The Foundation Academy Lions scored 35 unanswered points en route to their 42-12 win over the Zephyrhills Christian Academy Warriors to advance to the 2A Region 2 finals.
Henry Austad and Grayson Wagner led the Lions (9-2) offense, as Austad connected for three touchdowns (80, 52 and 25 yards) through the air to go along with his 209 passing yards. Austad also ran for a five yard touchdown.
“Unbelievable,” Foundation Academy head coach Brad Lord stated of Austad and Wagner’s offensive performances. “Big players play big in big games and they both did.”
After giving up a 68-yard rushing touchdown to Javion Hanner early in the first quarter, Foundation Academy’s defense shut out the Warriors until late in the fourth quarter with a running clock already in effect.
“Savages,” Lord said of his defense’s performance. “We knew we had to stop the run — this team was running on everyone and we shut them down tonight.”
The Lions’ defense was led by the usual suspects, as five different players racked up eight or more total tackles on the night.
Michael Lemieux-bott led the team with 10 total tackles (six solo, four assist) and grabbed two sacks, while big man Warren Sapp II led the team with his three sacks to go along with nine total tackles. Bryan Thomas (eight tackles), Danny Stutsman (eight tackles, one sack) and Andrew Johns (eight tackles, two sacks) rounded out the Lions’ stout defense.
Special teams also played a huge role, as they scored touchdowns on a bad snap and a muffed punt.
With the win, the Lions set a school record for wins in a season with nine.
Next Friday, Nov. 23, the Lions will go on the road to take on the Victory Christian Academy Storm (10-1) in their third meeting in five years in the regional finals. The Storm won the last playoff meeting 35-28 in overtime.
Victory Christian Academy’s only loss of the season came against Zephyrhills Christian Academy, as they lost 17-5.
“We’ll be ready,” Lord proclaimed about having to face Victory Christian Academy.