Though playoff games are set for next week, we’re shouldn’t forget the hundreds of local high school football players whose careers came to a close Friday. We honor a few Hillsborough County players who shined in their final appearance under the Friday night lights.
Parker Clonts, LB, Jesuit. Clonts recovered a fumble in the end zone for the go-ahead score in the Tigers’ 17-3 win over Jesuit and added 11 tackles. His fellow classmate, DE Brad Smith, had five tackles and two sacks.
Brandon Hawkins, QB, Alonso. Hawkins ran for a touchdown and threw for 185 yards and two touchdowns, including one with 3:45 left to give Alonso a late lead in its 31-29 loss.
Nate Mills, QB, Sickles. Mills came off the bench and completed 7 of 9 passes for 58 yards. More importantly, he led the Gryphons on the game’s final drive to set up Daniel Lezotte’s winning 43-yard field goal with three seconds left.
Kendall Pearcey, RB, Steinbrenner. A member of Steinbrenner’s first freshman class, Pearcey closed out his high school career with 105 yards of offense and three touchdowns and returned the opening kickoff for 80 yards.
Shaquille Speights, RB, Jefferson. Speights, a member of the Dragons’ 2010 championship team, rushed for three touchdowns and nearly 130 yards in his final high school game. His classmate, receiver Jonathan Moore, had three touchdown receptions.
Lasander Washington, RB, Riverview. Had touchdown runs of 65 and 5 yards in the Sharks’ 34-24 loss to Gaither.