Wednesday, January 2, 2002
Jackson's touchdowns, Hester's big return lead the way
TORRANCE, Calif. (AP) -- James Jackson ran for two touchdowns,
and Devin Hester returned a kickoff 85 yards for another score
Wednesday as Florida beat California 34-24 in CaliFlorida Bowl III
at El Camino Junior College.
Jackson, of Tallahassee Lincoln High, scored on a 6-yard run
late in the first quarter and a 5-yarder in the third period.
California, which won the two previous all-star games against
Florida 21-11 and 17-14, took a 7-0 lead on a 43-yard pass from
Marcedes Lewis of Long Beach Poly to James Finley of Los Angeles
However, Florida quickly tied the game on the kickoff by
Suncoast Riviera Beach High's Hester, and went ahead for good on
Jackson's first touchdown run.
Todd Merz of Laguna Beach High kicked a 31-yard field goal to
cut Florida's lead to 14-10, but Dan Shula of Fort Lauderdale St.
Thomas Aquinas, grandson of former Miami Dolphins coach Don Shula,
threw an 11-yard touchdown pass to James White to make it 21-10 at
Jackson's second touchdown run on Florida's first possession of
the third quarter extended the winners' lead to 17 points, but
California made it 27-17 later in the period on a 1-yard run by
Hershel Dennis of Long Beach Poly.
Florida clinched the victory when Baraka Atkins of Sarasota
Booker High scored on a 4-yard fumble return with 5:27 remaining
after a snap from the center went over quarterback Ben Olson's head
from the California 19-yard line.
Olson, of Thousand Oaks High, threw a 26-yard scoring pass to
Finley less than a minute later to complete the scoring.
Dennis led all rushers in the game with 72 yards on 15 carries;
Olson completed 10 of 11 passes for 118 yards, and Finley had five
receptions for 102 yards.
Shula completed four of seven passes for 34 yards, and Gavin Dickey of
Tallahassee Lincoln completed six of 13 for 129 yards.
The two previous games were played during the summer, but this
game was moved to this time of year to coincide with the BCS title game Thursday night between unbeaten Miami and Nebraska at the