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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.
PLANT CITY - They weren't dominating. They weren't impressive. They weren't the typical Hawks - at least not until the second half.
For the second week in a row, Armwood had to rely on miscues by its opponents and good field position to gain an early lead. But when the second half came, the Hawks turned a 13-3 halftime lead into a 39-3 victory over Durant.
"We came out really flat," Armwood head coach Sean Callahan said. "I hate doing it, but I had to get on them hard at halftime. I think (Durant) caught us off-guard, and we just had to go back to the basics."
Senior running back Marquise Branton - who filled in for starter Eric Smith, who will miss the rest of the season with a dislocated elbow he suffered last week - opened the third quarter with a 60-yard touchdown run. Branton finished the game with 166 yards on 13 carries and two scores.
After the Hawks' defense forced a three and out, senior tailback Tashard Dickens ran 42 yards before crossing the goal line two plays later. He totaled 77 yards on seven carries and two scores.
"They both did a great job of taking Eric's place," Callahan said. "Dickens brings us another level of speed, and Branton does a great job of running low and hard."
Durant came out strong in the first quarter, taking the opening drive 67 yards to the Hawks' 4-yard line. But the Cougars could only come out with three points despite having first and goal inside Armwood's 5-yard line.
The Cougars began to put together another drive midway through the third quarter when the Hawks intercepted junior quarterback Jermy Fussell. That led to an 18-yard scramble by Dickens for his second touchdown, putting the Hawks up 33-3. Armwood scored 20 in the third quarter and outrushed Durant by 258 yards.