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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.
TAMPA - During the second half of last week's loss to Jefferson, Middleton moved starting quarterback Carlton Jones to tailback in hopes of sparking the offense.
Seven days later, the switch began to pay off.
Behind the junior's career-best effort, including an electrifying 93-yard touchdown run with 1:45 left, Middleton defeated Robinson 28-20 in a game that produced several highlight-tape plays and a dramatic end. Jones finished with 239 yards and three touchdowns on 20 carries and added 31 receiving yards.
"We knew from Day 1 that he was a special kid," Middleton coach Harry Hubbard said.
Jones' final score was the back-breaker for Robinson (1-1). The Knights, trailing by one late, rallied behind the arm of quarterback Justin Le, the hands of receiver Greg Ellingson and the legs of Jermaine Doster to reach the Robinson 9. But on first and goal, the Knights fumbled and Jones made them pay for it.
The next play, he broke free and raced down the sideline for a dramatic score that sent the home crowd into a frenzy. "I have to give it to my offensive line on that one," Jones said.
The Middleton defense all but cemented the victory moments later with another key fumble recovery.
Middleton (1-1) was clutch late. But for much of the game the Tigers hurt themselves with key miscues (most notably a handful of costly penalties) and the Knights took advantage. Le passed for 226 yards and two scores, the last being a 34-yard strike to Herb Hogan with 6:58 left that made it 21-20. The Knights failed on a 2-point conversion try.
"It's a heartbreaker," said Ellingson, who had six catches for 114 yards. "But it's going to help us build."