Cotey: CCC's lopsided victory over PHU is revealing



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Sat. September 22, 2012 | John C. Cotey | Email

Cotey: CCC's lopsided victory over PHU is revealing

PALM HARBOR — For those watching Friday night’s Clearwater Central Catholic and Palm Harbor University football game, here’s a reminder.

It’s 2012.


Because for most of the game, it felt an awful lot like it was 2011.

The upstart PHU football team running into a one-loss CCC team, nothing on the line but bragging rights and for the Hurricanes, a little bit of legitimacy.

And once again, in the end, nothing but Marauder dominance.

Like last year’s 20-7 CCC win, it was another night of early promise for PHU, followed by three quarters of bleh.

CCC defensive back Trey Larry, who had a long touchdown run to seal the 30-0 victory, didn’t think much of it. He said it wasn’t that big of a game for his team. But PHU, he said, made it into something special, so the Marauders made sure it wasn’t.

That simple.

Afterward, coach Matt LePain walked down to the CCC postgame huddle and told the Marauders they kicked his butt, and practically thanked them for showing his team how far away they are.

Both teams are pretty much what we knew they were.

PHU is tougher than it looked Friday, and that will carry the Hurricanes through the district and maybe into the playoffs again, though they will have to work a lot harder in 2012 at making up for what may be the death-knell of this team — a complete absence of playmakers and game-breakers.

CCC has three straight shutouts and backs up a tough defense with a ton of playmakers and game-breakers.

With Tampa Catholic’s narrow win over Bloomingdale, and Berkeley Prep’s wild comeback win over Lake Highland Prep, the Marauders have emerged as the class of Class 3A, District 5.

Looking around Tampa Bay …

Northeast beat St. Petersburg 22-17 and is starting to look more real than not. Next up: Tarpon Springs, after which we’ll know for sure.

Though I feel I say that every week with the Vikings.

Note to Northeast: Keep Ryan Davis healthy.

John Kelly is already one of the front-runners for Coach of the Year. His Strawberry Crest team, which was a train wreck of epic proportions last season, is 2-2, but am I the only one who thought the Chargers would come crashing to earth against one of the area powers Friday night?

Instead, behind four more touchdown passes from 2012’s biggest surprise, Tristan Hyde, the Chargers almost stunned Hillsborough before falling 32-24.

I think that loss may say more about the Chargers than any of their wins.

After Countryside’s loss to Largo last week and River Ridge’s 46-3 pounding it took from Mitchell, my affection for big offensive lines is over.

Wow, Hudson. Wow.

The Cobras rallied from a 24-6 deficit to force overtime and win 27-24 on Nate Binder’s 22-yard field goal. Teams as bad as Hudson’s don’t come back from 18 down. Congrats to coach Mark Kantor.

Can someone put a call into Port of Tampa and see if anyone has turned in Jesuit’s offense to the lost and found? The Tigers won Friday, but since scoring 35 in a playoff win over Robinson last year, have scored just 7, 0, 16, 10 and 14 points. That’s not going to get you back to the playoffs.

Lakewood surrendered its first touchdown of the season Friday night after 10 straight scoreless quarters. And the Spartans also showed that they might be able to run the ball, as Laterian Latimer had three of their five rushing scores.

After another impressive outing by Largo’s Juwan Brown, is it time to revisit the Who’s The Best Quarterback In Tampa Bay argument? Or just let that play out next week when Brown goes up our No. 1, East Lake’s Pete DiNovo?

Yeah, let’s wait.

Or not.

And there’s a lot of good games next week, but who thought in the preseason that Durant-Wharton would be one of them?

Someone save me a spot on the sideline for that one.


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