Matt Baker eats crow on Fivay, Wesley Chapel and Weeki Wachee
I didn’t do so hot in my Week 1 North Suncoast predictions. Like, not well at all. Yikes.
And Fivay let me hear about it Friday night after its 35-28 win over River Ridge, with a (friendly) sarcastic round of applause. Thank you, thank you.
Let’s take a quick look at my three biggest mistakes:
Predicted score: River Ridge, 28-17
Why I thought that: The Royal Knights have good size and romped over Gulf (67-13) in the preseason game. I didn’t think the Falcons could get through River Ridge’s line, and I was concerned with QB Tyler Degen, the starter because of an injury to Eric Vitale.
Actual score: Fivay, 35-28
Why I was wrong: Fivay is good. Davion Sutton looks like one of the county’s top tailbacks, and Bryan Poinsette isn’t too shabby, either. Degen was accurate, aside from a pick-six, and poised. And the defense is strong. The Falcons held River Ridge to zero rushing yards on the first half. Three of the Royal Knights’ scores came on big plays – a 60-yard interception return, a 48-yard TD pass, and a 30-yard TD pass on fourth down.
Wesley Chapel-Wiregrass Ranch
Predicted score: Wiregrass Ranch, 20-17
Why I thought that: The Bulls have some players. I like WR Jake Day, and QB Shane Bucenell is a good one. My biggest concern with Wesley Chapel was its depth – How would the Wildcats fare in the fourth quarter when they got tired?
Actual score: Wesley Chapel, 30-6
Why I was wrong: Wesley Chapel is better than I thought. Daquan Caesar (167 yards) is a sleeper running back. The Wildcats made some mistakes (two early fumbles) but recovered. Give them credit for overcoming an early deficit – with 30 unanswered points. Yikes. I missed this one bad.
Predicted score: Central, 28-27
Why I thought that: Hey, I did give myself a caveat, by saying it could go either way. That counts, right? Regardless, I picked the Bears because of their varsity experience. The game is faster and tougher at that level, and Central, despite its struggles, knew what to expect. Plus Quadavis Battle is one of the North Suncoast’s best players you don’t know about.
Actual score: Weeki Wachee, 33-14
Why I was wrong: The Hornets are more polished than I expected. QB David Tinch had one of the area’s top performances (193 passing yards, 33 rushing yards). Weeki Wachee pounded its way to almost 7 yards per carry, and its defense/special teams forced seven turnovers and blocked a punt. The Hornets have size, and they have some good skill players, including Marcus Allen. I just didn’t expect them to be ready for the prime time yet, and they proved me wrong.