At Wharton in Tampa
Wharton 17, King 14
Tampa Bay Tech 26, Freedom 7
Spring game-breakers: After being dominated for most of the game, King running back Shawn Hibbert had two breakout runs of 89 and 37 yards to give the Lions a 14-10 lead. Wharton, however, overcame the deficit by converting a key fourth and 18, then throwing a third-read dump off pass to running back David Larry with just 10 clicks left on the clock. …Tech showed off more of a passing offense with the departure of running back Maurice Hagens. The Titans threw a 69-yard touchdown on their first play on offense from Jonathon Williams to Lamarq Caldwell. …Freedom's Robert Lohnes burned Tech for its big play, a 67-yarder.
Did you know? Because of some mechanical issues with the stadium lights, Friday's event was moved to a 5:30 p.m. start time and King and Wharton took the heat for it — literally. The two played under brutally hot conditions while Tampa Bay Tech and Freedom had a considerably cooler game that started closer to sunset. …Tampa Bay Tech lost 23 seniors from last years team. Coach C.C. Culpepper got a look at his new offensive line, which played the entire game as well as a new linebacking corps that he said may be a little more athletic than last year's crew, which caused lots of problems for opposing offenses.
Audible 1: "We really only had a couple of bad plays on defense, but they were both for touchdowns. But it was a big confidence boost for us to go down and score at the end." — Wharton coach David Mitchell
Audible 2: "We're going to be just fine here next year. We got to look at a lot of players today and try to establish some No. 2s, which we did." — Culpepper
Todd Foley, Times correspondent