#25 Indian River RB Carmello Sweat (Photo: Sarah Murphy/recruit757)
Indian River rolled to a shut out win over Lakeland on Friday
by Andy Hilton, recruit757
Indian River has been identified as a favorite in Region 5A and it’s easy to see why.
They have anchors all across the field on both sides of the ball with Dominique Brooks at quarterback, Lamareon James and Rasheen Brooks at wide receiver, Ben Smiley on the line, Charles Dixon and Ahshawn Moore at linebacker and Cam Hunter in the secondary. That doesn’t even highlight the depth that Indian River has at virtually every position.
The Braves were able to rely on the running game Friday night, led by Ricardo Ray and Carmello Sweat.
Dmitri Payne returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown, setting the tone for the night.
“We played Indian River football. Coach gave us the game plan and we came and executed,” said Payne. “(On the return), I told my teammates to block and I’m going to make a play. That’s what they did.”
“We just came out here playing Indian River football. That’s getting to the ball. Getting off the ball and getting to the quarterback,” said Smiley. He had six tackles and two sacks on the night. “We’re the best defensive line around. We can always bring pressure no matter who we play.”
Smiley isn’t the only contributor on the line. It takes a unit to perform at a high level.
Lineman Antowyne Shaw is a member of an offensive line unit that may get less attention, but they certainly make their contributions.
“The offensive line has had to adjust a lot because of the people we’ve lost; the people who got injured. We haven’t even been hitting these past two weeks in practice. Our trial by fire was the past two game nights,” Shaw stated.
Indian River has a game against Great Bridge scheduled for Friday that will be shelved because of the effects of Hurricane Florence. That game has yet to be rescheduled. Their next big test comes Friday night when they host defending region champion Nansemond River.
The Braves beat Nansemond River on the road in the regular season last year, only to have the Warriors beat them in the playoffs. There’s been a lot of talk in social media by both coaching staffs, so you can expect both sides to be extra motivated to win despite the layoff.
– Andy Hilton