TAMPA — Middleton (2-5, 2-4) celebrated Homecoming with its second victory of the season, 20-18 over Gibbs on Thursday.
The game had no shortage of dramatic moments. Two field goals from Tigers kicker Arnold Mungia and Gibbs' inability to convert a single PAT on any of its three touchdowns proved the difference.
"We're a young team and we're learning how to close out games," coach Alonzo Ashwood said. "We had them in the same position last year where all we had to do was take a knee and then we fumbled the snap and they threw a touchdown on the next play to win it.
"I'm always nervous, and I was definitely having flashbacks when they scored that last touchdown."
After the Tigers went up 17-0 at halftime, Gibbs (2-5, 2-4) crawled back into the game via a 45-yard TD run and 72-yard TD reception by senior Emmanuel Stewart. Quarterback Albert Laskett threw his second touchdown of the night late in the fourth quarter to Zacari Gibbons but the Gladiators were unable to recover the following onside kick.
David Rice, Times correspondent