East Lake defeats rival Tarpon

Jimmy Skaaland, Staff Writer

East Lake pulled through and was able to win the big rivalry game this season against Tarpon 34-14.

            Friday, September 16 was not just another football game for either our East Lake Eagles or the Tarpon Springs Spongers.  This was the rivalry game, a rivalry that has existed since the opening of ELHS and provides the largest fan turnout for any game in Pinellas County each year.  This was not a district game and didn’t affect either team’s chances of going to the playoffs, but it was an extremely important game for both.  This East Lake team has been called the most talented team ever fielded at ELHS, and after a disappointing loss to Countryside the outcome of this game was either going to restore everyone’s faith in the team or show that it was all hype.  For Tarpon Springs this game was not about the rivalry but was dedicated to one of their own.  Joey Boylan, #45 of Tarpon Springs, passed away the same week as this game.  “It doesn’t seem real; I just saw you the other day, and now you’re gone, R.I.P Joey love you bro.  Friday night and the rest of this season is for you, gone but not forgotten,” remarked Allen Wilson, wide receiver for Tarpon Springs.

            East Lake was finally able to harness their destructive ability on defense as well as its explosiveness on offense, leading to the 34-14 victory.  Running back, Tyler Lane #2, had a break out night in which he rushed for 159 yards and four touchdowns.  After the game he remarked, “I’m ready for every game; sometimes they don’t go the way we want them to go but sometimes we come out and play the way we can. This was the East Lake team and that’s how we are going to keep playing.” Notably Tyler hurdled a defender on his way in for his third touchdown of the night on a nine yard run; he used this impressive move against a Countryside defender last week.

            “I believe that the Tarpon game really brought our team together.  We played well on both sides of the ball and finally showed what our team is capable of doing when we play up to our own standards.  While it’s great to beat Tarpon for the third year in a row, we still have a long way to go in reaching our goals of winning the district title and contending for a state championship,”  said senior captain #77 Jordan Kidder.

            “We’ve been hoping to get crowds like we used to and especially get them as excited and riled up as they used to be.  Friday night was a great turnout but the fans could still get more into the game.  Hopefully we will see more big turnouts like this the rest of the season,” said cheer captain Emily McGuinness.

            This is definitely a talented team, and now that things seem to be clicking on all cylinders they will be an exciting team to watch.