The rivalry between Sunlake and Land O’ Lakes high schools is obvious because of the close proximity of the two schools. But the Seahawks may have found a new rival in the Gainesville Hurricanes, which for the second year in a row, knocked them out of the state football playoffs.
Gainesville used two quick scores at the start of the game to cement what would become a 27-19 win Friday night in front of its home crowd. That finishes Sunlake’s season at 9-3 with the Class 6A-District 6 title.
Mitchell High School, the 6A-6 runner-up, also lost to Gainesville the previous week, giving the Hurricanes a clean sweep of the district as they ready for a tough regional finals matchup against Armwood High School.
In other games, according to published reports, Sickles fell to Tampa Bay Tech 20-16 in Class 7A, allowing the Titans a chance to face Osceola in the regional finals. That team out of Kissimmee beat Lakeland 35-28 in overtime to get there.
Lakewood topped River Ridge 26-3 in Class 5A action, while Suwannee — which beat Zephyrhills in a come-from-behind win last week — upset South Sumter 24-22.
Sunlake principal Steve Williams live-tweeted the game from his spot in Gainesville, and had nothing but good things to say about the Seahawks as they wrap up a strong season.
Shout out to the outstanding Seahawk football team. You guys have had a tremendous season and we are proud of you.
— Steve Williams (@slhsprincipal) November 22, 2014
Sunlake also got kudos from elected officials as well, including new Pasco County commissioner Mike Moore, and state Rep. Richard Corcoran.
— mikemoore2014 (@mikemoore2014) November 22, 2014
Congrats Sunlake Seahawks on a great season and a great playoff run! @SLHSseahawks
— Richard Corcoran (@richardcorcoran) November 22, 2014