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October 31, 2013
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PLAYERS TO WATCH:
THE OUTLOOK - For the last few years, it's been the end-of-the-season game for both teams as an annual rivalry with bragging rights and little else.
That changed when the Kathleen Red Devils joined the 5-7A district with Lakeland - a district dominated by the Dreadnaughts for a number of years (George Bush 41 was still in the White House).
Yes, it's been that long - 1992 was the last time Kathleen beat Lakeland on the gridiron.
Kathleen is led by Rivals four-star (and Virginia Tech commit) Javon Harrison. The Red Devils stumbled against Orlando private school First Academy - but have won six straight, including big wins over Winter Haven (21-14), Lake Gibson (45-44 in five overtimes) and a 31-28 win over Haines City to set up this battle for the championship.
Lakeland has been - Lakeland-like - steamrolling opponents by an average score of 37-15. The 'Naughts have big bodies up front and like to play between the tackles.
Lakeland will try to take what the Red Devil defense gives it and a turnover could decide the game. The last time this game meant a playoff spot - Lakeland blew out the Red Devils. Not likely to happen this time, but Lakeland still gets the win.