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7007 N. Socrum Loop Rd.
Lakeland, FL 33809
BRAVES BATTER BOLTS 35-7 IN SEASON FINALE
Lake Gibson had already punched its ticket to the playoffs last week, but the Braves didn't allow themselves to get complacent in its final regular-season game at Ridge Community.
The Braves (7-2, 2-1) controlled the game from the beginning and cruised to a 35-7 victory, thanks to three touchdowns from junior running back Thomas Boles and a defensive attack that capitalized on some critical mistakes by the Bolts offense (6-4, 2-3).
"We played well on both sides of the ball," Lake Gibson head coach Keith DeMyer said after the game. "We wanted to keep everybody healthy, and we were fortunate to win without any major injuries."
Lake Gibson's attack ran through senior quarterback Trey Congdon, who completed 14 of 17 passes for 306 yards and a touchdown. Receivers Shaquan Perkins and Chris Clarke ran open the majority of the game, and made the offensive attack easy for the four-year starting quarterback.
Ridge controlled the ball for most of the second half, but failed to score on three drives in the third and fourth quarter.
With the regular season ending, the Braves prepare for a trip to South Fort Myers to visit the Class 6A, District 12 champions. Coach DeMyer said the long trip will pose a challenge to his team, whose longest road trip of the season was a district game against Sebring, which the Braves won 30-7.
- THE LEDGER
LG CAPTURES PLAYOFF BERTH WITH 30-7 WIN
SEBRING | With playoff implications on the line, Lake Gibson came into Sebring's Firemen's Field Friday night in a do or die matchup with the Blue Streaks.
And after a tough first quarter that saw the Brave offense stymied and a Sebring touchdown for a 7-0 lead, the defense turned it around and the Braves blew past the Blue Streaks 30-7.
"We had one mistake that got them their touchdown," head coach Keith DeMyer said of the 41-yard completion from Jair Watson to Duran Randolph to set up the opening score. "But one play out of 50 snaps isn't too bad."
When the Blue Streak defense stuffed Braves quarterback Trey Congdon on a keeper at the goal line to end the first quarter, Lake Gibson's defense took advantage of Sebring starting at the 1. An attempted sweep around the right side was met in the end zone for a safety to get the Braves on the board early in the second.
After Sebring's ensuing kick, Congdon hit Jeremy Crissey on a 28-yard pass to the Streaks 13. The senior quarterback followed guard K.J. Rattigan into the end zone on the next play, and Lake Gibson now had the lead it would never relinquish.
"Lake Gibson has an explosive passing game and Congdon is a Division I quarterback," said Sebring coach LaVaar Scott. "They figured out our weak spots and they went after them."
Congdon and Crissey later connected on a 32-yard scoring play, and Thomas Boles ran for another score to push the lead to 23-7 by halftime. The Braves quarterback completed 14 of 22 passes for 228 yards and one touchdown.
"We battled against a good Lake Gibson team," Scott said. "We came out strong to open the game, but Lake Gibson has an explosive offense and we had a tough time containing their passing game."
Sebring put together a solid drive to open the third quarter and moved down to the Braves 45, but a third-down pass by Watson was intercepted at the Lake Gibson 4-yard line.
Then the Braves marched 96 yards in 12 plays with Boles scoring on a 3-yard burst off right tackle. The point after gave Lake Gibson a commanding 30-7 lead with 2:58 remaining in the third period. The Braves defense settled in and pitched a shutout the rest of the way.
"We knew it would be tough coming in, with a lot at stake," DeMyer said. "But we got the job done. We really picked it up defensively in the second half and we're excited to be back in the playoffs."
Following the regular season finale at Ridge (6-3), the playoffs begin with a trip to South Fort Myers in two weeks.
- THE LEDGER / HIGHLANDS TODAY
BRAVES MAKE STATEMENT, KNOCK OFF No. 6 LARGO 28-14
LAKELAND | Six minutes into Senior Night, Lake Gibson was on the wrong side of an opening-game surge from visiting Largo at Virgil Ramage Stadium on Friday.
