Sunday morning quarterback: Tiebreakers, anyone?
Player of the week: CJ Cotman, Clearwater Central Catholic
Through his high school career, Cotman has piled up points. The versatile playmaker became the school’s all-time leading scorer in the the second game of the season. Since then, his touchdowns and yards have been pedestrian. That changed Friday night.
Cotman, a Tennessee commit, scored three touchdowns, one on a punt return and the other two on long receptions. He also had 190 yards rushing, more than he had in the previous six games he played this season. His performance helped the Marauders erase a 10-point halftime deficit and cruise to a 35-23 win over Admiral Farragut.
Team of the Week: Mitchell
It was pretty simple for the Mustangs: Lose to Sunlake on Friday night and kiss the playoffs goodbye. Oh, and Mitchell had to win without injured starting quarterback Larry Dalla Betta. No problem. Behind 207 yards and four touchdowns from Mychael “Catfish” Hamilton, and solid play from backup quarterback Justin Locklear, Mitchell found a way to beat Sunlake 27-19.
If Mitchell can defeat Land O’Lakes on Friday, it at least guarantees a three-way tiebreaker with Sunlake and Springstead. “We’re back in it,’’ Mitchell coach Andy Schmitz said.
Coach of the Week: Jason Lane, Chamberlain
Under legendary coach Billy Turner, Chamberlain was a consistent playoff contender. But the Chiefs have struggled mightily since Turner went 11-2 in his final season in 2008.
Since Turner’s retirement, the Chiefs have not had a winning season. Part of that is due to a constant change in coaches. The program has gone through four since Turner left. Lane, hired last season, had the difficult task of turning around the program. He went 2-8 in his first season and started this season 0-4.
There were some positives. Two of Chamberlain’s four losses were by a touchdown or less. Since that tough start, the Chiefs have won three straight, including Friday night’s come-from-behind 20-19 victory over Blake. The winning score came on a fumble return late in the fourth quarter. Chamberlain is now 3-4, its best record since going 4-6 in 2012. There is no chance for the playoffs this season, but the Chiefs now have something to build on with an impressive win streak.
The postseason picture got a little clearer Friday night. Here is a look at how some districts break down:
Class 8A, District 6
Key games: Alonso (1-7, 0-5) at Sarasota Riverview (6-1, 4-1); Bradenton Manatee (5-3, 4-1) at Newsome (4-5, 3-2); Palm Harbor University (4-3, 3-2) at Riverview (3-5, 1-4)
Champion: Sarasota Riverview with win and Manatee win; Manatee with win and Alonso win
Runnerup: Manatee with win and Sarasota Riverview win; Palm Harbor University with win, Alonso win and Manatee win; Sarasota Riverview with Alonso win, Manatee win and Riverview win; Newsome with win, Sarasota Riverview win and Riverview win
Tiebreaker: With Manatee, Newsome and Sarasota Riverview for the champion and runnerup spot if Alonso, Newsome and Riverview win. With Newsome, PHU and Sarasota Riverview for the runnerup spot with Alonso win, Newsome win and PHU win.
Class 7A, District 10
Champion: East Lake
Runnerup: St. Petersburg
Class 7A, District 9
Champion: Tampa Bay Tech
Class 7A, District 8
Key game: Plant (8-0, 5-0) at Wiregrass Ranch (7-1, 5-0)
Champion: Plant-Wiregrass winner
Runnerup: Plant-Wiregrass loser
Class 6A, District 9
Runnerup: Boca Ciega
Class 6A, District 7
Key game: Hillsborough (8-0, 4-0) at Armwood (7-1, 4-0)
Champion: Hillsborough-Armwood winner
Runnerup: Hillsborough-Armwood loser
Class 5A, District 10
Key game: Robinson (3-5, 1-2) at Jefferson (4-3, 2-1)
Runnerup: Jefferson with win
Tiebreaker: With Jefferson Middleton and Robinson if Robinson wins
Class 5A, District 9
Key games: Tarpon Springs (3-5, 1-1) at Lakewood (4-3, 2-0); Gibbs (1-5, 1-1) at Dunedin (0-7, 0-2)
Champion: Lakewood with win; Tarpon Springs with win and Dunedin win
Runnerup: Gibbs with win and Lakewood win; Lakewood with Tarpon Springs win and Dunedin win
Tiebreaker: With Gibbs, Lakewood and Tarpon Springs for champion and runnerup spot with Tarpon Springs win and Gibbs win
Class 5A, District 8
Key games: Wesley Chapel (7-1, 5-1) at River Ridge (6-1, 6-0); Zephyrhills (6-2, 5-1) at Anclote (3-4, 2-4)
Champion: River Ridge with win; Wesley Chapel with win and Anclote win
Runnerup: Zephyrhills with win and River Ridge win; River Ridge with Wesley Chapel win and Anclote win
Tiebreaker: With River Ridge, Wesley Chapel and Zephyrhills for champion and runnerup spot if Wesley Chapel and Zephyrhills win
Class 5A, District 7
Champion: Nature Coast
Runnerup: Crystal River
Class 3A, District 5
Key game: Clearwater Central Catholic (7-1, 2-0) at Sarasota Cardinal Mooney (7-1, 2-0)
Champion: CCC-Cardinal Mooney winner
Runnerup: CCC-Cardinal Mooney loser
Class 3A, District 4
Key game: Tampa Catholic (4-3, 1-0) at Lakeland Christian (6-1, 0-1)
Champion: Tampa Catholic with win
Runnerup: Berkeley Prep with Tampa Catholic win
Tiebreaker: With Berkeley Prep, Lakeland Christian and Tampa Catholic for champion and runnerup spot if Lakeland Christian wins
Class 2A, District 6
Key game: Northside Christian (7-1, 1-0) at Admiral Farragut (3-3, 1-0)
Champion: Northside-AFA winner
Runnerup: Northside-AFA loser
Class 2A, District 5
Key game: Carrollwood Day (1-5, 0-1) at Cambridge Christian (7-0, 1-0)
Champion: Cambridge with win
Runnerup: Seffner Christian with Cambridge win
Tiebreaker: With Cambridge, Carrollwood Day and Seffner Christian with Carrollwood Day win
Central’s De’Vonta Smith did it again. For the third time this season, Smith rushed for more than 400 yards in a game, gaining 420 and scoring four touchdowns in a 28-20 win over Hernando. Smith now has 2,453 yards and 27 touchdowns in eight games for the Bears.
Central has one game remaining and Smith would need a monster game, 547 yards, to reach the 3,000-yard plateau, something his cousin, former Nature Coast standout DeShawn Smith, did last season.
By the numbers
4: Shutouts each recorded by Armwood and Plant this season.
5: Times Cambridge has scored at least 40 points in a game this season.
7: Wins for Wiregrass Ranch, the most in school history.
41: Yards per carry for St. Petersburg running back Jalynn Williams. He gained 186 yards on six carries and scored two touchdowns, all in the first half of a 39-6 win over Countryside.
200: Career wins at Berkeley Prep for coach Dominick Ciao. The Bucs defeated Lake Highland Prep 35-28 on Friday.