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Preps

Pinellas player of the week

By JOHN C. COTEY
Published October 13, 2004

The best player this week in Pinellas County?

That's a tough one.

Was it Louis Murphy, who picked up a fumble and rumbled 76 yards for a touchdown to help snap Lakewood's 15-game losing streak?

Was it Chris Bryant, who managed to drive his team into Hail Mary range in just 30 seconds, and then threw the touchdown that ended Lakewood's 15-game losing streak?

Was it Jamal Simpson, who caught the desperation heave from Bryant?

How about linebacker Rashawn Williams, the unit's leader who helped guide a performance that stifled one of the county's most potent offenses?

Heck, how about everyone?

The Times Players of the Week are the Spartans, who lost every way conceivable during its losing streak, but pulled off an unimaginable 20-19 win over Largo before the home crowd Friday.

If Hollywood decided to do a movie on the game, it wouldn't have to add even a touch of dramatic flair. You would be sitting in the theater screaming "Oh man, that can't happen! Get out of here!"

But consider:

First, coach Brian Bruch puts his best runners back for a kickoff after Largo scores with 35 seconds left. The kickoff, unfortunately for Lakewood, sails into the end zone.

Bryant fumbles on the first play from scrimmage. It slips by the hands of two Largo players before Brant recovers for a short run.

Second down, Bryant runs for 22 yards and a first down.

With seven seconds left, Bruch calls for a quick out to gain a few more yards to set up a Hail Mary. Simpson catches the ball, and gets out of bounds with 0.7 seconds left.

Last play, from the Largo 40, and Bryant is almost dragged down by a defender. Then he almost falls down. The clock hits zero. Just imagine all this in slow motion ... the pass sails away and Simpson makes the catch ... end slow motion, cut to crowd going crazy.

The Streak is now 1.

[Last modified October 13, 2004, 00:39:22]


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