The cross-town rivalry between Sickles and Gaither might have been riddled with mistakes at Friday's jamboree, but the intensity was definitely there.
The contest came down to a two-point conversion attempt by Sickles with 42 seconds remaining. Gryphons quarterback Drew DeBerg rolled right and threw toward the end zone. But the ball was batted down, and Gaither sealed a 21-20 victory.
"If this would have been a regular-season game, I wouldn't have gone for the two-point conversion," said Sickles coach Shannon O'Brien, whose team went 0-10 last season. "This is okay, though, because we feel good about the way we played. Gaither is big, strong and fast, but we hung tough. The way we look at it, we were just down 21-20 in a half of football."
In the second half, Tampa Bay Tech defeated Leto 6-0 with an opening nine-play, 50-yard touchdown drive.
Tech, 3-7 last season, celebrated heartily after the victory.
"This was encouraging," coach John Colbert said. "This team is together, and we're on the rise. We just have to keep this momentum going."
Hawks defeat Terriers
TAMPA _ Armwood took a decisive step forward at Chamberlain, upseting Hillsborough 21-15.
Led by all-state quarterback Ron Buskey, who threw for 140 yards with two touchdowns and ran for a touchdown, Armwood kept the Terriers off balance with a vexing triple option in the first quarter and a potent aerial attack in the second.
"It's another steppingstone for us," Armwood coach Sean Callahan said. "We were happy to play a team of Hillsborough's caliber. They're a great team, and we've definitely improved."
In the second game, Chamberlain used a variety of weapons to defeat Jesuit 13-6.
Manny Hernandez finished with five carries for 70 yards. "What you saw tonight was for the fall," Chamberlain coach Billy Turner said. "They'll never know what we're going to do now. I've got two quarterbacks (with Sam Colberth, who also played), but who knows what they'll be doing in the fall?"
_ PATRICK DOWLING
East Bay, Brandon win
PLANT CITY _ East Bay and Brandon won jamborees hosted by Plant City.
The Indians followed the lead of a veteran player in a new position to bounce Durant 14-7 while Brandon rode the skills of a pair of sophomores-to-be to beat Plant City 7-3.
Veteran running back Bruce Youmans had only a week-and-a-half to learn his new position, quarterback. If he faltered, the Durant defense couldn't tell.
He scored touchdowns of 86 yards and 18 yards on speed and tricky running.
"When Bruce learns his new role, he could be a great quarterback for us," East Bay coach Brian Thornton said.
The Eagles put together a drive to the Raider 13, and with 49 seconds left, Adam Garrison hit S.J. Green in the end zone for the game-winning TD.
"We are young, energetic and ready to win some football games," Brandon coach Ernest Hayes said. "Organization has been missing, but I have been learning its importance. And it helped us flow smoothly tonight." _ TERRY JONES
Dragons edge Knights
TAMPA _ Andre Caldwell, brother of former Jefferson High and current Florida receiver Reche Caldwell, made a strong first impression during the first half at Blake.
Caldwell made all of Jefferson's receptions from Cameron Rodgers, three that went for 93 yards and two touchdowns, as the Dragons beat Robinson 22-18.
Caldwell's longest reception went for a 34-yard touchdown that put the Dragons up 14-12. His final reception was a 30-yarder for another touchdown that sealed the victory.
In the second game, Jammal Huff threw for 127 yards and two touchdowns as the Yellow Jackets defeated Plant 20-6.
Tight end Raheem Monroe set the tone in the opening minutes, capping a nine-play drive with a 50-yard touchdown reception.
_ GIL BARZILAY