By all accounts, the game was an ugly one from start to finish. If anything, that may have made Tampa (Fla.) Gaither High wide receiver Carlo Perello's catch all the more remarkable.
With his team trailing Tampa Bay (Fla.) Tech High, 14-10, in the fourth quarter, Perello delivered one of the the best runs-after-catch of the year, grabbing a 15-yard pass over the middle and then taking over, juking out one defender, vaulting completely over another and embarrassing two other would be tacklers with feints and stiff arms en route to what proved to be a game-winning, 71-yard touchdown for Gaither in the team's eventual 17-14 victory.
"I told Coach to get me the ball and I thought I could make some plays," Perello told the St. Petersburg Times. "I wasn't ready to go home yet."
The use of the word "plays" was accurate, as Perello also came through with Gaither's other touchdown in the game, a 76-yard effort near the end of the first half. Put them together, and the final score could just as easily been Carlo Perello 14, Tampa Bay Tech 14.
"Luckily [Tampa Bay Tech] made some turnovers too and Carlo was not going to be denied," Gaither coach Jason Stokes told the Times.
Given the efforts he went to in order to reach the end zone, it might not have mattered if it was the Tampa Bay Tech or Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense was the unit trying to stop him.
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- Tampa Bay