LAKE PLACID - Saving its best for last, Lake Placid scored two touchdowns in the last four minutes to stun Poinciana by a score of 14-6 to make its homecoming game a memorable one on Friday night at Roger Scarborough Memorial Field.
The nondistrict win snapped a two-game losing streak and evened the Green Dragons record at 2-2.
"It means a lot to win this game because we haven't won a homecoming game in a lot of years," said Lake Placid senior quarterback Robert Walton. "Our defense played awesome and kept us in the game because we struggled offensively for three quarters, but we finally made some plays in the last quarter and got it done.
"We had outstanding support from the crowd and it was a great experience."
Lake Placid struggled on offense for three quarters with three turnovers and a slew of penalties. But the Green Dragon defense kept them in the game until the running game and passing attack finally got going.
"I couldn't be more proud of our effort," said Lake Placid coach Jason Holden. "We couldn't do anything offensively for three quarters, but we showed a lot of heart and our defense kept us in the game with a remarkable effort against a physical Poinciana team.
"We didn't give up the big plays and then we made big plays late in the game and that was the difference."
Neither team could move the ball with any consistency in a scoreless first quarter and Poinciana took advantage of the first Green Dragon fumble that set up its only score.
The Eagles took possession at the Lake Placid 44 after a muffed exchange and scored in eight plays as senior tailback Joshua Lopez broke several tackles on a 5-yard touchdown run.
The 2-point pass was knocked down to give Poinciana a 6-0 lead with 2:08 remaining in the second quarter.
Lake Placid had an excellent chance to get on the scoreboard just before the half when Isaiah Velazquez intercepted a Lindstrom pass at the Eagles 22 with 45.7 seconds remaining.
But a run and three passes got the Dragons nothing and they trailed heading into halftime.
"Poinciana has a good defense and they played physical and fast," Holden said. "We couldn't get any kind of consistency with our running or passing and we made a few adjustments that helped in the second half."
Lake Placid scored a pair of touchdowns in the third quarter, but both were called back because of penalties and the Green Dragons fumbled twice inside the Eagles 20.
The game changed midway through the final period when the Green Dragon defense forced a fumble and recovered the ball on the Poinciana 44.
Lake Placid scored in eight plays as Foster Walker ran for a pair of first downs and Walton connected with Velazquez on a 12-yard touchdown pass in the right corner of the end zone on fourth down.
The extra point by Jorge Godinez gave the Green Dragons their first lead at 7-6 with 3:38 remaining in the fourth quarter.
"Isaiah was my primary receiver on that play," Walton said. "He did a good job of getting open, I made a back-shoulder throw and he was able to hang onto the ball.
"Once we got the lead I knew we were going to win the game."
Poinciana went backward on its next possession as the Green Dragon defense recorded back-to-back sacks and a fourth-down pass completion was short of the first down to give Lake Placid the ball on the Eagles 22.
The Green Dragons scored as Eldon McKenzie raced untouched into the end zone on an 18-yard run. The point after made it 14-6 with 1:09 left to play.
Class 5A Poinciana drove down the field to the Lake Placid 47, but a desperation fourth-down pass by Lindstrom fell incomplete to seal the homecoming win for Lake Placid in front of a jubilant crowd.
The hard-fought victory gives the Green Dragons a lot of momentum heading into Friday night's Class 4A-District 6 opener against LaBelle.
"We kept playing tough, overcame adversity and persevered to get a big win," Holden said. "I think our guys got a taste of victory and this should boost our confidence heading into district play."