The Braves (5-2) won the game 28-14 in front of 1,800 fans, but had to weather quite the storm from Class 6A No. 6 Largo (6-2). Lake Gibson finished with a fury, scoring the game’s final 28 points
First, it was USF recruit and Largo tailback Jarvis Stewart sprinting, untouched through the Braves' defense 74 yards for a touchdown. Then Lake Gibson muffed the ensuing kickoff, allowing Largo to scoop it up and score from 2 yards out.
Even when it appeared Lake Gibson had steadied the ship after Kendall Gant intercepted Largo quarterback Donavan Hale following a Packers onside kick, senior quarterback Trey Congdon fumbled the ball right back to Largo.
Nothing had gone right for the Braves, but head coach Keith DeMyer summed it up best.
"Our kids don't quit," he said. "We've been in a lot of games over the years like this where we're behind, and they don't have a problem coming back."
And come back they did. Lake Gibson used touchdown runs from Thomas Boles and Congdon to tie the game before halftime. The Braves stayed hot coming out of the lockerroom, going on a 10 play, 80-yard scoring drive that culminated with a 20-yard touchdown pass from Congdon to Gant.
The Braves offensive line dominated the fourth quarter, using nine consecutive running plays to chew over 6 minutes off the clock and pad the lead with a 25-yard touchdown run by Derrien Bomar.
With a playoff berth on the line, Lake Gibson travels to Sebring next week to determine the runner-up in Class 6A District 11.
- THE LEDGER
CLARKE, BRAVES ROLL OVER THUNDER 52-0
EAGLE LAKE | Chris Clarke scored three touchdowns, and Lake Gibson spoiled Lake Region's homecoming, 52-0, Friday night in a Class 6A, District 11 game.
The Braves (4-2, 1-1) set up a district matchup at Sebring on Nov. 1 that will likely be for a playoff spot.
"We're getting better," said Lake Gibson coach Keith DeMyer. "We're able to run the football now, which is something we weren't really strong at earlier on. When they give us an opportunity to run the football, that's what we're going to do."
After throwing five touchdown passes last week, Lake Gibson quarterback Trey Congdon passed just nine times against the Thunder, and two of them went for touchdowns.
It took Lake Gibson just three plays to score, with Clarke running 23 yards for a touchdown with 9:28 left in the first quarter.
A fumble ended the Braves' next drive, but touchdown runs by Thomas Boles and Derrien Bomar made it 21-0 early in the second quarter, and Devan McAllister's 61-yard punt return turned the game into a rout midway through the period.
The Braves were also dominant on defense, not giving up a first down until the score had reached 28-0 before a crowd of about 1,000.
The Braves never punted, and Lake Region (3-4, 0-2) never snapped the ball beyond Lake Gibson's 39-yard line.
"No excuses," Lake Region coach Randy Howze said. "The better football team won this game."
Clarke ran for 71 yards and caught two touchdown passes. The first was from Congdon to put the Braves up, 35-0, just before the halftime. The other was on a 23-yard pass from backup quarterback Casey Whitaker for the Braves' final touchdown on the final play of the third quarter.
Lake Gibson hosts No. 9 ranked Largo (6-1), at 7:30 p.m. next week
- THE LEDGER
CONGDON's FIVE TD PASSES LEAD LG TO VICTORY
AUBURNDALE | Trey Congdon made them pay at the pump Friday.
The Lake Gibson quarterback threw five touchdown passes — all in the first half — to lead the Braves to a 52-9 win over Auburndale in front of roughly 600 fans at Bruce Canova Stadium.
The senior signal-caller played just one half yet finished the game 8-of-16 for 234 yards with one interception.
"(Congdon) was incredible for a half, absolutely incredible,"Lake Gibson head coach Keith DeMyer said. "He was hot tonight, and he was throwing to the spots."
