Cotey column: Revamped Packers, kicking woes, district duds and unlucky Lakewood



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Wed. October 13, 2010 | John C. Cotey | Email

Largo coach Rick Rodriguez said he had just one goal for his new starting quarterback last week: don’t fumble.

And Terrell Sampleton didn’t.

He also completed his only pass of the game, for 20 yards, and for his efforts the Packers’ coaching staff named him the team’s offensive MVP for the week.

With Juwan Brown out for the rest of the regular season, Largo will scrap its wide-open, shotgun spread for what has always worked in the past — power-I football.

The Packers, who are off this week, will lean on their young running corps of freshman Jarvis Stewart and sophomores Harry Brown, Derrick Doss and Claxton Boykins.

“Line it up and let’s go,” is how Rodriguez describes it.

Brown injured his knee against Tarpon Springs and missed last week’s game against Leto. Though he tried to talk doctors into letting him play, the risk was too great. He will have surgery Thursday to repair a stress fracture and meniscus tear, but is hoping for a postseason return.

MISSING YOU: In a year where the county might have its finest collection of placekickers ever, the most amazing football statistic of the season is this: all of Boca Ciega’s three losses have been by one point, and in every one of those losses a missed extra point was the culprit.

HODGEPODGE: So, who’s grabbing that runnerup spot in Class 5A-9 behind St. Petersburg?

In the spring I favored Gibbs, the fall Pinellas Park, and heading into last week Northeast. Then Seminole beat the Vikings, and now …now …?

No clue. Everyone can beat everyone in that cluster of four teams. While I like how Pinellas Park played after losing quarterback Jesse Hevia, nearly hanging on against Northeast and leading Boca Ciega, I’m back to favoring Gibbs. For now.

BAD LUCK? Lakewood is the only team in Tampa Bay that has had the privilege of playing three 6-0 teams — St. Petersburg, Countryside and Jefferson.

The Spartans are not a bad team, nor are they in the class of aforementioned schools, who outscored Lakewood 136-50.


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