Make us your home page

Prep Sports Report

Bob Putnam, Rodney Page, Kelly Parsons

HomeTeam 25: Football rankings, Week 11

Quarterback Daniel Boon and Jesuit are looking to cap off the regular season without dropping a game.


Quarterback Daniel Boon and Jesuit are looking to cap off the regular season without dropping a game.



1.Armwood (9-0)

This week’s opponent: vs. Sickles

Scoop: The Hawks extended their Hillsborough County win streak to 32 games after beating Hillsborough. Before the playoffs, though, Armwood will close out the regular season against a tough Sickles team, its best competition since a Sept. 25 game against Plant. Armwood’s offense will have to be on point against a Sickles D that hasn’t given up a single point in two weeks.  

2. Plant (8-2)

This week’s opponent: Idle

Scoop: The Panthers get a week to rest before the postseason begins, and that’ll be much needed before a tough matchup with Lakeland Kathleen in two weeks. Thankfully for Plant, it seems to have found its usual postseason stride on both sides of the ball, and the Panthers have outscored their past three opponents 116-19.

3. Clearwater Central Catholic (10-0)

This week’s opponent: Idle

Scoop: The Marauders made history by finishing the regular season undefeated for the first time. It was also was the first time coach John Davis had an undefeated regular season during his stints at Countryside and CCC. The Marauders have made it look easy, scoring at least 38 points in their past seven games and winning the past nine by at least 20 points.

4. Sickles (8-1)

This week’s opponent: at Armwood

Scoop: The Gryphons posted their seventh shutout in nine games with a 36-0 district win against Freedom. Defensive lineman Cameron Miller equaled his season high of five sacks against the Patriots, bringing his season total to 22. This week, Miller could top linebacker Eric Striker’s record mark of 23 sacks in a season against Striker’s former team.

5. Jesuit (9-0)

This week’s opponent: vs. Tampa Catholic

Scoop: The Tigers are one win from their first 10-0 regular season in five years, but they’ll face their toughest competition yet in the Crusaders. As he often is, two-time 1,000-yard rusher Malik Davis could be the key to Jesuit’s success, but Tampa Catholic — which has lost to the Tigers in their past 15 meetings — isn’t going to go down without a fight.

6. River Ridge (9-0)

This week’s opponent: vs. Sunlake

Scoop: The playoffs are looming, but there is plenty to play for this week. The Royal Knights have won 17 straight regular-season games and are trying to go undefeated for the first time. There also is the revenge factor. After all, the  Seahawks were the last team to beat the Royal Knights.

7. Clearwater (8-1)

This week’s opponent: vs. East Lake

Scoop: The Tornadoes wrapped up their first district title since 2003 with last week’s win over Osceola. This week Clearwater is trying to snap a 12-game losing streak to East Lake, which has been the premier public school program in Pinellas County that past two seasons. Tornadoes running back Adarius Lemons needs 69 yards rushing to reach 1,000 for the season.

8. Plant City (7-1)

This week’s opponent: vs. Lennard

Scoop: Lennard’s defense was no match for Markese Hargrove, who passed the 1,000-yard mark with a 248-yard performance in the Raiders’ 28-20 victory against Lennard. After dropping the first game of the season to Armwood, Plant City has won the past eight, most in decisive fashion. The Raiders will close out the regular season against Freedom before hosting their Round I playoff game in two weeks.

9. Tampa Catholic (8-1)

This week’s opponent: at Jesuit

Scoop: Tampa Catholic has had some solid football teams during their 0-15 streak against Jesuit, but perhaps no other Crusader offense has been as deep as the one it has now. Jesuit’s defense hasn’t been tested like it will be against Division I-A caliber players Nate Craig-Myers and Devan Barrett — who have a combined 30 touchdowns on the season.

10. Countryside (8-1)

This week’s opponent: at Lake Mary

Scoop: The Cougars snapped a two-year losing streak to East Lake in convincing fashion with a 35-14 victory. Countryside has won seven straight and clinched its first playoff berth and district title since 2011. Quarterback Trent Chmelik rushed for two touchdowns against the Eagles and has seven on the ground in the past four games.

11. Mitchell (8-1)

This week’s opponent: vs. Gulf

Scoop: A win against Gulf and the Mustangs will finish with the best record in school history. Mitchell can also set a school record with its ninth straight win. Last week’s win against Land O’Lakes was the first time this season Mychael Hamilton did not rush for at least 100 yards. Quarterback Larry Dalla Betta has been efficient with 18 touchdown passes and one interception.

12. Nature Coast (9-0)

This week’s opponent: at Groveland South Lake

Scoop: Running back DeShawn Smith leads the nation in rushing touchdowns with 41 and is seventh in rushing yards with 2,442. He might have a tougher time keeping his torrid pace against a South Lake team that has rebounded from an 0-5 start with three straight wins by a 138-41 margin.

