Hurricanes blow past Eagles

The Highlands Youth Football & Cheer Organization was on the road at Lake Gibson High School to play the Lakeland Hurricanes on Saturday. The Eagles were ready for battle after several exciting games last week and looking to bring in some more wins. The first team to take the field was the Flag team, ages 5-6, led by Coach Steve Remes. The Eagles Flag team came out with a purpose on offense led by Marcus Gomez, Josh Hernandez, Leon Harris and Damari Cohen. Harris quickly led the Eagles to a touchdown and extra point scored by Cohen for a 7-0 lead.
The Hurricanes quickly answered with a touchdown of their own to tie the game. The Eagles offense was successful again with Harris scoring to make it 13-7. The defense came out strong led by Keldrice Legree, DeAngelo Cohen and Gomez, but the Hurricanes offense responded with another touchdown to tie the game 13-13. In the last minutes of the game the Hurricanes were able to score again but the Eagles offense rallied getting inside the 20-yard line. But time ran out resulting in heartbreaking loss in this tough defensive game for the Eagles Flag team with a final score of 19-13. Next to take the field was the Mitey Mite team, ages 7-9, led by Coach Bronson Smith. The Eagles took the field with the Hurricanes focused and determined after last week's loss against the Gators. The Hurricanes offense came out strong and quickly took control of the game. The battle was on with the Eagles defense working diligently together to try and make something happen. Unfortunately the Eagles offense struggled and was unable to find the end zone resulting in another upsetting loss with a final score of 21-0. The Pee Wee team, ages 10-11, led by Coach Tim Hooks, were eager and ready to take the field. The day started off with the offense led by quarterback Graisin Wheelock getting the ball to Austin Smith to get the ball down the field but were foiled by the Hurricanes defense. The defense led by Jacob Bennett, who made several key tackles and had an interception for the day, rallied together with teammates Ronnie Roberts, Christopher Cardoso and Wheelock to hold back the Hurricanes. In the second half the Eagles offense struggled to gain momentum and the defense couldn't contain the Hurricanes resulting in their second loss of the season with a final score of 27-0. Following the Pee Wee game, the Junior Varsity team, ages 12-13, led by Coach Cliff Howell, took the field with the Hurricanes. The reining Junior Varsity Super bowl champion's team was determined and focused as they took the field with the team they defeated in the Super bowl which was the most anticipated game of the day. The game got off to a great start with the Eagles offense driving down the field facing a strong Hurricanes defense. The Eagles defense took the field as the Hurricanes got off their first offensive plays quickly capitalizing on a long run to the end zone to take an early 7-0 lead. This game quickly became a defensive battle between the Eagles and the Hurricanes. Key offensive runs were made for the Eagles by quarterback Norris "Fish" Taylor, Jr., Kasey Hawthorne and Geo Gonzalez but every effort was thwarted by the Hurricanes taking them into halftime with a 14-0 score. Going into the fourth quarter the score was still 14-0. The Eagles defense with key tackles made by Austin Oppold, Wilbur Segerra, Kyle Rodriguez, Kevin Webb, Hawthorne and Taylor continued to keep the Hurricanes offense contained. The JV Eagles played an amazing game against the Hurricanes resulting in a devastating loss with a final score of 21-0. The Varsity Eagles team ages 13-15, led by Coach Nick Bailey, did not have a game due to the Hurricanes not having a Varsity team and earned another victory by forfeit. HYF would like to spotlight our Eagle Cheerleaders and say thank you. Our Cheerleaders never failed our players; they kept cheering our players on and boosting team spirit on the sidelines. All in all it was a tough day of football. The Eagles players and coaches faced many challenges during the game but HYF is proud that our Eagle players and fans showed good sportsmanship and played a clean game of football. The results surely were not what were hoped for but with every game, a new lesson is learned that makes our teams stronger and better prepared for the next game. The Highlands Eagles will be playing their next game on the road at the Auburndale Bulls today at Southwest Middle School. Games begin at 9 a.m. and admission is $4 for adults and $3 for children. Come on out to support the Highlands Youth Football & Cheer program.