to have speed and they are going to have some guys we have to take care of.”

Lake Region 39, Liberty 6

EAGLE LAKE – Lake Region won its fourth game of the season Friday with a rout of Kissimmee Liberty on homecoming at Thunder Field. It marks the first time since the 2011 season the Thunder have posted four wins in a season.

“We are definitely pleased about that,” Lake Region first-year head coach Ryan Mills said. “Being able to get through this season and the things we went through, is a testament to our locker room and our coaching staff.”

Lake Region sophomore quarterback Kalvin Johnson was 8-of-8 passing for 114 yards with four touchdowns. Dawon Reid had four catches for 79 yards and two touchdowns and Terrell Smith caught an 8-yard touchdown pass.

Quan’tavious Calloway scored on a 2-yard run and racked up 52 yards rushing for the game. Javarious Johnson scored on an 8-yard screen pass and then capped the Lake Region scoring with a pick-6.Lake Region finished 5-5 in 2011 and can equal that mark with a win against Celebration on Friday at Thunder Field.

Lakeland 35, Kathleen 0

LAKELAND – Lakeland – ranked No. 7 in the SBLive Sports’ Florida Football Power 25 – captured the 4S District 7 title with a shutout at arch-rival Kathleen on Friday. It marked the 29th district championship for head coach Bill Castle, who took over the program in 1976.

The Dreadnaughts (8-0) picked up a 2-yard touchdown run from running back Markel Johnson, a 9-yard touchdown run from senior quarterback Zach Pleuss, a 17-yard run from Jayren Dennis, a 35-yard run from D’marius Rucker and Tyler Williams returned a punt 50 yards a score.

Lakeland has outscored opponents 319-54 this season and hosts 2M District 8 champion St. Petersburg Lakewood in the regular-season finale Friday.

Frostproof 24, Fort Meade 20

FROSTPROOF – Senior running back Isaiah Sheppard scored on a 45-yard touchdown run in the closing minutes to give Frostproof the Class 2S District 13 championship over arch-rival Fort Meade on Friday at Faris Brannen Stadium.

Frostproof (8-1) also scored on a 4-yard run by Donavan Solomon and a 1-yard run by Sheppard. Fort Meade (6-3) scored on touchdown runs of 13, 7 and 4 yards by Ja’Marion Davis.

Lakeland Christian 42, Zarephath Academy 34

LAKELAND – Lakeland Christian improved to 7-1 after holding off Zarephath Friday at Vikings Stadium. Lakeland Christian picked up touchdowns from Tate Horne, Dre Hughes, Jacob Allen and Carson Byrd.

Mulberry 54, Discovery 8

MULBERRY – Mulberry quarterback Chris Denson accounted for four touchdowns – three passing and one rushing – to lead the Panthers to a 2S District 13 win over winless Discovery.

Denson hit Kylar Fryar with touchdown passes on throws of 35 and 39 yards and Jaquez Davis on a 29-yarder.

The Panthers also picked up touchdown runs from Dauntae Burgess and Lloyd Night while Timothy Jones added a pick-6 and Burgess returned a kickoff 92 yards for a score.

All Saints Academy 46, Countryside Christian 12

WINTER HAVEN – All Saints Academy improved to 8-1 with home win over Gainesville Countryside Christian in a Sunshine State Bay Division 8-man game on Friday.

Dontravius Bell rushed 12 times for 133 yards and two touchdowns. Quarterback Daunte Giles rushed 10 times for 66 yards and four touchdowns and Josh Shaffer rushed seven times for 62 yards and one touchdown.

The Saints will travel to Merritt Island Christian Friday for a first-round playoff game.