NAPLES — Last week, Community won its first game ever. On Friday night at home against Lake Mary Prep, the Seahawks celebrated their first homecoming.
They also suffered their first heartbreaking loss 40-27, due mostly to the dominant play of Griffins sophomore Ray Lewis III, son of the Baltimore Ravens linebacker.
Lewis compiled 378 total yards, including two long punt returns and 133 yards rushing. Lewis also scored five touchdowns, four of which came in the fourth quarter.
Community School (1-3) led 13-7 at halftime. Lewis put his team ahead with an 80-yard punt return with just under four minutes remaining in the third quarter. From there, the 5-foot-9, 185-pound Lewis took charge of the game, thwarting valiant comeback attempts by the Seahawks.
“So close,” said CSN coach Damon Jones. “So close. The key was bottling up Lewis. We did that for two-and-a-half quarters. We knew we had our work cut out for us. He’s a special kid.
“We did some really good thing out there tonight. Our guys are just getting better and better. But we just made some mistakes at the end.”
Lewis opened up the fourth with an 85-yard punt return, breaking tackles, to put the Griffins up 20-13.
The Seahawks responded immediately. On their first play from scrimmage after Lewis second return, Seahawks running back Mike Schoeller ( 122 yards) burst up the middle for a 65-yard touchdown to knot the score 20-20.
Two plays later, Lewis, who received a text from his father before the game telling him to “Stay low,” broke off a screen pass for a 65-yard score.
After the play, Lewis, who was on the field for all but two plays the entire game, on both offense and defense, began to suffer leg cramps.
“I was cramping the rest of the game,” he said. “The whole time I was telling myself to suck it up, I’m a football player.”
CSN responded four minutes later when quarterback Andrew Tomaini hit receiver Danny Straub for a 6-yard score to tie the game once again.
However, the Seahawks could not contain Lewis, who scored for the third time in the quarter on a 40-yard run up the middle. The Griffins would not relinquish the lead.
In a Week 2 victory over Windermere Prep, Lewis compiled 504 total yards. On Friday, he would score his fifth and final touchdown on a 3-yard run with just under two minutes left.
“Because (Lewis) plays so much,” said Grinnins coach Buck Gurley, “we wanted to spread the ball around. But we got to a point on offense where we had to give him the ball. And he responded. He’s an athlete.”
After a quiet first quarter, the Seahawks struck on the first play of the second to get on the board first.
Facing a second and five on the Griffins’ 47 yard line, CSN quarterback Andrew Tomaini dropped back and flung the ball 25 yards down the middle. Seahawks receiver Neal Defossez hauled in the pass with two Lake Mary defenders on his back.
Defossez, a junior who leads the team in receiving, broke free from the defenders’ grasp and sprinted into the end zone.
The Griffins (3-1) responded on their next series. Starting at its own 38 yard line, Lake Mary handed the ball off to Lewis five straight times. On those plays, Lewis was able to eventually bull his way to the Seahawks 14 yard line.
Giving Lewis a rest, the Griffins’ sixth play of the series resulted in a touchdown to tie the game at 7-7.
The Seahawks are at home once again next week when they take on St. John Neumann’s JV squad.Click here to order Ray Lewis’s proCane Rookie Card.