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Hillsborough comeback surprises Southeast


© St. Petersburg Times, published August 26, 2000

TAMPA -- There have been few times where a game that meant nothing, amounted to so much for Hillsborough High.

Yes, Hillsborough coach Earl Garcia said his Terriers knew they were playing in a preseason classic, but at the same time he acknowledged that they had defeated perennial power Bradenton Southeast 21-20.

"Any time you beat a team led by Paul Maechtle (Bradenton Southeast's coach) you've done something," Garcia said. "I don't care if (Maechtle) was coaching ping pong and you beat his ping pong team. Any time you beat him it's a good feeling."

In the first quarter, however, it didn't look so good for the Terriers, who fell behind 13-0.

Southeast quarterback Adrian McPherson -- who has already received scholarship offers from Georgia Tech, Michigan State, Miami, North Carolina, Ohio State and Tennessee -- was living up to his huge billing.

In the opening few plays he completed a 44-yard touchdown pass to speedster Fred Span and a few minutes later he capped a 63-yard drive (in which he had a hand in almost all of the yardage) with a 10-yard touchdown run.

Hillsborough answered with a 60-yard drive of its own, ending with a seven-yard touchdown run by Keith Williams.

McPherson threw another 35-yard touchdown pass on Southeast's ensuing possession and then drove the Seminoles to Hillsborough's 10-yard line before time ran out in the second quarter.

For the half, McPherson was 11-of-17 for 174 yards and two touchdowns.

He played only midway through the third period before coming out.

Hillsborough junior quarterback Ian MacAlister seemed to settle down and connected on a couple of nice passes, sandwiched between some strong running by Williams, Elijah Dukes and Ronnie McCullough.

Hillsborough's defense also stuffed Southeast and caused a fumble in the Seminoles' own end zone, which Terrier Dorian Burns fell on for a touchdown.

Then with 4 minutes remaining, Marques Trigg broke free for a 46-yard touchdown run, followed by Andrew Colborne's go-ahead extra point.

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