Huddle up! Here’s a look back at this weekend on the gridiron, with three key takeaways from the state’s football scene -- and a glimpse at what’s to come next week.
Barrett helps clinch Bucs win in emotional moment
When teammates mobbed him to offer congratulations and the crowd went nuts, Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Shaq Barrett had something to smile about after months of grief.
With 2:03 remaining in Tampa Bay’s game against Chicago, Barrett intercepted a pass from Chicago quarterback Justin Fields at the Chicago 4-yard line, and powered his way through bodies across the end zone for a touchdown that essentially clinched a 27-17 victory for the Buccaneers.
You can’t blame teammates for rushing to celebrate with him after all Barrett has been through in recent months.
On April 30, Barrett lost his 2-year-old daughter, Arrayah, after she drowned in the pool at the family’s home.
Following the interception, Barrett blew a kiss to the sky to send Arrayah a message that he loved and missed her.
“It is always going to suck,” Barrett said to reporters afterwards. “But at least I was able to shine some spotlight on her a little bit.”
In addition to the family tragedy, Barrett also had to spend the offseason recovering from a torn Achilles tendon he suffered in Week 8 of last season.
Seminoles avoid near catastrophe
So much for us asking last week if Florida State was the best team in the country. The Seminoles looked ordinary and had to hold on for dear life in the end for a 31-29 win at Boston College.
In fact, if not for 18 penalties by Boston College — including a face-mask on what would’ve been a third-down stop in the final minutes that allowed Florida State to get a first down and run out the clock instead of punting the ball back to Boston College — the Seminoles might have seen their playoff hopes evaporate in Week 3.
But a win is a win. Odds are great the Seminoles will be a lot more locked in on Saturday when they travel to league rival Clemson for a noon kickoff.
Prep standout is OK after scary injury
Nathaniel Worrell, a running back for Ocoee High School, was discharged from the hospital on Friday after suffering an injury in the fourth quarter during a 39-17 loss to Olympia on Thursday, according to a according to a post by Chris Hays, of the Orlando Sentinel.
Both head coaches agreed to stop and end the game when the injury took place with 6:40 remaining in the fourth quarter. After taking a hit, Worrell was taken off of the field in an ambulance after suffering an injury to his abdomen.
Worrell is the son of Monique Worrell, an Orlando-area State Attorney who was suspended by Gov. Ron DeSantis last month. Monique Worrell is appealing the Florida Supreme Court to reverse the suspension