TAMPA — Hillsborough (3-2, 3-2) escaped with a season-saving Class 6A-District 8 win at King in a game coach Earl Garcia jokingly referred to as “just another routine Terriers victory.” They forced fumbles on King’s first and last offensive plays. The latter came with less than a minute left, and the Lions threatening at the Terriers 5.
King (4-2, 2-2) started slow but eventually wore Hillsborough down with drives of 80 and 60 yards to take a 13-12 lead late in the third quarter. Three plays later, defensive end Nicolas Munera returned a fumble 26 yards, extending King’s lead to eight. But Terriers running back Kenny Gunn responded with an 80-yard run up the middle on the final play of the quarter and QB Dwayne Lawson’s conversion tied it.
Down by seven, Lawson (who accounted for more than 200 yards) found Jon Hughes for a 41-yard touchdown pass with 4:16 remaining. He bulled in for the Terriers’ winning margin.
“Out of everybody in the stadium, my wife … knew I was going for 2,” Garcia said of the winning conversion. “I was tired.”
In another round of 6A-8 matchups on Friday, Hillsborough hosts Chamberlain and King is at Robinson.
Hills. 0 12 8 8 — 28
King 0 6 14 7 — 27
H - Byrd 17 pass from Lawson (pass failed)
H - Lawson 3 run (pass failed)
K - Wright 8 run (kick blocked)
K – Harper 6 run (Bader kick)
K – Munera 26 fumble return (Bader kick)
H - Gunn 80 run (Lawson run)
K - Wright 1 run (Bader kick)
H – Hughes 41 pass from Lawson (Lawson run)