King senior running back Lamarion Salmon raced 18 yards midway through the third quarter for the game's only score, and King High continued its string of upset wins by beating Armwood 7-0 Friday night.
King, already with a win over Class 5A, District 6 favorite Hillsborough, moved to 2-0 in the district and 3-1 overall. Armwood dropped to 3-1 _ 1-1 in the district.
A soggy Stewart Stadium field, slippery ball and constant drizzle helped thwart any offensive hopes. But on one third-quarter drive, the weather hardly seemed to matter.
After a 9-yard punt, the Lions began their opening drive of the second half on Armwood's 41. On third-and-18, Lions quarterback Antonio McCullough hit Kevin Honer for 27 yards and a first down. Two plays later, also on third down, Salmon raced around left end for his decisive score.
Despite quarterback Ricardo Watson's return from a shoulder injury sustained last week, the Armwood offense had just 17 yards in the second half, after gaining 143 in the first two quarters.
Watson completed six passes for 117 yards in the opening half but was 2-of-8 for 6 yards, with an interception, as the rain picked up.
"He didn't have a chance to roll out unless there was a busted play. We just wanted to try to keep him corraled," King coach Pat O'Brien said of his team's containment of Watson.
While Armwood floundered in the second half, King flourished. The Lions rushed for 57 yards, and McCullough completed his only two passes, for 39 yards.
In the first half, the Lions had almost as many yards of penalties (55) as they did of offense (68).
The Lions had more fumbles, more punts, 80 more penalty yards, and fewer first downs. But they had the key statistic in their favor _ that one big play.
"We were on this field when it was raining yesterday, working drills with the kids," O'Brien said. "We just told them to ease up when making cuts, to keep their numbers over their legs. That's what we told them, and that's what they did."
Armwood had one final chance to tie or go ahead. With 3:06 left, the Hawks took possession on their 43-yard line. Aided by an unsportsmanlike-conduct penalty, Armwood drove inside the King 40 before Harry Taylor intercepted Watson to secure the win.
"We're getting our respect," the Lions' Harold Seaman shouted after the win. "We're getting our respect."