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Hillsborough football was full of surprises, memories


Published:   |   Updated: December 24, 2013 at 10:34 PM

From an intense three-way Monday night tiebreaker to a triple overtime state semifinal game, high school football in Hillsborough County was again full of surprises and memorable moments.

Armwood was the lone team to reach a state championship game, marking the sixth time since 2003 the Hawks had advanced to the title game. Armwood lost to nationally-ranked Miami Central, 52-7, in the Class 6A final, but advanced to the title game with a thrilling triple-overtime victory at home against St. Johns Bartram Trail.

Plant and Tampa Catholic both reached the state semifinal round, but fell short.

Sickles and East Bay made program history, with Sickles winning the program's first district title and advancing farther than any team in school history by making the region championship. East Bay, after winning a tiebreaker between Plant City and Strawberry Crest, claimed the team's first district title in 40 years and first playoff win. The teams crossed paths in the region semifinal round, which the Gryphons won.

Individually, Jefferson quarterback Deiondre Porter accomplished a rare feat, throwing for more than 3,000 yards and rushing for nearly 1,500 yards with 53 total touchdowns. Sickles junior running back Ray Ray McCloud III positioned himself as the county's top rusher with 2,316 yards on the ground and 26 touchdowns.

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