Three area teams fall short in state semifinals


Three area football teams saw their seasons come to an end in the state semifinals round on Friday.

Northview (Bratt) 21, Union County (Lake Butler) 11

Union County football Rayvon Durant
Photo by Megan Winslow Rayvon Durant

Northview running back’s Jamarkus Jefferson was too much for Union County to handle on Friday in the Class 1R state semifinal contest in Bratt.

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The visiting Tigers (8-3) fell behind 14-0 to the hosting Chiefs (12-0) but climbed back within three points on a 38-yard Jonathan Edwards field goal just before halftime and a Rayvon Durant touchdown run coupled with a two-point conversion in the fourth quarter.

But with on 4th-and-8 at the Union County 13-yard line with a little over a minute to play, Jefferson caught a touchdown pass that sealed the Northview win. Jefferson had 252 yards rushing in the contest.

Northview will play Hawthorne, who beat Blountstown 28-0, for the state championship on Saturday, Dec. 10, at Gene Cox Stadium in Tallahassee.

Cocoa 31, Bradford (Starke) 21

For the second straight week, Bradford fell behind in the first half before rallying. Only this time they couldn’t overcome the Cocoa Tigers in Starke on Friday in the Class 2S state semifinals.

Cocoa (10-3) took a 14-0 halftime lead before the hosting Tornadoes tied the contest 14-14. The Tigers would go ahead 21-14 at the end of the third quarter before Bradford responded with another touchdown to tie the contest 21-21 in the fourth quarter.

But the Tigers scored the final 10 points of the contest as Bradford – which had nine shutouts this season in its 13 previous games – gave up its highest point total of the season.  

Cocoa will play Florida State University High School for the 2S championship on Friday, Dec. 9.

Lake Wales 37, Columbia (Lake City) 7

Tyler Jefferson
Photo by Edgar Hernandez Tyler Jefferson

Lake Wales capitalized on Columbia first-half turnovers early and took a 28-0 en route to a 37-7 win in the Class 3S state semifinals.

The Highlanders (13-0) scored on a 5-yard touchdown with 1:57 left in the first quarter to take a 7-0 lead.

Columbia quarterback Tyler Jefferson was intercepted on a deep pass at the Lake Wales 15-yard line, but the Highlanders would score on a 74-yard pass play to go up 14-0 with 9:37 left in the half.

A Jefferson fumble led to a Lake Wales 55-yard touchdown run at 8:18 in the second quarter, and the Highlanders added their fourth score on a 3-yard pass with 5:52 to go in the half and take a 28-0 lead.

Columbia’s Jaylen Cooper scored on a 5-yard run with 1:06 left in the first half to pull the Tigers within 28-7 at the half.

Lake Wales increased its lead to 34-7 on two 38-yard field goals in the third quarter and added its final points on a 36-yard field goal in the final quarter.

Lake Wales will play Mainland (Daytona Beach) for the 3S state championship on Dec. 16.

Friday, Dec. 2 – State Semifinals

Class 1R
Hawthorne (10-0) 28, Blountstown 0

Northview (Bratt) 21, Union County (Lake Butler) 11

Class 2S
Cocoa 31, Bradford (Starke) 21

Class 3SLake Wales 37, Columbia (Lake City) 7

Class 4SVenice 42, Buchholz 35

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