The nondistrict clash gave the Braves (3-2) a chance to fine-tune their passing game, while Congdon utilized a barrage of pump-fakes to break down Auburndale's one-on-one coverages and hook up with three different receivers for touchdown passes.
"It was just given to us," Congdon said. "We hit them underneath a few times, and that opened up the deep ball."
The senior hit Sammie Jackson with three touchdown passes, Devan Perkins for one score and then Jeremy Crissey on an 80-yard scoring dagger to break open the game with a 24-6 first quarter lead.
"I don't understand why they thought they could man-up on us and give us that opportunity," DeMyer said.
Braves running back Thomas Boles added to the onslaught scoring on runs of 20 and 7 yards.
Auburndale scored on a 1-yard touchdown run by Artavis Pierce — set up by an 89-yard kick off return by Wilbur Cooper — in the first quarter and picked up a 39-yard field goal by Deedrick Young in the second quarter to cap its scoring.
Lake Gibson was coming off an emotional Class 6A, District 11 loss to Winter Haven last week and will now travel to Lake Region in a critical district matchup next week.
"By no means are we better, we are still a step behind where I thought we would be," DeMyer said. "We have to be ready for Lake Region. We anticipate a good game from them."
- THE LEDGER
BRAVES FALL IN 6A DISTRICT 11 OPENER, 35-30
LAKELAND | In a game with big plays and momentum swings, Winter Haven held off Lake Gibson's last-minute rally to defeat the Braves, 35-30, in a Class 6A, District 11 contest at Virgil Ramage Stadium Friday night.
The Blue Devils, 4-2, scored on runs of 40 and 80 yards by D'Angelo Gaines and passes of 82 and 38 yards from Darian Mills to Kendrick Holland, and took a 35-23 lead with 6:24 left before Lake Gibson mounted a comeback.
Braves quarterback Trey Congdon, who passed for 206 yards, cut it to 35-30 on a 16-yard pass to Jeremy Crissey with 2:04 to play and two timeouts.
The Braves got the ball back with a minute to play and moved to their 45 with 6.1 seconds left. Congdon's Hail Mary pass into the end zone was incomplete, but Winter Haven was called for pass interference.
On Congdon's next pass from the 30, Kendall Gant couldn't quite hold on in the back corner of the end zone.
"We managed to survive," Winter Haven coach Charlie Tate said. "I'm very proud of our kids and their effort. It was a heck of a high school game."
Gaines ran for 198 yards on 23 carries and Holland caught four passes for 130 yards.
"Man were they tremendous tonight," Tate said. "I can't say enough about both of them."
And it was a game that was decided, in part, by what happened in the final minute of both halves. At the end of the first half, with Lake Gibson leading, 17-14, the Braves thought they had another touchdown when Congdon appeared to hit Chris Clarke in the end zone for a score.
The officials, however, said the ball popped out of Clarke's hands and into the hands of Winter Haven defender Ben Chapman giving Winter Haven the ball at its own 20 with less than 20 seconds left.
"They said they couldn't see if (Clarke) had possession of the ball, the way his body was turned," Lake Gibson coach Keith DeMyer said. "All they knew was the ball ended up in a white (Winter Haven) uniform."
Then, instead of sitting on the ball, the Blue Devils went for the home run on second-and-12 from the 18, and quarterback Darian Mills hit Holland for an 82-yard touchdown with 0.6 seconds left.
- THE LEDGER
THREE PHASES CELEBRATE HOMECOMING WITH 42-3 ROMP
LAKELAND | Lake Gibson quarterback Trey Congdon's first pass of the night bounced off the hands of senior Kendall Gant and into the hands of a Miami Palmetto defender, but it didn't take long for him and the Braves brush off the sloppy start.
The Braves ran off the game's first 21 points en route to a 42-3 homecoming victory in front of 1,600 fans.
"You've got to forget any little thing that happens — a pick, a touchdown or anything," Congdon said. "You've just got to keep looking forward, brush the bad stuff away, brush the good stuff away and just keep playing consistent, good football."
