By Times staff
© St. Petersburg Times, published August 30, 2001
The Chargers, in their first year of varsity football, become the first county team to advance to the title game. Shorecrest has just 19 players for the game, played at Dixie Hollins, and wears down.
After playing the title game in Pinellas County the first time, the Chargers must travel to Tallahassee for the state final. Shorecrest again is outmanned and loses big.
The Green Devils go 10-0, beating Venice in the final week of the regular season for the district title. St. Petersburg wins at Homestead before traveling to Pensacola. There, they run into Emmitt Smith, who runs for 205 yards.
A loss to Largo early in the season is overturned because the Packers used an ineligible player. That allows the Falcons to win the district. In the final, Dunedin trails 14-0, rallies but comes up short.
Tarpon Springs leads 6-0 with 2:57 remaining. That's when Dillard scores on a 73-yard pass. Dillard scores again after recovering a fumble. "To have that victory stolen from them, that hurts me," Spongers coach George Werner says.
Led by a stingy defense, Dunedin again plays at home for the state title. The problem is the Falcons run into another stingy defense as Pine Forest holds Dunedin to 39 yards rushing.
After losing losing their opener to Tarpon Springs, the Rebels win 12 in a row to advance to their first final. After throwing for 305 yards and five touchdowns in the region final, Marquel Blackwell manages just 39 yards in the final.