TAMPA — In a game full of offense, it was two huge defensive plays Friday that helped preserve a win for Sickles .
The Gryphons blocked a punt and returned it for a touchdown and forced a fumble in the game's final minute to hold on for a 35-28 victory against Brandon.
Tied at 14 at the half, Sickles (4-0) added two touchdowns in the third quarter. But Brandon (1-3) came back, scoring less than two minutes later on Jalen Stringfellow's third touchdown catch of the night. After recovering an onside kick to open the fourth, the Eagles tied the score on a short run by Cyrus Dooley.
After LaDondra Crittenden ripped off a 47-yard run to put Sickles ahead again, Brandon had one last chance to tie. The Eagles advanced to the Gryphons' 30, but Sickles forced a fumble.
Rod Gipson, Times correspondent