tampabay.com

Second place in the district suits the Warriors just fine

By BOB PUTNAM
Published October 31, 2006


SEMINOLE - There was nothing anyone could say to make Osceola's Justin Hart feel better.

It was no use noting that his tough running and clutch receiving produced four first downs on a pivotal drive that was capped off by his 8-yard run.

That's because Hart dropped a pass on a two-point conversion that proved costly as the Warriors lost 7-6 Monday in a tiebreaker quarter against Bradenton Southeast that ultimately decided the Class 4A, District 9 title.

"All I wanted was a chance to make up for that mistake," Hart said.

He got redemption in the following quarter against Northeast. Hart made two crucial plays that helped the Warriors win 14-0 and clinch the runnerup spot.

Osceola plays at Plant in the region quarterfinals in two weeks.

The Warriors went ahead against the Vikings on their first possession on a 37-yard pass from Sergio Allen to Matt Ramsey. After forcing a punt, the Warriors had trouble moving the ball and faced third and 6.

Hart, a slippery, change-of-direction artist, then made his first big play. Running to his left, Hart stopped, reversed back to his right and kept his legs churning as he plowed into three Viking defenders.

The final tally on Hart's few seconds of work: one carry, 7 yards and six jolts to the body.

And an important first down.

Bryce Williams then ran 59 yards up the middle to set up Hart's last big play, a 3-yard run for a touchdown.

"I'm so proud of the way these guys put the disappointment (against Southeast) behind them and stepped up in such a big atmosphere-type of game," coach George Palmer said.

Northeast also fell to Southeast, 14-7. Juarez Wynn had a 67-yard touchdown for the Vikings, who were playing without a banged-up Jeff Brinson.