LEHIGH 20, LELY 17
Lehigh 0 0 6 14 — 20
Lely 0 3 7 7 — 17
Lely — Rodain Delus 45 field goal 11:11
Lely — Dorleant 85 kickoff return (Bedolla kick) 11:44
Lehigh — Napoleon 28 run (kick failed) 5:58
Lely — Jean 28 pass from O’Regan (Mathurin kick) 7:56
Lehigh — Barton 88 pass from Williams (run failed) 6:56
Lehigh — Brantley 27 pass from Williams (Overstreet run) 1:24
NAPLES — The Lehigh Lightning scored the last two touchdowns to seal a 20-17 come-from-behind victory over Class 3A-12 rival Lely on Friday night.
Lance Williams threw a 27-yard touchdown pass to Markeese Brantley with 1:24 left in the game to put the finishing touch on the hard-fought victory.
Big defensive series by both teams set up the game’s dramatic finale.
With Lely up 17-12 with nearly seven minutes left in the fourth quarter, the Trojans began a drive at their own 36. After attempting to eat up the clock with a pair of running plays that were stopped short, Lely quarterback Sean O’Regan dropped back to pass. His short attempt across the middle was intercepted by Malik Simmons, who returned the pick to the Lely 9.
Lehigh quarterback Larry Overstreet ran the ball three times in a row, advancing the nose of the ball to just outside the goal line. On fourth down, there was movement in the Lightning offensive line before the snap, and the ball was moved back to just outside the 5. Overstreet ran up the middle on the next play, but his final surging stretch left the nose of the ball just outside the goal line once again, and Lely took over on downs.
The Lightning defense held tough, forcing a three-and-out after three consecutive QB sneaks by O’Regan, the last of which was on third-and-1.
“We basically have a brand new offensive line,” Lely head coach Dave Miller said. “But third-and-1 — you have to get a yard. You have to get a yard.”
Lely’s punt was short, and Lehigh took over at Lely’s 27-yard line with 1:31 left to play. Brantley scored on the pass from Williams on the first play of the series, falling backward across the goal line as he made the catch over a Lely defender.
“We have to get back to basics,” Miller said. “It’s discipline — giving up penalties, big plays.
“We’re just trying to get better week in, week out.”
Both teams continue their district campaigns next Friday as Lely plays host to East Lee County and Golden Gate visits Lehigh.
Earlier in the fourth quarter, Williams took over for Overstreet at quarterback for a series that ended with Williams launching a rainbow to Russell Barton for an 88-yard score to bring Lehigh within striking distance at 17-12 with 6:56 left in the game.
Lely’s last strike came on a 28-yard pass from O’Regan to Ben Jean with 11 minutes left in the game for a 17-6 lead.
Makinton Dorleant energized the Trojans (2-3, 1-1) and brought the crowd to its feet by returning the opening kickoff of the second half 85 yards for a score. After spinning through one tackle, Dorleant ran along the right hashmark untouched into the end zone to give Lely a 10-0 lead after Adolfo Bedolla’s extra point.
Lehigh (1-4, 1-1) responded with an impressive drive, moving the ball down the field from its own 20-yard line. The six-minute drive ended with a 28-yard scoring run by Steve Napoleon, who bullied his way through several tacklers before dancing down the left sideline and into the end zone. The extra-point try failed, and Lehigh closed the gap to four points, down 10-6 to the Trojans.
Neither team got off to a flying start. After the first three drives of the game ended with punts, the Trojans were able to sustain a nearly five-minute drive with a solid rushing attack between senior running backs Frankie Pugh and Darion Hall. The drive, which began at Lely’s 34-yard line, culminated with the only score of the first half, a 45-yard kick by Rodain Delus. The kick split the uprights with distance to spare.
Lely saw a scoring chance slip away as the clock ran down on the first half. The Trojans made good use of the hurry-up offense to find their way into Lightning territory with 11.6 seconds left until halftime. But on fourth down, a wide-open Lely receiver was unable to handle a pass across the middle from O’Regan near the 15-yard line.
PREP FOOTBALL: WEEK 5
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- Story: PREP FOOTBALL: All the photos, scores and more from Week 5 action
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