Riverview's game effort undone by late TD dash

Sharks suffer first loss in semifinals, hurt by penalties and missed point-afters.

By JOEY KNIGHT,Times Staff Writer
Published May 6, 2007

TAMPA - Riverview 13-1 suffered its first loss in more than a year Saturday, surrendering a late touchdown run in a 20-18 loss to Fort Lauderdale Dillard in the semifinals of the single-class state tournament in West Boca Raton.

Dillard (11-4) later fell to Tallahassee Leon (14-2-1) 34-0 in the final. Riverview was the first state tournament representative from Hillsborough County, which entered the Florida High School Athletic Association state series this year.

"I feel like we set the bar pretty high for Hillsborough County and Riverview High School for other kids to get to that point, " Sharks coach Jo Jennings said by phone on the way home Saturday evening. "I think the kids did a great job."

On the game's decisive play, approximately five Sharks defenders had a shot at the flag of Panthers quarterback Brittani Johnson, who eluded them all for the winning touchdown with less than two minutes remaining.

Senior quarterback Michelle Trugillo scored twice for Riverview while twin sister Marissa had the other TD on a shovel pass covering more than 35 yards. The Sharks, however, failed to convert on all three extra-point tries.

"We were penalized more than we've been the whole season total, " Jennings said. "It was a bummer. It was a major heartbreaker for us."

Joey Knight can be reached at jknight @sptimes.com or (813) 226-3350.