TAMPA — Hillsborough and King entered Friday night’s contest at Bill Stewart Stadium clinging to hopes for a playoff spot in 6A-8. The Terriers left with a 28-27 win and enhanced hopes.
“Coach (Earl Garcia) always said put your heart on the field for Big Red,” Terrier linebacker Luis Clough said. “We are not done yet.”
On a night filled with momentum swings and sparkling plays, it came down to a second-and-4 for the Lions at the Terrier 10. The Lions trailed by one with under a minute to play, already in chip shot field goal range. The Lions tried one more play to center the ball and maybe punch it in but a low snap squirted around at quarterback Darian Wright’s feet and Clough recovered. The Terriers ran out the clock.
Garcia praised King, saying both teams “fought to the very end.”
It looked as if Hillsborough would end it after junior quarterback Dwayne Lawson (12 of 19 for 179 yards and two TDs) hit sophomore Jon Hughes for a 31-yard touchdown and Lawson dragged half the Lion defense into the end zone for the two-point conversion to make it 28-27. The Lions had taken their 27-20 lead on the previous drive when sophomore Otis Williams (nine carries for 106 yards) broke a 56-yarder that set up a short Wright touchdown.
The Terriers 3-2 (3-2) can still float hope in 6A-8, while the Lions 4-2 (2-2) will be on the outside looking in down the stretch. The Lions run the 6A-8 gauntlet next at Robinson, vs. Jefferson and at Armwood. The Terriers face Chamberlain and Blake next.