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After their first loss of the season last week, the Hawks look shaky early then recover for a 45-13 win.
By BRYAN BURNS
Published October 7, 2006
SEFFNER - When it fumbled the ball away on its first two possessions against Middleton, Armwood appeared to still be reeling from its first loss of the season last week to Winter Haven.
The hangover didn't last too long, however.
Behind the running of Marquise Branton, who carried 31 times for 176 yards and two touchdowns, Armwood (5-1) scored 17 unanswered points in the second quarter to take a 17-7 lead into halftime and cruised in the second half to defeat Middleton 45-13.
"I wasn't too worried (about the early turnovers)," Armwood coach Sean Callahan said. "We had another feeling in our belly. Our seniors have only lost three games in the four years they've been here. It was a long week."
Middleton (3-4) took an early 7-0 lead on a 13-yard touchdown run by Andres Harris and was primed to put more points on the board after an Armwood fumble on an option pitch gave the Tigers the ball at the Hawks' 17-yard line. Middleton, however, missed a 32-yard field goal attempt.
At that point, momentum shifted to Armwood.
After a Darren deRochemont 40-yard field goal cut the Middleton lead to four points, Branton scored the first of his two touchdowns from 6 yards out to give Armwood the lead for good. Later in the quarter, Hawks' quarterback Justin Hickman found Thurston Reaves over the middle for a 33-yard touchdown pass and a 17-7 lead.
The Hawks opened the second half with a 10-play, 62-yard drive capped by Hickman's 1-yard quarterback keeper to go up 24-7. Middleton answered with a DeAndra Presley's 26-yard touchdown pass to Aaron Bowens to make it 24-13, but Armwood rolled the rest of the way, scoring three touchdowns in the fourth quarter for the runaway victory.