By Gary Brown, Sun Correspondent
ENGLEWOOD — Lemon Bay raced to a big halftime cushion, then held off a rally by visiting Bishop Verot in the final quarter Friday night to cling to a 28-27 preseason victory.
The Vikings scored three touchdowns in the final quarter to nearly wipe out the deficit. The Manta Rays stopped a two-point conversion run to preserve the victory.
Lemon Bay dominated the first two periods behind a pair of touchdown passes from Hayden Wolff to Joe Eubanks and a running game that shredded the visitors for big gain after big gain. Thomas Chaney and Joe Gossett each had a 7-yard touchdown run for the Manta Rays.
Aiden Moore, Logan Lydic, Ty Walchale, Eubanks, Chaney and Gossett rolled through the Vikings for big gains behind the solid play of the offensive line.
“We played our starters in the first half and let the reserves in to see what the could do,” first-year Lemon Bay coach Don Southwell said. “We had a great first half, but not so well in the second. But, we can work on that.
“Wolff had a great game as did Eubanks. Our offensive line was great and our defense played well in the half.”
Wolff and Eubanks connected on passes of 25 and 42 yards after Chaney opened the scoring with his 7-yard run. The Vikings got a 4-yard run from Joslyn Myra with 11:55 left in the game, then sprinted toward a victory attempt on a trio of touchdown passes.