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For their own good
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.
On every play in a football game, defenders read the movements of their opponents and react, which is called reading your keys. Each week the Times will analyze how well defensive players reacted to these keys. This week we'll look back on moments from Hillsborough's 21-20 victory over Armwood.
A NOSE FOR DISRUPTION
Nose tackle Leslie Stirrups' key in the Hillsborough defensive scheme was to neutralize the Armwood center, read the direction of the fullback and take the fullback dive away from the triple-option offense.
Time after time, Stirrups, at 6-foot-3, 275 pounds, snuffed the integral ingredient to the Hawks' offense - the fullback rush up the middle. Controlling the interior line of scrimmage from his nose tackle position or turning plays inside when he switched to defensive end, he was virtually impossible to contain.
Once, from his defensive end position, he read the movement of the ball going away from him and instead of chasing the play, he stayed at home in case of a possible reverse, turning the play inside to a host of fellow Hillsborough tacklers when the play came back to his side.
Another time, correctly anticipating the snap count, he sliced between two blockers to nail the quarterback before he could get out from under the center.
PRESSURE LEADS TO PICKS
Sophomore Hillsborough linebackers Iziah Wyche and Marc Thomas were responsible for keying on the quarterback on the triple option, denying any substantial gains and forcing the pitch sooner than Armwood would have liked.
Wyche also perfectly read the quarterback on one passing play when he detected pass blocking at the line of scrimmage, retreated to the middle of the field 10 yards deep and intercepted the pass by remaining low and springing for the pick when the quarterback did not see him until he had released the ball.
THROW OUT THE PLAYBOOK
One offensive bit of improvisation proved effective for Hillsborough when quarterback Jarred Fayson, attempting a quick pump-and-go pass to weakside wide receiver Joshua Sams, saw that defensive back Jarad Green had correctly read the fake.
Fayson scrambled out of the pocket to his right, and when the defensive secondary reacted by following his movement laterally, it left the deep middle wide open. Fayson threw the ball on the run to the streaking Sams for a 58-yard scoring strike that tied it at 14.
Compiled by Times staff writer Scott Purks and Times correspondent Jim Reese.