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Warriors ruin Tornadoes' homecoming

Senior Justin Hart stars sitting out the first quarter in Osceola's 35-14 win over Clearwater.

By BRANDON WRIGHT
Published October 7, 2006


CLEARWATER - Osceola's Justin Hart didn't start the game, but by its end, the senior running back had done pretty much everything except lead the band.

Hart caught a pair of touchdown passes, ran for another, and his fourth-quarter interception sealed it for Osceola as the Warriors spoiled Clearwater's homecoming with a 35-14 win on Friday.

"(Hart's) a playmaker," Osceola coach George Palmer said. "He made the big plays, and we capitalized on turnovers, which is the key at any level."

After missing half of last week's game with cramps and still feeling the effects of dehydration, Palmer held Hart out of the game for the first quarter Friday. But he paid immediate dividends upon entering, running for 43 yards on his first touch. Three plays later, fullback Bryce Williams (15 rushes, 81 yards) punched one in from the 1-yard line for the second of his two scores.

Hart then put Osceola ahead 28-0 with 51- and 52-yard receptions on successive possessions in the third quarter. Hart finished with three catches for 130 yards and had 83 more rushing.

"(Quarterback) Sergio Allen (7-for-10, 210 yards) made some nice reads, and we got great protection up front," Palmer said. "We knew they'd put eight, maybe nine in the box to stop us, so we had to throw it a little more than usual."

Clearwater pulled within two scores on a pair of fourth-quarter touchdown passes from Luke Loucks to Chris Sackman (45, 7 yards), and the Tornadoes had just recovered their second consecutive onside kick when Allen picked off a ball deep down the right sideline.

After a 36-yard return and a personal foul on Clearwater, Allen ran for a 13-yard touchdown to cap the scoring. The turnover was Clearwater's fourth of the night, with three of them leading to Osceola scores.