Darian Mills’ 11-yard jump pass to Chayce Armbruster for a touchdown with 45 seconds left was just enough to carry Winter Haven past the Cape Coral Ida Baker Bulldogs, 38-35, Friday night in the Class 6A football playoffs.
“We had just enough gadgets,” declared Winter Haven coach Charlie Tate after a wild game that included 10 lead changes and 879 yards of offense.
Every score of the game changed the lead.
It ended when a 49-yard field goal attempt by Ida Baker’s Lander Barahona fell short, sending the Blue Devils (9-2) into next Friday’s regional semifinal game against South Fort Myers.
A 46-yard field goal by Winter Haven’s Scott Wampler in the third quarter proved to be the difference in the scoring.
Mills, the Blue Devils’ senior quarterback, completed only four passes including touchdown passes to Chaquan Birdsong and Armbruster. Mills also ran for a two-point conversion in the fourth quarter. But his biggest play came on a turnover early in the third quarter.
With the Blue Devils down 21-20, Mills threw across the field at a receiver who fell down, leaving Ida Baker’s Roy Denson with an easy interception and what appeared to be an easy touchdown. But Mills ran him down and pushed him out of bounds at the Winter Haven 25-yard line after a 44-yard return.
W: Brandon Bivins 58 run (run failed)
I: Sage Attwood 36 run ( Barahona kick)
W: Kendrick Holland 19 pass from D’Angelo Gaines ( Wampler kick)
I: Roy Denson 21 pass from Sage Attwood ( Barahona kick)
W: Chaquan Birdsong 29 pass from Darian Mills (Wampler kick)
I: Geordan Hoagland 41 pass from Sage Attwood (Barahona kick)
W: Field goal 46 Wampler
I: Sage Attwood 8 run ( Barahona kick)
W: D’Angelo Gaines 8 run ( Mills run)
I: Sage Attwood 8 run (Barahona kick)
W: Chayce Armbruster 11 pass from Mills ( Wampler kick)