TAMPA — In a game of huge momentum swings and splash plays left and right, King emerged with a 26-20 victory Monday. The first 3-0 start for the Lions since 1984 did not come easily. Middleton led 7-6 at halftime and cut the lead to six twice in the second half. But the Lions came up with the big play when it counted.
King’s Jesson Albert’s coup de grace came in the fourth quarter as the Tigers threw on third and long. Albert intercepted the pass and ran it 46 yards to pay dirt.
“Speed kills,” Lions coach Alvin Davis said. “We have seven kids back there that run track and can run 4-5.”
But the Tigers were not done. Middleton’s Brandon Tillman, who recorded two tackles for loss, recovered his second fumble of the game.
Then Marcellus Ray hit senior Shug Rhynes (three catches, 171 yards, two scores) for a 65-yard catch and run for a score. It cut the lead to six with 1:43 to play, but the Tigers could not get the onside kick and had to watch Darian Wright run out the clock.
The Lions scored first on a 65-yard completion to Otis Williams, who shattered a tackling attempt at the 50. The Tigers (0-3) countered when Gabe Luyanda shook off a defender at the goal line to score a 29-yard touchdown.