TAMPA — Sickles used a 60-yard strike in the waning seconds of the fourth quarter to defeat Alonso 20-14 Thursday.
In the first half the Sickles offense started strong. On their first drive, the Gryphons marched 70 yards down the field, capped by a 9-yard TD run by senior running back LaDondra Crittenden. Then, with 23 seconds remaining in the half, junior quarterback Nate Mills connected with junior wideout Bilal Salat to take a 13-0 lead.
The Alonso offense finally woke up in the fourth. Junior quarterback Brandon Hawkins threw two TD passes to give the Ravens the 14-13 lead with less than five minutes remaining. But down to its last possession, with under 40 seconds to go, Sickles responded. Mills dropped back and found junior wideout DeAndre Mathis on a deep post route for the improbable winning 60-yard TD.
Alonso got the ball back, but was unable to convert as time ran out.
"It was a great play by Mathis," Sickles coach Brian Turner said. "We ran that play a couple of times prior and noticed that they weren't really covering the post route. So I just told Nate to throw the post to DeAndre and it worked."
Mike McCollum, Times correspondent