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Lakewood's lineup changes lead to victory

Lakewood was 11-2, but it still hadn't earned a qualifying spot for the state flag football tournament.

By DOUG KATES, Times Correspondent
Published April 29, 2007


LAKEWOOD - Lakewood was 11-2, but it still hadn't earned a qualifying spot for the state flag football tournament.

The Spartans, who reached the state final last year, had to compete Saturday afternoon against Dunedin to decide who would be the Pinellas County representative in the play-in game for the state tournament.

With so much on the line, Spartans coach Necole Tunsil made a bold move to change her starting lineup. She named Kquanise Byrd as her starting quarterback for the first time this season.

How did the revamped lineup work? Lakewood overcame a 14-6 deficit to defeat the Falcons (10-2) 18-14.

"Dunedin was well prepared, " Tunsil said. "I know they prepared for (quarterback) Jasmine McBride. We changed the entire lineup."

Dunedin also prepared to stop dangerous running back Innekia Reedy, but Lakewood gave the sprinter only three carries through the first three quarters. While the Falcons waited for Reedy to get the ball, Byrd had eight carries for 20 yards and completed 10 of 12 passes for 183 yards.

In the end, however, Reedy did finally become a weapon.

Dunedin took a 7-0 lead when Anna Gould returned a punt 43 yards for a touchdown. Byrd responded with a 24-yard touchdown pass to Shereka Boone.

But the Falcons retook the lead on a pass from Gould to Vladanna Petricevic.

Byrd scored on a 27-yard run, but at the half Dunedin led 14-12 because of extra-point conversions.

With less than two minutes to play in the game, the Falcons were still in control. But that's when Reedy caught the defense off guard, caught a pass from Byrd and raced 40 yards for the winning score.

Gould led Dunedin with 17 carries for 68 yards and completed seven passes for 67 yards. Emily Overbee had two big sacks for the Falcons, and Boone had two interceptions for the Spartans.