Controversial star keys Lakeland title
By TIMES STAFF
Published December 9, 2006
Chris Rainey cleared to play by the Polk County School Board, ran for 276 yards and three TDs in Lakeland's 45-42 double-overtime win over Fort Lauderdale Aquinas in Friday's Class 5A final in Miami. The game ended with the Raiders inches from the goal line.
Lakeland, however, could forfeit the title if state officials determine Rainey took gifts, which earlier this week he said had occurred. Lakeland, which has won 45 in a row and three straight state titles, led 21-0 after three and 35-14 after Rainey's 55-yard run with 2:25 left. But the Raiders recovered two onside kicks and tied it with 44 seconds left. Both scored TDs in the first OT. In the second, LHS got a 20-yard field goal. Then the Raiders' Leonard Hankerson was tackled at the 1 after a catch on third and goal, and Jeremiah Harden was stopped on a run.