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Freedom defensive back Nate Godwin will miss only one game after the Florida High School Athletic Association reduced his suspension for a hit on an Alonso receiver Tuesday.
Godwin, a senior, was facing a three-week penalty until filing an appeal with the FHSAA.
He was ejected in the second quarter of the Patriots’ 35-6 loss to Alonso last week for an “unnecessary, rough, and flagrant” tackle, according to the officials’ report from the game.
The officials said Godwin came in late and hit the receiver “high and hard.” The incident was considered a Level 2 infraction, which carries up to a six-game suspension.
Godwin is not eligible to return until Freedom’s Oct. 12 game against rival Wharton. The Patriots (2-3) face district foe Chamberlain on Friday.
Prior to the ruling from the FHSAA, Godwin’s plight generated lots of online support from dozens of friends, students and other local football stars. Tuesday, Godwin credited the “freenate” campaign on his Twitter account, saying: “#FreeNate worked !!!! …It’s a miracle. Thank you everybody!!!!”
Godwin, ranked No. 40 on the Times’ HomeTeam 100, has 22 tackles and an interception this year. He has received offers from USF, West Virginia and Minnesota, among others.
Watch highlights of Godwin's season so far here.