SEFFNER — The preseason classic Friday night was an opportunity for teams to tune up ahead of next week's season openers. Inclement weather earlier in the week forced a doubleheader at Armwood, with Jefferson facing Tampa Bay Tech for one half, followed by the Hawks vs. Gibbs.
But on at times it felt like only two teams truly came ready to compete.
Tampa Bay Tech and Armwood were downright dominant on both sides of the ball, as both teams look to repeat their postseason success from 2011.
In the first half, Tampa Bay Tech defeated Jefferson 27-7. Jefferson struck first, scoring on a 25-yard pass by Tyler Small to Jonathan Moore. But from there it was all TBT.
On the next possession, the Titans tied the score 7-7 on a touchdown run by junior running back Deon Thompson.
The TBT defense also looked impressive. In the second quarter, the Titans forced two turnovers that led to two touchdowns.
Armwood was equally as dominant in its 35-0 win over Gibbs. The defense set the tone, forcing the Gladiators to a quick three and out on their first possession.
Then, thanks to a botched Gibbs punt, Armwood quickly reached the end zone on a 6-yard run by sophomore tailback Caylon Holloway. Holloway found the end zone again on 28-yard screen pass from senior quarterback Darryl Richardson.
Standout receiver Alvin Bailey also made his mark in the contest, scoring on a 43-yard touchdown pass from Richardson to make it 28-0.
Many of the Armwood players and fans wore T-shirts with the phrase "We're still here," on the back, a clear reference to the turmoil that the program has dealt with this year. The Hawks were forced to forfeit all 15 wins and a state title from a year ago for using ineligible players.