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Football: Armwood 41, Chamberlain 21

Coach Evan Davis highlights the play of his offensive linemen and “being able to lean on them.”
High school football teams around Tampa Bay were in action Friday night. [Times]
Published Sep. 21

SEFFNER — Evan Davis turned 30 on Friday.

The Armwood third-year coach collected his 30th career victory as the Hawks registered a 41-21 win against Chamberlain.

Playing without top receiver Agiye Hall and backup running back James Smiley – both ejected two weeks ago in a 28-0 win at Bloomingdale — Armwood (3-1) defeated Chamberlain (2-2) on the field for the ninth consecutive time since 2009 (the Chiefs were awarded a forfeit win in 2010).

Eric Wilson rushed for 132 yards on 17 carries and three touchdowns (8, 13, 15 yards) to lead Armwood’s 253-yard ground attack. Charles Montgomery added 83 yards on seven carries and scored twice on long plays (a 56-yard run and an 80-yard kickoff return to start the second half).

Armwood kept pressure on Chamberlain throughout, making 7-of-8 third-down conversions. The Chiefs were only 2-for-11 on third downs.

“We wanted to win the line of scrimmage,” said Davis, who has only four losses in his first 34 games after taking over the Armwood program at age 31 in 2017. "It was as simple as that.

“We were playing ahead of the chains, ahead of the downs and I thought our O-line was able to give us our third downs manageable. It was a very efficient night offensively. That’s a credit to our O-line coaches and our O-line guys ... being able to lean on them.”

Armwood missed Hall, who received a two-game suspension for unsportsmanlike conduct, and Smiley, who was handed a five-game suspension for throwing a punch.

Davis said both suspensions are being appealed.

The Hawks ran only 20 plays from scrimmage in the first half while the Chiefs had the ball for 35 plays. Armwood still led 14-7, and Montgomery's 80-yard kickoff return for a TD gave the Hawks breathing room.

Chamberlain got three touchdown passes (1, 5, 4 yards) from Bruce Jackson — two to Kaleb Long — and Jaylen Martin intercepted a pair of passes for the Chiefs.

After missing a 40-yard field goal attempt on its first series of the game, Armwood scored on back-to-back possessions in the second quarter to take the lead for good.

The Hawks needed to go only 15 yards for their first touchdown after Chamberlain punter Marcus Ashwood muffed a center snap. Wilson followed with a pair of runs, the final one resulting in an 8-yard touchdown.

Montgomery stepped up on the ensuing series — a three-play, 65-yard scoring drive. Montgomery carried the ball all three times, and burst loose on the finale for a 56-yard touchdown with 5:57 left before intermission.

Chamberlain got rejuvenated after Martin intercepted a Hunter Helton pass at the Chiefs’ 5 on Armwood’s next possession. The Chiefs then went the distance on 13 plays (11 passes) and scored with 3.2 seconds remaining in the first half on a 1-yard, fourth-down pass from Jackson to Long.

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