Local Sports

Tigers edge Streaks

— The new wrinkles the Sebring offense has been working on in spring practice still needs some work.

Martin County forced five turnovers en route to a 12-7 win over Sebring in a controlled scrimmage on Friday night at Firemen’s Field.

“We have to improve in every area,” said Sebring football coach LaVaar Scott. “We have to have better ball security and can’t make that many turnovers.

“The coaches and the players have to get better and we will.”

Martin County got on the scoreboard late in the first quarter on an eight-play, 70-yard drive culminated with a 21-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Austin Kuyrkendall to tight end Eric Johnson over the middle of the Blue Streaks defense.

The extra point was wide left but the Tigers had a 6-0 lead.

Sebring answered with an 11-play drive that covered 80 yards.

Quarterback Jair Watson hit several key passes to Duran Randolph and tailback Tony Jenkins had a big run to move the ball into the red zone.

Watson capped the drive with a 3-yard touchdown pass to Randolph and Hunter Livingston booted the extra point to give the Blue Streaks 17-6 lead at the half.

Martin County moved the ball down the field on its first possession of the third quarter and tailback Kareem Davis broke through the middle of the Sebring defense for a 9-yard touchdown run.

The 2-point pass attempt fell incomplete to give the Tigers a 12-7 lead with 9:24 left in the third period.

Neither team could move the ball with any consistency against a pair of swarming defenses for the remainder of the quarter.

The Sebring defense recorded four sacks on the night and put a lot of pressure on the Tigers’ quarterback.

“The defense flew around and we corrected the mistakes we made in the first half,” said Scott. “I don’t think Martin County would have scored that last touchdown if they didn’t have a short field to work with.”

Sebring had an excellent scoring opportunity midway through the final quarter on a drive that moved to the Tigers 18-yard line.

But on third down a mishandled snap was fumbled and Martin County recovered the ball to kill the threat.

The Blue Streak defense, which forced two turnovers, stiffened and gave the offense one last chance.

But Watson’s desperation pass in the closing seconds was picked off to seal the win for Martin County.

“We did some good things and ran the ball well at times,” Scott said. “But we made some poor decisions with the ball and that’s something we have to get corrected.”

With practice finished, the Sebring football players transitions into their summer conditioning program.

“We want to finish strong in the classroom,” said Scott. “We’ll take a look at the film and we’ll get those mistakes we made fixed.

“We want to hit the weights and get bigger and stronger and get ready for next season.”