Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Football: Jefferson 28, Hillsborough 23

TAMPA — The Jefferson Dragons were re-living an 11-month-old nightmare riddled with lousy shotgun snaps and lousier field position. Benefiting yet again was Hillsborough, the familiar nocturnal antagonist.

Only this year, the Dragons (2-0, 1-0) woke up in time.

Scoreless at halftime, Jefferson rallied behind senior quarterback Deiondre Porter for a 28-23 triumph on Friday night. The Dragons earned a spot in the forefront of the Class 6A, District 8 playoff picture and avenged a 36-28 loss to Hillsborough on Oct. 5, 2012.

Jefferson led that game, 21-0. The Dragons are 7-0 since.

"I can wash it away," said Porter, who finished with more than 300 total yards for the second game in a row. "Don't have to think about it."

Porter's 8-yard jump ball to 6-foot-4 classmate Ventell Bryant on fourth and 5 gave Jefferson a 22-15 lead with 1:49 to play. Four plays later, senior Chavez Pownell sealed things with an 80-yard interception return for a touchdown.

"(The receiver) was running a lazy out route, and I felt like I could jump the route," Pownell said. "I took my three steps that my coaches always teach me and I jumped the route."

The rally stood in glaring contrast to a forgettable first half, in which Porter watched three snaps sail over his head, including one into the back of his end zone to give Hillsborough (0-1, 0-1) a 2-0 lead.

The other two, on consecutive first-half plays, knocked Jefferson out of scoring position after it had reached Hillsborough's 17.

"Since last year at this time when we played this game, this has burned inside of us," said Dragons coach Jeremy Earle, quarterback of Hillsborough's 1996 state runnerup team.

"So to see us win this game in the similar fashion we lost it last year, was such a great turnaround and such a great testament to these young men and their character and how far we've come."

Jefferson's rally upstaged an equally monstrous effort from Porter's counterpart, Hillsborough junior Dwayne Lawson (391 total yards).

After Porter's 1-yard TD run gave Jefferson a 14-8 lead with 7:37 to go in the third, Lawson engineered a 17-play drive, capped by his 1-yard sneak on fourth and goal. Lawson converted three times on fourth down (one passing, two rushing) on the drive.

Lawson provided Hillsborough with a final gasp with seven seconds to go when his bomb bounced off a Jefferson defender into Michael Hampton's hands for a 53-yard TD. The ensuing onside kick was mishandled and went out of bounds.

"(Lawson) gave us all we wanted," Earle said.

Football: Jefferson 28, Hillsborough 23 09/07/13 [Last modified: Saturday, September 7, 2013 12:38am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Bucs' Mike Evans motivated by deep ball that got away

    Bucs

    JACKSONVILLE — Bucs receiver Mike Evans had an efficient half of football Thursday night, with six ball thrown his way and five catches for 57 yards in Tampa Bay's 12-8 preseason win over the Jaguars.

    Bucs wide receiver Mike Evans (13) reaches for a pass as cornerback Ryan Smith (29) defends during training camp earlier this month at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  2. Gerald McCoy: Bucs defense wanted to 'set the tone' vs. Jaguars

    Bucs

    JACKSONVILLE — The Bucs' starting defense held the Jaguars to a total of 1 rushing yard on 7 carries in the first half of Thursday's 12-8 win.

    And they were disappointed.

    Bucs defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, right, watches practice alongside outside linebacker Lavonte David, left, earlier this month in Tampa. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  3. The Florida Gators' case for QB Luke Del Rio

    College

    GAINESVILLE — It took three years and two transfers for Florida's Luke Del Rio to become a starting quarterback.

    Florida Gators quarterback Luke Del Rio (14) warms up next to quarterback Austin Appleby (12) before the game against the North Texas Mean Green on Saturday September 17, 2016 at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, Florida. Final score was Florida 32 North Texas 0. (Monica Herndon, Times)
  4. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Thursday's Rays-Jays game

    The Heater

    RHP Tommy Hunter has been so good emerging as the top set-up man for closer Alex Colome with a dazzling run, but twice in five days he has given up a game-losing homer, Sunday to Cleveland's Austin Jackson and Thursday to Toronto's Justin Smoak.

  5. Rays morning after: There (really) are still reasons to be optimistic

    Blogs

    There are plenty of reasons to be pessimistic about the Rays' chances to get out of their extended skid and make the playoffs, including veteran 3B Evan Longoria's acknowledgement after Thursday's game that the pressures of …

    Trevor Plouffe reacts as he pops out with the bases loaded in the sixth inning against Toronto.