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Good timing: Suspended Jefferson players eligible for playoffs

Three Dragons who received six-week suspensions for their role in a brawl with Middleton return for Friday's matchup with Jesuit.

Jefferson received a boost this week with the return of three players who were serving a six-week suspension for their involvement in a brawl with Middleton on Sept. 28.

Florida High School Athletic Association spokesman Kyle Niblett said Tuesday that the suspended players are eligible to play this week, putting the Dragons at full strength for their rematch with Jesuit in Friday's first-round playoff game.

In October, the FHSAA fined Jefferson and Middleton a combined $2,250 and placed both football programs on administrative and restrictive probation stemming from their fight.

The incident, which included Middleton players leaving the bench, occurred in the third quarter of their Class 5A, District 10 contest. The Dragons led 17-3 when the referees halted play.

The players involved received suspensions ranging from one to six weeks.
Jefferson was fined $700. Three players were suspended six weeks; the other was suspended one game.

Middleton was fined $1,550. Fourteen players received one-game suspensions. Two others received two-week suspensions. The Tigers suspended all 16 players, including eight defensive starters, in the game following the fight against Bloomingdale.

Last week, the Dragons beat Jesuit 17-16 in overtime without the suspended players. That win clinched the Class 5A-10 title for Jefferson and secured a home game in the rematch.