Lake Wales - Johnny Richardson

Lake Wales running back Johnny Richardson scored eight touchdowns Aug. 29 against Ridge Community High.

LAKE WALES – Lake Wales running back Johnny Richardson nearly broke the all-time Polk County single game rushing record Aug. 29 while playing against Ridge Community High.

With 6:07 left in the game, Highlander staff posted online that Richardson surpassed 413 yards rushing. By the end of the game, Richardson had scored eight touchdowns.

According to the Lakeland Ledger, Frostproof alum Travis Henry has what is believed to be the county record for single-game rushing yards, having accumulated 436 in 1996 against Fort Meade.

The game also saw a scary moment, when a player for Ridge Community sustained a significant injury.

Ridge Community strong safety Ja’Lyn Gamble was hit hard during a kickoff return and had to be taken to the hospital by a helicopter.

“He is alert and was being kept overnight for observation,” Ridge Community High Athletic Director Nicolas Nixon said Friday morning.

Many high school football games were played Thursday night so that families would have a chance to prepare for Hurricane Dorian.

Lake Wales High School quarterback Eric Williams threw seven touchdown passes. Six were thrown to Richardson, as well as one apiece for receivers Norman Love and Garrett Reynolds.

The final score was 62-0.

Next up for the Highlanders (2-0) is an away game at Haines City (0-2). The Bolts (1-1) have a home game against Kathleen (0-2).

Contact Charles A. Baker III at


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