TAMPA — Playing in only the second half, quarterback Nasir Core led Freedom on a game-winning drive with less than two minutes in the game to salvage a 18-13 season-ending win against Riverview.
Core, who sat out the opening half for disciplinary reasons, returned to erase a late Riverview (2-8) lead and help the Patriots end the season with a 6-4 record.
Late in the game, it seemed the Sharks were set to spoil Freedom's happy ending. Riverview running back Keisean Young threw a 4-yard touchdown pass to Ryan Pipher with 4:45 left in the game to take a 13-12 lead.
Key drive: Core followed the Sharks' score by leading Freedom on an 8-play, 68-yard drive that ended when he threw an 11-yard scoring pass to Johnny Rodicio. Core kept the drive alive on a fourth-down play when he found Rodicio on a 30-yard pass play.
Play of the game: Midway through the second quarter, Freedom quarterback Derrio Kelly, who started instead of Core, found Rodicio on a short out pattern along the sideline. Rodicio turned the play upfield and ran 87 yards for a touchdown.
Stars of the game: Core finished the game with 7 completions on 10 attempts for 80 yards and the winning touchdown. Kelly was 8 of 9 for 133 yards and two touchdowns. Kelly also ran for 53 yards. Rodicio caught five passes for 128 yards and two touchdowns. Riverview running back Quon Lambert ran for 83 yards and the Sharks' first touchdown.
Stats of the game: This was not a game for the kickers. Freedom's Heath Grady and Riverview's Matthew Cochcran combined to miss two extra points and three field goals.
Rod Gipson, Times correspondent