TAMPA — For 24 minutes, Chamberlain steamrolled over Hillsborough for a 14-0 lead. But the Terriers flipped the steamroller over in the second half and stole a victory.
Both defenses were stout. It took both teams reaching into their bag of tricks to score.
The Chiefs (4-3, 4-1 Class 6A, District 8) struck first when they faked a 21-yard field goal. Josh Bennett took the snap, stood up and hit Nathaniel Poole for a 5-yard touchdown. The Chiefs scored later in the first half when they faked a punt. Bennett got the direct snap and hit DJ Daniels, who raced 44 yards.
The Terriers (4-2, 4-2) stuffed the Chiefs on their first drive of the second half. Then Dwayne Lawson threw a lateral to receiver Junaid James, who hit an open Jon Hughes. The Terriers then audibled out of an extra point and made the two-point conversion.
“The defensive line coach told me at halftime, 'When the heck are we going to use that play,’ ” Terriers coach Earl Garcia said of the touchdown. “I figured that was as good a time as any.”
Down 21-15 with 3:30 to play and backed up to their 1, the Terriers marched down the field. Hughes saved the drive by catching a pass tipped by a teammate at midfield. And Lawson hit Anthony King for a 20-yard touchdown. Lawrence Dawsey, standing in for an injured Blake Rehl, hit the extra point to put the Terriers ahead.
“Everybody wants to say this isn’t our year,” Hughes said. “This is our year. We get it done on the field.”