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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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Largo 19, East Lake 7
By DOUG KATES, Times Correspondent
Published November 17, 2007
LARGO - Leonard Johnson is no longer humble, but his Largo Packers are still undefeated.
Johnson - not Brynn Harvey - led the Packers (11-0) with 133 rushing yards as Largo defeated East Lake 19-7 in a Class 5A region quarterfinal playoff game Friday night.
The Packers quarterback also added 130 yards passing, including three for touchdowns.
"I've been quiet," Johnson said. "The press has been caught up in Brynn breaking the (county rushing) record and at the same time I've stayed humble. I had fun tonight. I stayed on my toes."
East Lake (7-4) jumped out to a 7-0 lead, which nearly lasted until halftime. But Johnson completed a 26-yard touchdown pass to Shane Hood late in the half, then hit Reginald McCray with two touchdown passes in the second half.
Harvey was limited to 95 yards rushing and had gained only 41 yards on his first 12 carries before a 44-yard run late in the game.
East Lake coach Bob Hudson praised his players for holding Largo most of the game, but said the Packers have more than one weapon and proved it for the playoff win.
"We wanted someone (other than Harvey) to beat us," Hudson said. "Last time Brynn killed us (246 yards in the opening game of the season). This time Johnson got us. That's why they are where they are. They've got some good playmakers and they make plays. My hat's off to them. I hope they win the whole dang thing."
Eagles running back Erin Murray had a 1-yard scoring run and quarterback Blake Robles was 10-for-16 for 172 yards, including 5-for-5 in the first half.
However, Robles was tackled behind the line of scrimmage seven times for a loss of 60 yards and the East Lake ground game finished in negative yards for the game. Penalties and dropped interception chances also hurt the Eagles.