St. Petersburg Times
Online: Tech Times
Print storySubscribe to the Times


Turnover lifts Sickles

Gryphons recover a late Wharton fumble for a 21-13 district victory.

Published October 15, 2004

TAMPA - When the ball squirted free and his teammates recovered a fumble late in Thursday's game at Wharton, Sickles running back Pat Shores jumped about as high as he could.

"I was so happy," the senior said. "My initial reaction was that we've got the ball, now we have to win."

Shores then made it happen.

With 1:07 left, he scored on a 16-yard run to break a tie and give his Gryphons a dramatic 21-13 win.

In the process, Sickles (3-3, 2-1 in Class 5A, District 8) not only claimed the Times Cup, which goes to the series' annual winner, but improved its positioning in a crowded district race.

"Our kids really fought hard the whole game," Sickles coach Bob Irvin said. "I told them to keep grinding it out and play as one, and they did."

Wharton (2-4, 1-2), playing without seven injured starters, rallied from a 13-0 deficit and had both the ball and momentum after Jamel Edwards' interception with 4:05 remaining. Three plays netted the Wildcats 15 yards as they moved to their 39. But at the 2:22 mark, Wharton had trouble with the quarterback-running back exchange and Sickles recovered.

"We had the ball and it was tied," Wharton coach Melvin Cunningham said. "At worst, the game was going to overtime. As long as we had the ball, they weren't going to score."

Sickles' recovery didn't guarantee anything.

Since producing long touchdown drives on their first two series, the Gryphons hadn't done much on offense. Before its final possession, Sickles' had produced only two plays longer than five yards in the second half.

That quickly changed.

On first-and-10 from the Wharton 37, Shores ran for 11 yards. Four plays later, he provided the go-ahead points, capping a 153-yard rushing effort. A two-point conversion moved the lead to eight.

Wharton still had time - though not very much - to mount a rally. But the task of going 77 yards in 67 seconds with one timeout was simply too much. When it was over, Sickles doused its coach with water. Not far away, Shores pumped his fist and smiled.

"I love this whole team," he said. "This feels great."

[Last modified October 15, 2004, 01:31:23]


  • Phillies talk with Little

  • Baseball: AL playoffs
  • Arroyo is armed, ready
  • Schilling on shelf Sunday

  • Baseball: NL playoffs
  • A late power surge
  • A relaxed Rolen puts an end to his slump
  • Proceed as planned

  • College football
  • Hurricanes get second wind
  • Crowder a Butkus semifinalist
  • Got a minute? Cory Bailey, DB UF
  • Lawsuit to protect coaches moves ahead

  • Colleges
  • President supports action against Zook

  • Golf
  • Goosen sets record at rainy Match Play

  • In brief
  • McPherson drafted by Nashville; Storm gets 3

  • Motorsports
  • Martin joins the old gang in passing torch to youngsters
  • Martin just slowing down
  • Ramsberger finally gets chance to stage St. Petersburg race

  • NFL
  • New England simply the model franchise
  • Cardinals release ex-Buc Jackson

  • Outdoors
  • Daily fishing report
  • Vee -ry, vee-ry fast

  • Preps
  • Freedom's Warren eyes 1st home win
  • Green Devils hold on
  • PHU, Seminole take team titles
  • Riverview posts unsightly win
  • Seniors reclaim crowns
  • Southeast avoids Lakewood upset
  • Tonight's games: Hillsborough
  • Tonight's games: Pinellas
  • Turnover lifts Sickles
  • Turnovers aid Royal Knights

  • Pro basketball
  • Shaq, Heat face Magic at Forum

  • TV/Radio
  • Red Sox-Yanks boon for Fox
  • Remote patrol: National spotlight
  • Bucs
  • Night time is right time for Griese

    Back to Top

    © 2006 • All Rights Reserved • Tampa Bay Times
    490 First Avenue South • St. Petersburg, FL 33701 • 727-893-8111