Keyon Brawner may want to buy Kelsey Demps lunch today.
Demps saved Brawner’s bacon with a last-minute interception as Cypress Lake edged Cape Coral 14-12 on Friday night in the Panthers’ homecoming.
The Panthers (3-2) looked to have the game sealed after Chris Joseph’s interception and then a first-down run by Isaiah Thomas (26 carries, 68 yards).
However, Brawner – who scored his team’s second touchdown – fumbled the ball away at his team’s 25 with a minute-and-a-half left.
Two plays later, Demps made a diving pick of Cape Coral QB Chase Sealander just before going out of bounds to get the ball back for Cypress Lake.
Demps, who scored his team’s first touchdown, had his second interception of the night. The Panthers had four picks.
“I saw the ball come out and I went for it,” he said with a big smile. “I was a little nervous (he was out of bounds).
“It’s homecoming. It feels good.”
Cypress Lake Richie Rode echoed those thoughts.
“We made it close, real close, for sure,” he said. “This is huge, against a good team, an established team. To win on homecoming. We’re halfway through the season and have a winning record. We’ve surpassed our win total from the last three, four, five years.”
The game ended at 11:45 p.m. Lightning delayed the game by 55 minutes and then again at the end of the first quarter.
Taking advantage of two 15-yard penalties on Cape Coral, Cypress Lake took the opening kickoff 75 yards.
Demps took a reverse and went 11 yards for a touchdown with 6:11 left in the first quarter.
Thanks to a Cypress Lake fumble, Cape Coral took over on the Panthers’ 1. After two running plays went backward, Sealander connected with DJ Lewis on a 10-yard scoring pass.
Finding a seam, then busting through it, Brawner scored from the 12 with 4:13 left in the second quarter. Thomas added the 2-point run, which turned out to be the difference in the same.
Behind the running of Isaac Washington (20 carries, 144 yards), the Seahawks had some nice drives but couldn’t finish. They drew within 14-12 on Osbel Hernandez’s 60 interception return in the third quarter but the Panthers sacked Sealander on the 2-point pass.
“The defense has been incredible,” said Rode, who played for Cape Coral coach Larry Gary at Cypress Lake. “The offense didn’t put it in great situations.
“Our guys are gonna enjoy this homecoming.”
CYPRESS LAKE 14, CAPE CORAL 12
CC 0 | 6 | 6 | 0 — 12
CL 6 | 8 | 0 | 0 — 14
CL — Kelsey Demps 11 run (run failed), 6:11
CC — DJ Lewis 10 pass from Chase Sealander (run failed), 10:23
CL — Keyon Brawner 12 run (Isaiah Thomas run), 4:13
CC — Osbel Hernandez 60 interception return (run failed), 5:13
Rushing, Cape Coral: Isaac Washington 20-144, Dwayne Emilus 2-14, Sealander 3-minus 16. Cypress Lake: Thomas 26-68, Brawner 8-47, Demps 13-44, Chris Joseph 2-22, Joe Lemoine-Jefferson 1-minus 5.
Passing, Cape Coral: Sealander 4-13-4-30. Cypress Lake: Brawner 1-3-1-22, Demps 1-5-0-9.
Receiving, Cape Coral: Washington 2-13, Lewis 1-10, Feliz 1-7. Cypress Lake: Joseph 1-22, Ryan Farrell 1-9.