Congdon found his groove by completing 11-of-12 passes for 175 yards in the first half, including a 19-yard touchdown toss to Gant. He finished 13-for-21 with 241 yards and four total touchdowns.
The Lake Gibson defense held the visitors to minus-19 yards in the first quarter and 89 yards for the game.
"They did a good job," said Lake Gibson head coach Keith DeMyer. "We did some different things in there with personnel to try to avoid the issues we had two weeks ago."
- THE LEDGER
GIBSON FALLS TO CITY RIVAL IN OVERTIME
LAKELAND | It was a game they'll remember and talk about for years.
After four quarters and five overtime periods, Kathleen's game against Lake Gibson came down to one play, win or lose.
The play? A 2-point attempt by Lake Gibson.
The result? Kathleen's defense stopped Lake Gibson quarterback Trey Congdon inches short of the goal line and the Red Devils defeated the Braves, 45-44, in a nondistrict game before 3,500 at Johnny Johnson Stadium.
"That's probably the best football game I've been a part of since I started coaching here (at Kathleen) in 2002,'" Kathleen head coach Irving Strickland said.
Kathleen (2-1) had rallied from a 21-7 deficit to score two touchdowns in the fourth quarter, the second coming on a 21-yard pass from Kevin Wilson to Ja'Von Harrison with 2:01 to play.
After matching each other point for point through the first four overtimes, Lake Gibson coach Keith DeMyer decided to go for the win in the fifth.
After Trey Congdon's 1-yard quarterback sneak made it 45-44, DeMyer called another run by Congdon, but he was stopped inches short of the goal line.
"I didn't even know how many overtimes it was," DeMyer said. "I just felt like we weren't able to deal with it on the defensive side on the tail end, so it was time to make that move.
"They made a great stop," DeMyer said. "We were right there at the door."
Kathleen linebacker Rashod Whitehead, who was among the Kathleen defenders in on the stop, said he thought the ball would go to Congdon, who had run for two of Lake Gibson's three touchdowns in overtime.
"As the middle linebacker, I knew he was going to keep it so I cheated down," Whitehead said. "It was almost there, but we stopped them."
Strickland faced a similar decision in the fourth overtime. After Lake Gibson's Beckly Njoh had given the Braves a 38-35 lead, Kathleen had fourth down at the 2. Strickland elected to send out Gildardo Mata to kick a 20-yard field goal to tie it.
'I told my boys, 'I trust you. I'm going to keep going,' Strickland said. "I'm going to let him (DeMyer) make that decision."
Even up to the overtime, the game lived up to the hype in drama, even though it was a game filled with turnovers and penalties.
The two sides were penalized a combined 33 times for 294 yards. A pair of Kathleen turnovers helped Lake Gibson (1-1) take an early 14-0 lead ,and the Braves took a 21-7 lead into the fourth quarter before Harrison scored twice in the fourth quarter — on a 1-yard sneak an a the 21-yard TD pass.
The Braves had a chance to win it in the first overtime after Kendall Gant intercepted a Wilson pass. However, Kathleen's defense blocked an Njoh field goal attempt.
Four overtimes later, they stopped Congdon within inches of the goal line.
Lake Gibson hosts Palmetto.
- THE LEDGER
BRAVES-BARTOW GAME CANCELED
The Lake Gibson-Bartow game scheduled for September 6 has been canceled and will not be rescheduled.
LG DOMINATES BOTH SIDES OF THE FOOTBALL, JENKINS 36-0
LAKELAND | Lake Gibson capitalized on George Jenkins' mistakes Friday night as the Braves cruised to a 36-0 win over the Eagles in the season opener at The Reservation.
"We definitely expected it," senior quarterback Trey Congdon said. "We knew we had a great team this year and that we could come out and dominate any way we needed to."
Congdon accounted for two touchdowns, one passing and one rushing, while junior running back Thomas Boles ran for two touchdowns on 21 carries.
