Make us your home page

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

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tampa Bay Tech 21, Freedom 3

TAMPA — They didn't like the start, but the Tampa Bay Tech Titans were sure fond of the rest of their district opener.

After falling behind by three to Freedom, Tampa Bay Tech tightened up on defense and scored 21 unanswered points to win its first Class 5A, District 7 game Friday at home.

"To win our first district game is huge," Tampa Bay Tech coach C.C. Culpepper said. "We knew the game was going to be tough, but we prepared well all week."

Star running back Maurice Hagens fumbled his first carry and Freedom's Alex Landeta hit a 48-yard field goal.

Tech (4-1, 1-0) didn't panic and answered with Hagens' 12-yard touchdown run for a 7-3 lead.

Freedom (2-2, 0-1) had a great shot to get back in the game at the end of the first half. Deep in Tech territory with less than a minute left in the half, quarterback Tyler Guy had his drive thwarted by Buster Hickman who jumped in front of a pass for his first of two interceptions.

"That was a big play," Culpepper said. "Buster is a big-time player for us."

The Titans clamped down in the second half. The Patriots didn't get the ball inside the Tech 30-yard line. Guy, who threw for more than 100 yards, was sacked three times in the half to halt many drives. Freedom rushed for only 28 yards.

The Titans took advantage of strong defense and scored two more times to put the game away. Quarterback Jonathon Williams took the ball in for a score from 21 yards and Hagens scored for the second time.

Hagens finished with more than 100 yards, Williams had 116 yards and Devontae McCloud had 48.

"(Hagens) really opened it up for me," Williams said. "He let me get to the outside and do what I do."

Tampa Bay Tech21

Tampa Bay Tech 21, Freedom 3 10/10/09 [Last modified: Saturday, October 10, 2009 12:27am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Florida Gators' QB situation remains up in the air


    GAINESVILLE — With 10 days remaining until Florida's season opener against Michigan, Gators coach Jim McElwain still hasn't named a starting quarterback.

    Does it bother him?

    "Not at all," he said Wednesday.

  2. Bucs journal: Three key players miss practice as precaution


    TAMPA — Three days before the most important game of the preseason, the Bucs held three key players — WR Mike Evans, LB Kwon Alexander and G J.R. Sweezy — from Wednesday's practice as a precaution.

    LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times
Bucs middle linebacker Kwon Alexander (58), intercepting a pass thrown by quarterback Jameis Winston (3) during practice Saturday ( Aug. 19, 2017), sits out Wednesday's practice with a hamstring injury. .
  3. Bucs talk social issues, protests at team meeting


    TAMPA — Each time Dirk Koetter walks through the door of his office at One Buc Place, he passes by the only jersey framed on his wall.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans (13) wears custom cleats to represent Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality (RISE) as part of the NFL???‚??„?s "My Cause, My Cleats Campaign" before the start of a football game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, Calif., on Sunday, Dec. 4, 2016.
  4. The 10 silliest names for college football bowl games


    The Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl hadn't even been officially announced when SBNation called it the silliest bowl name ever. Ten others worthy of consideration:

    Logo for the Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl. [MATT BAKER | Times]
  5. Austin Pruitt faces the Blue Jays tonight at the Trop.