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Tigers rally, win with OT field goal

Middleton ties it with two minutes left, forces a Fort Myers turnover in overtime, then kicks a 30-yarder to win 17-14.

Published November 20, 2004

TAMPA - Middleton had dropped passes, penalties and mistakes galore Friday night against Fort Myers, but when the game was on the line, the Tigers made the most of their chances.

The Tigers beat the Green Wave 17-14 in overtime on Johan Bos' clutch 30-yard field goal to set up a Class 4A, Region 3 final against Armwood next week.

The Green Wave (7-4) outgained Middleton 198-48 yards on the ground but were unable to sustain long drives against the tenacious Tigers defense, led by David Lee with two sacks.

In the second quarter, Fort Myers made the most of its short field off a muffed punt return by the Tigers. Deon Hubert (14 carries, 55 yards) and Richie Renner (13, 44 yards) drove downfield, with Hubert scoring a 9-yard touchdown; Claxton Perry blocked the PAT.

Middleton (8-3) answered, as Andreas Harris (nine carries, 32 yards) and A.J. Jones (nine, 34 yards) carried the load. Jones broke off left tackle for a 10-yard score and a 7-6 halftime lead.

The Tigers went to the air in the second half, throwing 27 times while rushing just 14. The Green Wave did a good job bottling up speedy receivers Conshario Johnson and O.J. Murdock, so quarterback Cedric Harris instead went to his backs and third receiver Mario Lawrence (three catches, 51 yards).

In the fourth quarter, Fort Myers got a short field again when the Tigers failed to handle a punt snap. Four plays later, Renner took it in from 2 yards out and Darvis McBride ran in the two-point conversion.

Down a touchdown and desperate, Harris drove the Tigers downfield and hit tight end Bernard Tillman on third and 11 from the 15 with two minutes remaining.

"I was just trying to stay calm and not make any bad reads," Harris said. "We knew we were going to pop one eventually."

On Fort Myers' overtime possession, Tigers linebacker Yasin Bright sacked McBride and stripped the ball. Then Bos calmly kicked through the winner.

[Last modified November 20, 2004, 01:06:09]


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