"We came out in the second half and did great job moving the football, and that's what we're all about," Lake Gibson head coach Keith DeMyer said. "We're all about running the football and then throwing it."
The Braves took a 7-0 lead on Kendall Gant's 39-yard punt return touchdown with 1:44 left in the first quarter.
"Special teams was a big plus for us tonight," DeMyer said.
Congdon threw a 13-yard touchdown pass to Jeremy Crissey to make it 14-0 with 10:41 left in the second quarter. A personal foul call on a third down incompletion set up a 9-yard touchdown run by Congdon with 5:53 left in the second quarter. A two-point conversion put the Braves up 22-0.
Boles had a pair of rushing touchdowns in the second half, one from three yards out in the third quarter and a 4-yard touchdown in the fourth.
"As long as he stays healthy, he could really be something," DeMyer said of Boles. "A lot of it's going to depend on how our offensive line develops. But he certainly gets the most out of what he's got when he's running the football."
A second-quarter drive that brought George Jenkins to the Lake Gibson 40 was squandered when quarterback Jaylen Odum's pass was picked off by Braves defensive back Devon McAllister.
- THE LEDGER
BRAVES HANDLE LAKELAND AT BRYANT, 14-7
LAKELAND | Lake Gibson celebrated its Kickoff Classic win over Lakeland with an impromptu dance party celebration at midfield.
It might have been only a preseason victory, but any time a team can take out Lakeland at Bryant Stadium, a celebration is in order.
The Braves opened up the 2013 season with a 14-7 victory over the Dreadnaughts on Friday night thanks to the arm and the legs of Trey Congdon.
Congdon, a senior quarterback, took a 4th-and-1 quarterback sneak 46 yards for a touchdown, breaking multiple tackles on the way for the winning score with 15.7 seconds remaining in the third quarter.
Congdon then found Jeremy Crissey in the back corner of the end zone on a fade pattern to give the Braves a seven-point cushion.
Mother Nature wasn't kind to fans or the players early on as the game's start was delayed an hour because of lightning. Another 30-minute delay came at 3:57 of the first quarter with both teams seemingly stuck in neutral.
After the second weather delay, Lakeland got its offense untracked behind the running of quarterback Aaron Johnson, who led the Dreadnaughts down the field for their only score of the night at the start of the second quarter.
Jacob Sundey finished off the 10-play, 72-yard drive with a 1-yard touchdown run to put the Dreadnaughts up 7-0.
Then Congdon got the Braves' offense clicking.
He hit Crissey on a pump-fake, stop-and-go route for a 38-yard touchdown with 25 seconds left in the half.
An unsportsmanlike conduct penalty pushed the extra point back where it was blocked, giving Lakeland a 7-6 lead at halftime.
Lakeland had a costly fumble in the third quarter as it tried to extend one-point lead. Johnson pitched the ball to running back Ra'Don Dwight, who couldn't come up with the ball. Lake Gibson's Michael Toseland came up with the fumble at the Braves' 25 to end the threat.
The Dreadnaughts also had a chance to extend a drive in the fourth quarter but turned it over on downs when Dwight was stopped on 4th-and-1 from the Braves' 46 with 3:53 left in the game.
Lake Gibson ran three plays to take time off the clock then nearly caught Lakeland off guard with a fake punt that came up a yard short of a first down.
Lakeland's final desperation drive ended with an interception by Derrien Bomar on 4th-and-27 at the Lakeland 27.
- THE LEDGER
GANT EAGER, AMPED FOR FINAL CAMPAIGN
Lake Gibson defensive back Kendall Gant is accustomed to being the guy in the spotlight for the Braves. He doesn't shy away from the competition of going against some of the top players in the state.
"I believe that I can stick anybody," Gant said confidently. "It don't matter who it is, it don't matter. If you get me, best believe I'm coming back for you, no matter what. I'm going to always fight you, every time, every play."
That attitude stems from Gant being the youngest of four brothers and being the little one that would always get picked on.
Gant isn't little anymore, and his skills have gained him national recognition.
The senior is a consensus three-star safety by the four major college recruiting networks: ESPN, 24/7 Sports, Rivals, and Scout. The 6-foot-2, 185-pound safety has received offers from 20 major Bowl Subdivision colleges.
Gant was a PolkPreps.com first-team all-county defensive selection and named to the AP second-team all-state team last season. Bright House Sports Network rated Gant as the No. 20 player in the Tampa Bay area for the upcoming season.
"I put in so much work," Gant said. "I think I deserve to be where I am now. It's an accomplishment."
Gant ended his college recruitment early when he verbally committed to Georgia in July so that he could focus on the upcoming season. Lake Gibson head coach Keith DeMyer said it showed how serious this season was to Gant.
"I think that is a good decision to decide early," DeMyer said. "It tells me that he is ready to line up and ready for the first snap. He has shown some great leadership too along with that aspect. He is learning to become a big-time team player, not just a player for Kendall. He has got all the things going for him."
- THE LEDGER
CONGDON LEADS OFFENSE FOR FOURTH SEASON
The Lake Gibson varsity football program has never had a four-year starter at the quarterback position.
Not until Trey Congdon stepped on campus in 2010.
"I had no expectations coming in and being on varsity at all, and to come in and actually start has been a great opportunity for me," Congdon said.
Lake Gibson quarterbacks coach Doug DeMyer, who was the 1997 player of the year in Polk County, has seen the growth in Congdon since that freshman season.
"It's like night and day," DeMyer said. "His expectations were to get the snap and hand it off to Shawndell [Artis] or Remi [Watson]. It wasn't even to manage the game back then. Just get the snap and hand it off to your playmakers."
"As the years have gone on, he has evolved. And we've put a lot more on his plate as far as getting out of bad plays, and making checks, and expecting him to be a coach on the field. He is doing a fantastic job."
Since then, Congdon has lit up the stat sheet, passing for more than 4,892 yards and 46 touchdowns in his career. He's also doing well in the win column, with a 25-8 career record in games he's started, which includes leading Lake Gibson to its first undefeated regular season last year.
Congdon picked up his first offer during the spring from Eastern Kentucky.
The senior still feels like he has much more to accomplish, but is hoping to be remembered as one of the best to wear the garnet and gold for the Braves.
"I just want to be known as one of the great quarterbacks who came out of this school just like (Matt) Grothe or anybody else who did… just to be on top and leave with a state title or something great this year," Congdon said.
- THE LEDGER
LG DOMINATES REGION, FINISHES PERFECT 10-0
LAKELAND | In their final game of the season, the Lake Gibson Braves dominated Lake Region in a 41-7 victory Friday night at Virgil Ramage Stadium to finish the regular season with an unbeaten record for the first time in school history.
"It feels like something I've never felt before," Lake Gibson coach Keith DeMyer said after the game. "We've had a lot of winning seasons before, but to be 10-0 is something special."
Lake Gibson (10-0, 4-0) struggled early on offense but took advantage of four Thunder turnovers and never looked back. Seniors Tyler Brown, Jordan Smith, and Eric Carter combined to score the six touchdowns while the Lake Gibson defense held the Thunder (2-7, 1-3) to 175 yards of total offense and no offensive scores.
"This bunch has been a fun group to coach," DeMyer said about his senior class. "We've had some good years, and we've been to the finals, but these guys have just been great and been a fun group to coach. And sometimes that makes all the difference."
Lake Gibson junior quarterback Trey Congdon had a notable game through the air, completing 10-of-16 passes for 201 yards and three touchdowns.
Lake Gibson's bye week lands on the last week of the regular season, giving the Braves a break before Daytona Beach Mainland comes to visit on Nov. 16.
"The biggest thing with a bye week is rest," DeMyer said.
- THE LEDGER
"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!
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