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Heart of the Game: Columbia High plays to honor Czarrah Howard, teen killed in crash

11:30 PM, Oct 4, 2013   |    comments
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LAKE CITY, Fla. -- Thousands of people packed the stands at Columbia County High School's homecoming game Friday.

The heart of the game is 17-year-old Czarrah Howard. Howard was killed, and 6 others injured, in a car crash on Monday.

"I visited with her parents and they were touched by the thought that we were dedicating the game to her," said Columbia County School Board Member Stephanie Finnell

"She was a really sweet girl. She had beautiful hair. That's what everyone knows her for," said senior Brittney Morgan.

Dheena Grover knew Howard since the teen was five-years-old.

"I'm going to miss her, the way she is," Grover said.

Before the game Friday, running back Lonnie Underwood and the rest of varsity Columbia Tigers knew they wanted to honor her memory.

"Tonight's for her. It's going to be a tough game, but we've got to do what we've got to do to win for her," Underwood said.

We saw Lonnie score a touchdown ... an inspirational moment like he said.

The whole week, especially Friday night, you can feel the community's support for Howard and her family and friends.

"It was really good of them supporting Czarrah," Grover said.

Folks around here say Howard, the true heart of this game, will always live on.

"She's going to be there forever."

From a terrible tragedy, came a bit of triumph. The home team of the Columbia Tigers won their homecoming game against Orange Park with a score of 44 to 20.

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