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7007 N. Socrum Loop Rd.
Lakeland, FL 33809
BRAVES STRONG IN RAIN; LG CLIPS PALMETTO 32-6
LAKELAND | The Lake Gibson defense held Miami Palmetto to just one score in a 32-6 victory on a wet, dreary and long Friday night in front of 1000 fans at Virgil Ramage Stadium.
Leading 20-6 at halftime, the Braves allowed the Panthers just 50 yards of total offense in the second half, denying them any chance of mounting a comeback.
Braves quarterback Casey Whitaker and running back Chris Clarke accounted for four total touchdowns — two apiece.
Both of Clarke's scores came on runs of 7 yards in the first half. Whitaker's were both on 1-yard quarterback sneaks.
With its 14-point lead to start the second half, Lake Gibson scored on its first drive with the help of Thomas Boles' strong running.
Boles took the team's first offensive play of the second half 64 yards deep into Palmetto territory. Although the play was called back because of a holding call, the Braves still went on to score.
Whitaker's second touchdown, on the same drive, put the game out of reach in favor of the Braves. But it didn't come without a bit of drama. On first and goal from the 6, Boles ran into the end zone, but it was negated because of holding. After a 13-yard pass, Whitaker scored from 1-yard out.
The Braves were flagged eight times in the second half, but four were negated because of offsetting penalties. Palmetto was penalized three times for 35 yards.
Boles put the final points on the board after a 30-yard read option play by Whitaker had the defense keying in on the quarterback the next time the play was called.
"This wasn't our best game," Boles said. "We have to handle our assignments (next game) and not play at the level of our competition. We have to play at a higher level that we know we can play at."
Lake Gibson (4-0) takes on Winter Haven (4-1) next week on the road in a district matchup.
- THE LEDGER
BRAVES DEFENSE HAMMERS KATHLEEN, 7-5
LAKELAND | A year ago, Kathleen and Lake Gibson combined for 89 points in a five-overtime classic.
Friday night, they scored a combined 12, as the Braves beat the Red Devils 7-5 in a defensive battle before a crowd of 5,000 at Lake Gibson's Virgil Ramage Stadium.
It was Keith DeMyer's 100th win as Lake Gibson's head coach. DeMyer is in his 12th season as the Braves' head coach.
"I didn't even know it, to be honest with you. I don't keep count," DeMyer said. "To win 100 is something special, but the thing that's more special is the kids you coach and the coaches you coach with over those 100."
On Friday night, DeMyer's Braves (3-0), who lost to Kathleen 45-44 in five overtimes last year, won with a defense that came up with two fourth-quarter turnovers and limited Kathleen to 162 yards. Xavier Christian and Keyshon Camp combined for six quarterback sacks.
"We knew it was going to be a hard-fought contest; two great defenses, two offenses that are coming around," said Kathleen coach Irving Strickland.
For their part, Kathleen's defense was solid as well, allowing only the one scoring drive while intercepting two passes and blocking a punt.
"Defensively, they (Kathleen) are as good as I've seen them," said DeMyer. "We're not too bad on the offensive side of the ball, but it was a struggle tonight."
The biggest play of the night was a Kathleen fumble at the Lake Gibson 30, recovered by Braves sophomore linebacker Noah Johnson with 4:22 left in the game.
Kathleen (2-1) was well within range of kicker Gildarto Mata, who had booted a 40-yarder earlier in the fourth quarter.
"I'm so proud of my kids. We're so young, we only have 12 seniors, but at the end of the day, we still had a chance to win the game," Strickland said. "We were milking the clock, getting in position. That's how much confidence I have in (Mata)."
Trailing 2-0 at the half, Lake Gibson put together its lone scoring drive late in the third quarter after a 22-yard punt return by Sammie Jackson to the Kathleen 48. D.J. Brown ran it in from the 6 giving Lake Gibson a 7-2 lead.
"We did the same things we were doing in the first half, but we just happened to pop a few things."
In a game between two strong defenses, that was enough.
Lake Gibson will host Miami Palmetto in two weeks.
- THE LEDGER
BOLES, O-LINE BURY YELLOW JACKETS 37-17
BARTOW | Casey Whitaker's passing gave Lake Gibson the lead in the first half and Thomas Boles' running in the second half put the game away.
Together, the duo led the Braves to 423 yards of total offense as Lake Gibson defeated Bartow 37-17 on Friday night at Bartow Memorial Stadium.
Whitaker finished the day 12-for-18 passing for 220 yards and two touchdowns, including 146 yards in the first half.
"It was big that we were able to play throw and catch early," Lake Gibson coach Keith DeMyer said. "We have some good wide receivers, and Casey does a good job reading what he's supposed to read and getting the ball where he should."
Whitaker's 69-yard pass to Donald Parham gave Lake Gibson an early 7-0 lead and set the tone for the first half. Parham made a nice grab on the ball that briefly appeared to be overthrown.
Boles was held to just 24 yards rushing in the first half but wore down the Yellow Jackets in the second half to finish with 180 yards on 30 carries.
Trailing 16-3 at halftime, Bartow (0-2) got back in the game on the second play of the second half when Tyreese Cruz scampered 61 yards to make it a 16-10 game. Cruz finished with 129 yards on 17 carries.
Lake Gibson (2-0) answered on its next possession, driving 65 yards on nine plays to again go up by two scores.
The Braves will host cross-town rival and Class 7A District 5 champion Kathleen (2-0) next Friday.
