FOOTBALL

First Academy of Leesburg 15, Maitland 14

With minutes to go in the game, First Academy trying to hold onto the lead and Maitland driving, First Academy coach Sheldon Walker used a timeout to try to reset the defense and thwart the comeback. Walker said linebacker Tommy Lea suddenly insisted that the players gather around to pray, so they did.

On the next play, First Academy cornerback Trayvon Cummings picked off a Maitland pass to kill the drive and preserve a close victory.

"It was a hard-fought game," Walker said. There was an ebb and flow, the offense, defense, special teams."

First Academy improved its record to 4-1 on the season.

"It's a huge milestone for us," Walker said. "We have a long way to go, but this is a special group of kids."

Crescent City 18, Umatilla 7

Umatilla, (0-4) which almost didn't field a football team to start the season, took a tough Crescent City squad into the final minutes of the game before losing.

Crescent City scored a late touchdown to give themselves a 18-7 cushion, but then Umatilla returned the ensuing kickoff 101 yards. The play was called back because of a penalty for blocking in the back.

Still, Umatilla coach Ryan Mills said his team is beginning to gel on the offensive side of the ball and that he's pleased with a defensive unit that has mostly held its opponents in check, except for a rout at the hands of the South Sumter juggernaut last week.

"If you're doing what you're supposed to on the defensive side of the ball, you give yourself a chance to win," Mills said.

South Sumter 27, Trinity Catholic (Ocala) 20

South Sumter waged a back-and-forth battle with powerhouse Trinity Catholic before pulling ahead on a fumble recovery for a touchdown in the fourth quarter Friday night in Ocala.

The Raiders struck first in the opening quarter, but then Trinity blocked a punt for a score and added two more touchdowns to take a 20-7 lead into the half.

The second half was all South Sumter, which put up two scores in the third quarter and held the Trinity offense in check.

Midway through the fourth quarter, South Sumter forced a trinity fumble, and senior cornerback Sunny Vera scooped it up and raced 80 yards for what would prove to be the winning score.

"We're not playing great right now," Raider coach Ty Lawrence said after the game, "but one thing our kids are doing is fighting hard on every play."

South Sumter (4-0) travels to Tavares next week.

Ocoee 21, East Ridge 12

East Ridge got on the board early Friday night with a 60-yard touchdown pass to Tyree Baptiste but couldn't hold Ocoee in check and dropped a close game at home.

East Ridge coach Ashour Peera said his team had poor field position much of the night, and it bit them in the end. East Ridge went into the locker room at the half down 21-6, but made the game close when Bryan Lumsden ripped off a 30-yard touchdown run in the second half.

"They're a quality team. Not taking anything away from them," Peera said after the game. "But we had our opportunities and we just didn't take advantage of them."

East Ridge was impressive on the defensive side of the ball, stifling the powerful Ocoee running game.

Peera found positives in the loss.

"Considering last season they beat us by 21 points and we knew their defense was going to be tough," he said.

VOLLEYBALL

First Academy of Leesburg 3, Foundation Academy 0

Emma Gray had 20 kills and 14 digs to lead First Academy of Leesburg to a 25-11, 25-21, 25-23 win over Foundation Academy on Thursday night. Bethany Jones added 31 digs and Lorena Arredondo had 11 digs as the Eagles improved to 9-1 on the season and 9-0 in district play.

BOYS SWIMMING

Eustis 90, Umatilla 62

Brent Griswold picked up wins in the 50 free (22.46) and the 100 back to lead Eustis past Umatilla on Thursday. Jacob White led Umatilla with wins in the 200 IM and 100 fly.

 GIRLS SWIMMING

Eustis 125, Umatilla 31

Sophomore Caitlyn Hunihan won the 200 free and 100 back to lead Eustis to a win over Umatilla on Thursday.