Lutz- In a 17-15 rollercoaster effort, the Warriors (3-5, 2-2) claimed their second consecutive win as they defeated district rival Freedom (1-7, 0-4).
“These grinding games are just so emotional because it takes so much out of these players emotionally and physically” said Warrior Head Coach, Andres Perez-Reinaldo, “when they win, it means the world to them.”
The Warriors pulled out ahead in Friday’s dramatic senior night victory with the help of kick returner Kezio Snelling. Snelling managed to rack up over 100 yards in the return game, and set up multiple Warriors’ scores.
Another exhilarating performance was turned in by Warriors senior running back, Shyheem Barthel. Easily his best year in blue and gold, Barthel has racked up a total of five touchdowns and around 200 yards in his past two games, including 70 yards and two scores Friday night.
“Getting a win like this on senior night, it’s great” said Barthel, “I’m trying to hold back tears, getting a win like this will make you remember it forever.”
The Warriors did seemed driven to some how blow their final home game. It fumbled the ball twice, missed an essential field goal, failed a fourth down conversion and punted four times. Penlaties also played a large role, as Perez was ejected after two unsportsmanlike penalties during Freedom’s final drive. The Warriors had 13 penalties in the game. Still, Steinbrenner did just enough to win.
“This is how it’s supposed to end. We play a game where you see our coach fighting for us, that’s what it’s all about,” said Snelling, “that’s a real family bond.”
The Warriors will play district rival, Gaither Friday night hoping to keep their slim playoff chances alive. Steinbrenner needs a Sickles win against Tampa Bay Tech in order for it, TBT, and Gaither to be tied for the second seed in the district.
Evan Abramson / Senior Staff Writer