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Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
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Armwood takes care of business 50-7
The Hawks workmanlike dismantling of Mariner may be a preview of things to come as the playoffs continue.
By KEITH NIEBUHR
Published November 20, 2004
SEFFNER - After beating Cape Coral Mariner 50-7 Friday night, Armwood players patted their teammates on the back, shook a few hands, listened to their coaches talk, then quietly and rather calmly left the field.
This was no cause to celebrate.
It was, after all, only a second-round playoff game.
"These guys are so businesslike," Hawks coach Sean Callahan said. "They all want to be in the state final so bad."
If Armwood keeps playing as it did against Mariner, a second straight state championship could become a reality. The Hawks (10-1) dominated Mariner (8-4) from the opening kick, so much so that at times it felt more like homecoming then the playoffs.
Armwood outgained Mariner 400-134 and led in first downs 19-6. Rushing, the Hawks had 305 yards to minus 15 for Mariner. The Tritons punted six times. Armwood never punted.
Get the picture?
Afterward, Callahan had just one complaint. The penalties. The Hawks had 14 for 97 yards.
Running back Demetrius McCray was the star, leading Armwood with 118 yards on 14 carries. He scored four touchdowns, two rushing and two receiving.
"I knew it was either going to be a big night for me or (quarterback) Jameel Williams," McCray said.
Actually, it was big for both.
Williams rushed for 87 yards and passed for 95 with three touchdowns. Fullback Kalvin Bailey contributed 73 yards and a score.
Bailey's success last week likely opened the door for McCray and Williams. In a victory against Countryside, he had 35 carries for a career-best 279 yards and three touchdowns. Mariner seemed intent on stopping Bailey, leaving lanes open for his teammates.
"That's the beauty of the option," Callahan said.
Armwood's defense can't be overlooked.
Mariner's ground game produced a longest gain of 7 yards. Seven plays went for a loss. Mariner passed for 149 yards, but 46 came on a one-handed second quarter catch.
The Hawks defense even scored. Ahead 14-0 in the second, safety Rhett Giddens stepped in front of a Mariner pitch, caught the ball, then raced 14 yards for a touchdown.
"We knew they were a good team," Armwood defensive lineman Ryan Sollazzo said. "We just wanted to make sure we made our reads and executed, and that's what we did."