After going 2-7 in their inaugural year last year, the Tigers are now 4-4 after defeating Harmony, 28-7, on Friday.
Tahquis Armstrong and Kareem Dinzey each scored a pair of touchdowns as the Tigers raced to a 21-0 halftime lead, but it took most of the second half for Tohopekaliga to put Harmony away. The Tigers, who gained 375 yards on the night, were often the only ones to stop themselves, committing nearly 150 yards in penalties.
“We started electric, but we have yet to play a full, four-quarter game,” THS Coach Marc Deas said. “We’ll be satisfied with getting the ‘W’, but we’ll look at the film and find ways we can improve for our last two games.”
Sophomore quarterback Tyler Wesley has had some of his best games against county competition, and continued Friday, going 8-for-16 passing with 191 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions.
“The game is slowing down for Tyler, as far as being able to read plays as they develop, but he’s still young with a lot to learn,” Deas said.
Armstrong busted around the right end for 70 yards on a counter play on the Tigers’ second offensive play; they made it 14-0 on the third play of the second quarter when Wesley capped a long drive with a 18-yard scoring pass to Dinzey. Late in the quarter, Wesley hit Armstrong in the flat and the senior did the rest, scoring from 58 yards out to make it 21-0 with 3:34 left in the half.
Harmony (2-6) finished their second drive of the third quarter with an eight-yard TD scamper by Chris Skeldon, who shared quarterback duties with Keaghan Black, and the Longhorns had three other chances to make it a one-score game down 21-7. But two of those drives ended with interceptions by Javon Morrison and Dinzey, the latter his second that he returned 70 yards for a score with five minutes remaining that sealed it.
Bright spots for Harmony were five sacks from its defense, including two for Remy Berrios, and Kenneth Torres, who carried 20 times for 138 yards and caught two passes for 49 more.
Tohopekaliga preps for another home date next week against Celebration, while Harmony meets St. Cloud in the 19th installment of the Soldier City Classic.
Osceola 13, Bradenton Manatee 0: It took a tropical storm to slow down the Osceola Kowboys Friday in Bradenton, That OHS defense was enough to stop the Manatee Hurricanes.
Osceola forced five turnovers and made a single touchdown hold up as it won on the road, 13-0, to post its fourth shutout of the year.
Ja’Randy Swint scored on a 35-yard touchdown run just over two minutes into the game, the night’s only touchdown. The Kowboys added a pair of Spencer Richards field goals as much of the game was played in a downpour.
Osceola (7-1) now gets ready for a matchup with Lake Nona (6-2) that will decide the District 8A-6 title.
Viera 42, St. Cloud 7: The Bulldogs (5-3) chances of winning district 7A-5 vanished with the loss to the favored Hawks. St. Cloud was right with Viera (6-2) for a half, but the Hawks expanded a 14-0 halftime lead with 21 third-quarter points.
Garhett King tossed a touchdown pass to Hayden Taylor to get the Bulldogs on the board.
Bartow 49, Poinciana 13: Eagles quarterback Justin Carpenter tossed touchdown passes to Treyvion Gunter and Zayveon Mitchell, but it wasn’t enough for Poinciana (3-5) to beat Bartow, who is 5-4 and in the thick of the District 7A-6 race after going winless a year ago.
Poinciana now gears up for the Battle of the Boulevard against Liberty, who fell to 0-8 after a 33-0 loss to Lake Gibson (8-0), one of the top teams in the state in Class 6A, on Friday.
Cypress Creek 40, Celebration 36: Despite taking a 21-14 halftime lead, the Storm (3-5) could not get the win on Senior Night.
Celebration closes the season with in-county games at Tohopekaliga and against home to Liberty to try to finish the season at .500 for the first time since 2015.
Palm Bay Bayside 54, Gateway 20: Phillip Bangura scored all three Gateway touchdowns Friday, two on runs of 25 and 20 yards and on a 12-yard throw from Jerry Wright.
The Panthers (0-8) will take another crack at getting their first win of the year in their final District 6A-9 game next week at home against Auburndale (6-2).