The Lakewood Spartans opened the 2022 postseason in fine fashion, rolling over Clearwater 42-13 to delight the fans in what will almost certainly be their last home game of the season.
Clearwater struck first on a long pass to take a 7-0 lead, but Anthony Colandrea threw a 45-yard scoring pass to Aviyon Smith-Mack to tie the game. From there it was all Spartans, with touchdown runs by Traquan Johnson and Montravius Lloyd among others. The lead was 35-7 at halftime.
Lakewood travels to Tampa Catholic next for the Class 2M, Region 2 semifinals. The other semifinal in that region is Berkeley Prep at Calvary Christian. The winner of those games face off on Black Friday, and the Spartans would be the visiting team no matter who the opponent is because of their lower seeding.
The other local team in the playoffs was the St. Petersburg Green Devils, who traveled to Tampa to face the Jesuit Tigers, one of last year’s state champions. It was a long night for the visitors, as Jesuit led 24-0 after one quarter, 38-0 at halftime, and eventually closed the books on a 52-0 win.
The Green Devils finished the season 7-4 with the playoff loss, an amazing turnaround from previous years and a welcome change for a senior class that suffered through a 1-9 season last year, 1-7 in 2020, and 2-8 in 2019.
Final regular season statistics for Pinellas County players were posted recently on the Green Zone Preps website, listing the top five players in several offensive and defensive categories, and several players in The Gabber’s coverage area figured prominently in the lineup.
The top running back in the county were Sammy Miller of Gibbs with 1,425 rushing yards and 16 touchdowns. Not far behind in second place was St. Petersburg quarterback Jeffery Jones with 1,381 yards and 15 touchdowns.
Anthony Colandrea of Lakewood was among the passing leaders with 1,905 yards and 14 touchdowns. One of his favorite targets was Aviyon Smith-Mack, who had 684 receiving yards and four touchdowns.
Among the top five in total offensive yards were Colandrea with 2,411 and Jones with 2,136.
On the other side of the ball, Lakewood’s Taveon Wheeler led the county with 11 sacks. Evan Aikens of St. Petersburg had four interceptions to finish tied for second.