13. Tampa Bay Tech (6-4)

This week’s opponent: Idle

Scoop: Tampa Bay Tech may have been counted out of playoff contention weeks ago, but that didn’t stop the Titans from fighting back. Following a close loss to Armwood on Oct. 9, TBT won three straight critical district games to earn district runnerup honors and a playoff berth for the second straight year. If the Titans are lucky, that momentum will carry over to their Round 1 game against Countryside on Nov. 13.

14. Steinbrenner (9-1)

This week’s opponent: at Berkeley Prep

Scoop: Steinbrenner had a week off to celebrate its first playoff berth, but it’ll be back in action Friday for a regular-season finale against Berkeley Prep. The Bucs, who aren’t going to the playoffs, will be trying to end their season on a positive note. But the Warriors, who have to take on perennial powerhouse Orlando Dr. Phillips in two weeks, will be looking to grab some much needed momentum.

15. Wharton (8-2)

This week’s opponent: Idle

Scoop: The Wildcats, despite their good showing in a 42-0 win against Leto, end their season this week against the Chiefs. That said, Wharton is probably one of the better teams in Hillsborough County not going to the playoffs, an example of just how tough some districts can be.

16. Brandon (7-2)

This week’s opponent: vs. Bloomingdale

Scoop: The Eagles are headed to their first playoff game under coach Dean Eychner in two weeks, but first they’ll close out the regular season against the one-win Bulls. Brandon’s defense is still one to watch, thanks in part to senior defensive back Yancy Jenkins, who now has a state-high seven interceptions.

17. Sunlake (7-2)

This week’s opponent: at River Ridge

Scoop: After a 7-0 start, the Seahawks have dropped two straight. The recent slide has a lot do with an offense that has not been able to keep piling on the points. After scoring more than 30 in the first seven games, Sunlake has managed just 31 combined in the losses.

18. Gibbs (6-3)

This week’s opponent: at Braden River

Scoop: The Gladiators took a break from a tough schedule last week and hammered Dunedin 74-0. Now they’ve got a Braden River team that is 9-0 and has outscored opponents 342-75. Gibbs will need its potent offense and a good defensive effort to hang around in this one.

19. Admiral Farragut (8-1)

This week’s opponent: vs. Bradenton Christian

Scoop: Hard to imagine there is a team with more confidence than the Blue Jackets right now. AFA is coming off a 47-32 win over Northside Christian in which they came back from a 12-point deficit. It won Class 2A-6 and will host a region semifinal. Expect the Blue Jackets to play their entire roster in this one as they prepare for the playoffs.

20. Pinellas Park (7-2)

This week’s opponent: at Dixie Hollins

Scoop: The Patriots got back on track after a shutout of Seminole. Friday’s game pits two old friends against each other, Pinellas Park coach Kenny Crawford and Dixie Hollins coach Shane Wheeler. The Patriots play a tiebreaker on Monday night to determine the second place team in Class 7A-10.

21. Northside Christian (8-1)

This week’s opponent: at Cambridge Christian (Nov. 13)

Scoop: The Mustangs had a 10th game scheduled against Zephyrhills Christian but that game was cancelled, so they have a week off before starting on the road in the playoffs. That may be a good thing. Northside Christian lost the district championship to Admiral Farragut last week. Now it can rest and form a game plan for the Lancers.

22. Zephyrhills (7-2)

This week’s opponent: vs. Pasco

Scoop: After falling to River Ridge two weeks ago, the Bulldogs rebounded  with wins against Wesley Chapel and Anclote. Zephyrhills scored more than 40 in each of those wins. Now comes the big one as the Bulldogs try to end a seven-year losing streak to Pasco in the rivalry game known as the 9-Mile War.

23. Lennard (6-3)

This week’s opponent: at Jefferson

Scoop: Even against one of the better defenses in Hillsborough County, Lennard’s offense still shined, as Devin Black threw for 212 yards and Jahryn Bailey rushed for nearly 100 in a 28-20 loss to Plant City. Lennard’s offense has been one of the more exciting ones to watch this season, and we’ll get one more chance when the Longhorns take on Jefferson in their final game.

24. Durant (6-3)

This week’s opponent: vs. King

Scoop: Losing three of its past five games after starting the season 4-0 wasn’t ideal for the Cougars, but the young Durant team — which is led in nearly every stat category by an underclassman and now has a seasoned, sophomore quarterback in Carlton Potter — still has a lot of things to be happy about. A win against King in the season finale and a 7-3 record would give it a lot to build on this offseason.  

25. Cambridge Christian (10-0)

This week’s opponent: Idle

Scoop: Cambridge Christian had a Friday of firsts last week, sealing up the program’s first playoff berth, undefeated regular season and district championship. The Lancer defense, which gave up just 6.44 points per game in the regular season, is a big reason for the success, and that unit could help Cambridge Christian put together a nice playoff run.

[Last modified: Monday, November 2, 2015 12:46pm]


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours