By Jordan Kroeger, SunCoast Sports
IN A NUTSHELL: Lemon Bay lost another game by shooting itself in the foot at the most inopportune times. Three bad snaps, two inside Hardee’s 10-yard line and another at Hardee’s 25, cost Lemon Bay 62 yards in the first half and led to zero points instead of possibly 21. Meanwhile, Hardee built a 21-0 lead early in the fourth quarter, aided by two touchdowns and 100 rushing yards by running back Jaquavious Kimbrough.
DID YOU SEE THAT: With the game all but over, Brenden Shuman wasn’t about to give up on his team. He caught a jump ball over Hardee defensive back Hunter Gibson for a 40-yard catch in the game’s final minute that set up Lemon Bay’s only touchdown of the game.
THE GAME WAS OVER WHEN: With the Wildcats leading 14-0, the Manta Rays drove down the field and had a first and 10 at the Hardee 35-yard line midway through the third quarter. But on the ensuing play, running back Brayden Curry got gang tackled at the line of scrimmage and fumbled. It was one of six fumbles by Lemon Bay on the night but the only one Hardee recovered. And it was a killer. Lemon Bay’s offense didn’t get that close to the end zone again until the final minute of the game.
UNSUNG HERO: Brayden Curry struggled for most of the second half but busted through Hardee’s defense in the final minute of the game for a 40-yard touchdown to prevent the shutout. Curry finished with 80 yards on 17 carries.
THEY SAID IT: “I never in a million years would’ve predicted this. I’m shocked. Shell shocked. I’ve never been a part of something that’s, wow, never saw this coming.” -Lemon Bay coach D.J. Ogilvie.
HARDEE 21, LEMON BAY 7
Lemon Bay 0 0 0 7- 7
Harde 7 0 7 7- 21
HD – Lindsey 5 run (Castillo kick) 8:23
HD – Kimbrough 1 run (Castillo kick) 8:29
HD – Kimbrough 20 run (Castillo kick) 11:51
LB – Curry 40 run (Rusher kick) 0:30.3
First Downs 8 14
Rushes/yds 29-56 32-173
Passing yds 107 113
C-A-I 7-20-0 9-15-0
Fumbles/lost 6-1 2-0
Penalties/yds 11-95 13-155
Rushing: Lemon Bay: Brayden Curry 17-80-1, Hunter Weir 6-40, Brenden Shuman 2-3, Hayden Wolff 1- -5; Hardee: Jaquavious Kimbrough 11-100-2, Parker Carlton 15-72, Kai Washington 1-7, Jess Scarborough 1-0, Hayden Lindsey 4- -5-1.
Passing: Lemon Bay: Hayden Wolff 7-19-107, Brenden Shuman 0-1-0; Hardee: Hayden Lindsey 9-15-113.
Receiving: Lemon Bay: Brenden Shuman 1-40, Logan Lydic 2-24, Brayden Curry 2-23, Victor Mellor 2-20; Hardee: Johnny Jean 5-90, Kai Washington 4-23.