The Sunlake Seahawks have advanced in the state football playoffs once again by stopping the Vanguard Knights 24-6 Friday night in the Class 6A playoffs.
Sunlake (9-2) dominated on the ground against the Ocala team with 280 total yards and three touchdowns. The Knights, on the other hand, were powerful in the air, with quarterback N’Kosi Perry throwing 17-of-29 for 189 yards and a touchdown. However, two interceptions would tarnish his record for the night.
The Seahawks were only able to convert the two picks to three points, the first coming in the very first play of the game when Perry shot a bullet downfield into the hands of senior defensive back Mosi Davis. Sunlake would use 12 plays to move it from their own 28-yard line all the way to Vanguard’s 1, but running back Nathan Johnson just missed the goal line, and the Seahawks would have to settle on a Chris Wilkinson 18-yard field goal.
Vanguard roared back, and scored the game’s first touchdown just 8 seconds into the second quarter when Perry connected with Darryn Lake for 14 yards. A fake kick by Bruce Christopher allowed Rashard Laiz to try and run it in for a two-point conversion. However, he met the Seahawk’s goal line defense, and was stopped at the 1.
The Knights never really had a chance after that as Sunlake was able to move the ball and burn the clock, adding scores along the way, including a 46-yard run into the end zone by Davis in the answering drive to help the Seahawks go up 10-6. Naejaun Jackson added two touchdowns of his own on a 7-yard run late in the first half, and a 6-yard run early in the third quarter.
Johnson led the rushing attack with 102 yards, while quarterback Dayton Feiden added 64 yards of his own. Feiden spent very little time in the air, finishing 4-of-5 for 63 yards with no touchdowns and no interceptions.
For the Knights Lake led all receivers with 108 yards and a touchdown, while Justin Watkins picked up 38 yards on three catches.
Gainesville outlasted Mitchell 24-17, meaning the Seahawks will now have to travel north for the Class 6A regional semifinals.
In other local action, a late fumble cost the Zephyrhills Bulldogs a chance to upset Suwannee in Class 5A, losing 42-34 to the Live Oak team.