- THE LEDGER
BRAVES BULLY JENKINS ON GROUND, 34-0
LAKELAND | The Lake Gibson Braves used the strong running of senior Thomas Boles and a pair of touchdown catches from Sammie Jackson to post a 34-0 victory over cross-town rival George Jenkins in the season opener for both teams at George Jenkins High School.
The game was called three plays into the third quarter due to inclement weather.
Boles carried the ball 16 times for 178 yards and scored two touchdowns. Boles also had two long runs called back due to holding penalties, and his back up Entebbe Bates took his first carry for 64 yards down the far sideline to set up the Braves' last touchdown of the night to give them a 34-0 lead at halftime.
"He (Boles) ran the ball strong tonight," Lake Gibson coach Keith DeMyer said. "He knows where he wants to go when he gets the ball."
Lake Gibson scored the only touchdown it needed late in the first quarter, on its first possession of the game.
Quarterback Casey Whitaker hit receiver Sammie Jackson with a 15-yard pass in the back of the end zone to finish off a 16-play, 92-yard drive, which also included two conversions on fourth down.
Whitaker and Jackson connected again on the next drive, this time from 40 yards out. Lake Gibson finished with 255 yards rushing.
The Braves' defense only allowed 15 yards of offense with one first down.
"The defense did two things tonight that they did not do last week which was tackle better and had all 11 guys go to the football." DeMyer added.
Lake Gibson will remain on the road at Class 7A Bartow (0-1) next week.
THREE MORE BRAVES SIGN WITH COLLEGES
(photo: Shaquan Perkins, Michael Gonzalez and Michael Toseland)
Lake Gibson High School had three more football players ink college scholarships on May 1, 2014. Defensive linemen Michael Toseland and Michael Gonzalez and wide receiver Shaquan Perkins signed their letters of intent in the Lake Gibson Auditorium on Thursday.
Gonzalez, a defensive end, closed his senior year with 72 tackles, 11 tackles for loss and 8.5 sacks and signed with Mercyhurst University in Pennsylvania. A defensive tackle, Toseland had 56 tackles and 10 TFLs signed with Hiram College in Ohio. Perkins had 25 catches and 3 touchdowns from his wide receiver position and signed to play at Maryville College in Tennessee.
QB CONGDON AND OL SEBENY MAKE COLLEGE CHOICES
Lake Gibson quarterback Trey Congdon and center Michael Sebeny have spent a lot of time together the past two seasons. On Wednesday, the pair spent signing day together, with Congdon inking with Northeast Oklahoma A&M and Sebeny signing to play at Webber University.
Congdon was a four-year starter who threw for 6,807 yards and 65 touchdowns while leading the Braves to 34 wins in his career. He ran for nearly 300 yards as a senior and had 17 rushing touchdowns during his tenure.
Sebeny was a two-year starter at center for the Braves and is the second offensive lineman to sign this season. Fedrice Binot signed with Marshall University earlier this month.
TRENT TAYLOR SIGNS LOI WITH IOWA STATE
AMES, Iowa – Trent Taylor, a four-star recruit out of high school, who played last season at Butler Community College, has signed a national letter of intent to play football at Iowa State, head coach Paul Rhoads announced today.
Taylor, a 6-2, 250-pound defensive lineman from Lakeland, Fla., will be a junior next season for the Cyclones. He signed with Tennessee out of high school, competing in one game for the Volunteers in 2012. He spent the 2013 season at Butler C.C. (Kan.).
Taylor was an honorable mention All-Jayhawk Conference selection last year at Butler, recording 32 tackles, 3.0 sacks and 10.0 tackles for loss in 10 games.
Out of high school (Lake Gibson), Taylor was one of the top defensive linemen in the nation, earning four stars by Scout.com. An Associated Press First-Team Class 6A Florida selection in 2011, Taylor was rated as the 19th-best defensive end in the class of 2011 by Rivals.com.
Taylor racked up 66 tackles and 14 sacks en route to Lakeland Ledger Player of the Year honors as a senior. He was teammates in high school with current Cyclone running back Tyler Brown.
BINOT AND GANT SIGN LOIs WITH MARSHALL
Lake Gibson seniors Kendall Gant and Fedrice Binot both signed National Letters of Intent to continue their football careers at Marshall University.
Gant, a 6-3, 195-pound safety, was a two-time all-state selection and was the 2013 Polk County Defensive Player of the Year. He led the Braves with 5 INTs this season and was a three-time All-Polk County selection. He also player wide receiver and totaled 247 yards and 4 touchdowns.
A three-year starter at left tackle, Binot (6-4, 270) anchored the offensive line and was the best lineman in Polk County in 2013. He is a two-time all-state selection and three-time All-Polk County selection.
"ONCE A BRAVE, ALWAYS A BRAVE"
Welcome to the official online home of the Lake Gibson Braves, one of the most successful football programs in the state of Florida this century.
This site willl update often with the latest Lake Gibson Football news, scores, stats and more.
We will be adding new features throughout the season so check back daily!
2012 CLASS 6ADISTRICT 10 CHAMPIONS 2010 & 2009CLASS 4A DISTRICT 8 CHAMPIONS
Located in one of the most fertile recruiting grounds in all of college football, Lake Gibson High School in Lakeland, Florida boasts a powerful tradition that includes eight regional finals appearances, two trips to the state championship game and back-to-back district titles in 2009 and 2010.
"ONCE A BRAVE, ALWAYS A BRAVE"
L I N K S
7007 N. Socrum Loop Rd.
Lakeland, FL 33809