Advertisement
  1. HomeTeam

Football: Largo 17, Clearwater 7

DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD  |  Times The Largo High School Packers, and staff, take the field moments after their victory over Clearwater High School on Friday (10/27/17) at Clearwater.
DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times The Largo High School Packers, and staff, take the field moments after their victory over Clearwater High School on Friday (10/27/17) at Clearwater.
Published Oct. 27, 2017

CLEARWATER — As the final minute ticked away, Largo coach Marcus Paschal started sobbing.

The tears continued long after the Packers' 17-7 win over Clearwater. They were there when Paschal talked to his players and reporters afterward.

"I can't put this into words," Paschal said. "It's been a long time coming."

Largo won the Class 6A-9 title for the first time in Paschal's four years as coach. The seniors, including linebacker Logan Doublin and running back Jaquan Hiers, have been with Paschal since they were freshmen.

"There have been so many ups and downs," Paschal said. "Everybody knows my love for the community. Last year we didn't have the kind of season we wanted. We fought through a lot and to come back here and win my first district title. It means a lot, for me and these seniors.

"I told them it was deeper than the game."

The Packers had to endure renovations to their field that forced most of their season to be on the road. There are now new lockers and sod on the practice field and at the stadium.

The work is part of a campus makeover that took nearly three years to complete. Paschal was just as confident in his program's reclamation project.

Last season Largo finished 3-6, the first losing record since 1999. In five of those losses, the Packers led at halftime.

Paschal again is teaching at Largo. The coaching staff also has some continuity with former standout Brynn Harvey coaching the running backs and former head coach Rick Rodriguez helping out with the offensive line.

The Packers (8-1, 5-0) also went back to their roots by playing smash-mouth football. Offensive coordinator Gregory Moore was brought in last year and groomed to take over the play-calling this season. The plan is run, run, then run some more.

That approach has to do with a line that has three returning starters and averages 260 pounds. They use two, sometimes three, tight ends to put as much beef up front as possible.

Those guys open holes for Hiers and Jayion McCluster. Against the Tornadoes, Largo ran 42 times.

Hiers opened the scoring on a 2-yard run in the second quarter for a 7-0 lead.

Clearwater (6-2, 4-1) countered as Colin Wray hit Quante Perry on a 16-yard pass to tie the score at 7 with 45 seconds remaining in the half. That gave the Packers just enough time to make something happen.

Hiers had a big run and Calvin Lockett had a 31-yard reception that set up 28-yard field goal to give Largo a 10-7 halftime lead.

In the fourth, the Packers broke the game open on Hiers' 5-yard TD run. Brown had an interception on Clearwater's final possession to seal the win.

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. Clemson co-offensive coordinator Jeff Scott talks with receivers Mike Williams (7) and Artavis Scott (3) during a 2016 game at FSU. Scott was named USF's coach Monday. [DAVID GROOMS/CAL SPORT MEDIA  |  ZUMAPRESS.com]
    Though not the bay area’s primary recruiter for Clemson, Scott’s fingerprints are all over the region.
  2. Tampa Catholic's Alijah Harrison attempts to block the ball from Andrew Jackson's Logan West during last year's state semifinals in Lakeland. [LUIS SANTANA  |  Times]
    Tampa Catholic holds on to the top spot after an impressive opening week.
  3. Tampa Bay Tech's Amiya Evans (30) drives the ball during the first half of the state championship game between Tampa Bay Tech and St. Thomas Aquinas last season in Lakeland. [Times]
    The big three stays the same, but Wesley Chapel moves up a slot in our latest rankings.
  4. Tampa Prep's Grace Langston (50), left, works to disrupt a shot attempt by Wesley Chapel's Mia Nicholson (12) during the game on Friday. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD  |  TImes]
    The Wildcats lead early, then hang on to improve to 5-0 on the season.
  5. Cambridge Christian coach Bob Dare and wife Beth at the 2015 state championship in Orlando. [BOB DARE  |  Special to the Times]
    The longtime Lancers coach, who led the program to the state title game in 2015, will no longer be a coach or teacher at the school.
  6. River Ridge senior Brandi Willard is among the area leaders in points per game so far this season. [SCOTT PURKS  |  Special to the Times]
    Our offensive and defensive leaders for Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco and Hernando counties.
  7. Academy of the Holy Names senior Madison Kurtz, right, gets congratulated by sophomore Nicole Sakre after scoring a goal in a 4-0- victory over Steinbrenner early this season. [SCOTT PURKS  |  Special to the Times]
    The Jaguars, who came up short at state a year ago, expect to remain energized and focused all the way to a title.
  8. Jalen Cooper is among a group of seniors on the Anclote roster who have been playing together since middle school. [SCOTT PURKS  |  Special to the Times]
    A three-point loss in last season’s playoffs spark the Sharks to strive for more.
  9. Seffner Christian doesn't shy away from tough competition, taking on a team that reached state last season in its season opener. [DIRK SHADD  |  Times]
    The defending state finalist Crusaders rally from a 20-point deficit only to watch host Lakewood Ranch sink a free throw as time expires.
  10. Kanesha Hall, the first 1,000-point scorer in school history, on the court during Monday's practice at Northeast. [DIRK SHADD  |  Times]
    The senior recently broke the 1,000-point barrier to become the school’s all-time leading scorer in girls basketball.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement