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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.
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Gaither 17, Alonso 0
By DON JENSEN, Times Correspondent
Published October 13, 2007
TAMPA - Thirty-four seconds remained when Mike Whitescarver fell into the end zone with a shutout-saving interception.
As he headed off the field, a Gaither assistant coach wrapped his arms around the senior linebacker, lifted him in the air and carried him to the sideline.
The past week has been full of ups and downs for Whitescarver. But it ended on a positive note Friday night as he led Gaither to a 17-0 non-district win over Alonso.
A staph infection to his face and strained oblique muscle forced Whitescarver to miss Gaither's game Oct.6, a 30-14 win over Mitchell. Against Alonso, Whitescarver hardly missed an assignment as the Cowboys posted their first shutout.
"I had the opportunity to come back," Whitescarver said. "(The shutout) feels amazing, especially since we got the goal-line stand (on Alonso's final drive)."
Gaither (5-2) has won its past five games, outscoring opponents 151-51. The Cowboys forced four turnovers, with Kier Creech recovering a fumble and Justin Perez, Dylan Fisher and Whitescarver each intercepting a pass. Whitescarver's pick came on a deflected C.J. Bennett third-down pass after Alonso (5-2) had first-and-goal at the Gaither 1.
"We played the best we've played all year," linebacker Josh Hurtado said. "We just need to keep our win streak going."
Two turnovers set up Gaither's first 10 points: a Nick Cattoi 25-yard field goal with 20 seconds left before halftime, and a 3-yard touchdown run by Tony Moore midway in the third quarter.
Alonso held a 290-214 advantage in total offensive yards, but the Ravens were hampered when wide receiver Joe Clarke (3 receptions for 61 yards) missed the second half with a left hip injury.
Quarterback Kamren Hawkins passed for 110 of his 116 yards in the second half.