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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.
Cobras lineman Roger Hill, who one teammate says has a "sense" for the football, falls on a fumble to end Williston's last chance.
By IZZY GOULD
Published November 19, 2005
HUDSON - Roger Hill's assignment was to throw Williston's guard aside, shoot the gap and demolish the quarterback.
The Cobras defense had stymied Williston for most of the night. But with less than three minutes left, the Red Devils rolled into Hudson territory with their best drive of the game.
Williston quarterback Jiwan James walked to the line of scrimmage with a fresh set of downs at the Cobras 32. Hudson's 5-foot-8, 225-pound senior lineman could sense the urgency.
Then the snap.
"I noticed the fullback (Termaine Snead) had the ball, so I was coming after him," Hill said. "I noticed our corner (Ryan Attaway) came up and hit the ball out. I saw the ball pop, so I just went for it."
Hill fell on the football with 2:38 left, sealing a 20-12 victory, Hudson's second in as many playoff games.
Hill couldn't stop smiling after his two sacks and fumble recovery.
"Roger Hill is a phenomenal player," Hudson senior Brian Zullo said. "He's a hard-nosed kid. Any time he's around the ball, I know he has a sense for it. It just popped right into his hands."
Zullo jumped in on the fun with a sack of his own.
Hudson's goals were simple: contain James and Snead. "We had to control that big No.10 kid (James)," Zullo said. "Wherever he went, we made sure we had at least three people surrounding him so he couldn't go anywhere."
Tha strategy helped force Williston to punt on all but one of its first-half possessions, and it finished with just 174 yards of offense.
James finished with 16 carries for 50 yards with those numbers rocketing in the second half. He also struggled to get the passing game going as he finished 5-of-17 for 70 yards and one touchdown.
As Hudson's defense kept James on edge, it forced four fumbles and made Williston rely on two big plays, a 73-yard fumble return for a touchdown by Shavonte Johnson and pass interference that kept a drive alive and led to a 13-yard touchdown pass from James to Todd Brown. That gave the Red Devils a 12-6 lead in the third quarter.
"The turnover was huge," Hudson defensive coordinator Keith Newton said.
"I thought we'd get more turnovers. The first half, they played absolutely outstanding defense. Great defense has been our makeup all year. They rose when they had to."