Even though Temple Heights' homecoming game against Northside Christian was scheduled for 7:30 Friday night, the action really didn't start until 9:15. That's when the fourth quarter began and the Nate Dorsey show commenced.
Dorsey, who went into halftime with only 18 rushing yards, finished with 162 on 21 carries and sparked the Eagles to a 13-0 win at Tampa Bay Tech's Titan Stadium.
"I couldn't have done it without my front line," said Dorsey, who entered the game as Hillsborough's fourth-leading rusher. "I'm the leader, but we all played together."
One minute into the fourth quarter, the score was 0-0 despite featuring potent offenses led by Dorsey and Mustang senior quarterback Justin Klinger, who is Pinellas County's top passer. Then Dorsey broke the ice with his first of two touchdowns, refusing to be tackled and powering his way 25 yards to give the Eagles (7-0, 3-0 in Class 2A, District 6) the lead.
"When he runs like that, he can't be stopped," Temple Heights coach Tom Allen said about the 6-foot-3, 235-pound Dorsey. "He came out to play in the second half."
Dorsey also came up big on the other side of the ball. The Eagles, who were in the Mustangs' backfield all night, earned five sacks _ two by Dorsey _ that dropped Klinger for a total of 32 yards.
Temple Heights, which avenged a 42-7 loss to Northside last year when the Mustangs went 3-6, is one win away from clinching its first playoff berth since 1976.
With 1:20 left in the game, Dorsey capped the scoring with a 3-yard run, sending Northside (5-2, 2-1) to its first district loss.
"It was a great effort," Allen said. "Our offense couldn't get it on track, but our defense was super."
The Eagles limited Northside to just 48 yards rushing, 44 at the half, and held the state's third-ranked passer to 73 yards on 5-of-14 passing.