Last week: 10-2. Missed while reaching for an Anclote upset, and PHU doesn't pull through for me against Tarpon Springs.
1. Jesuit at Lakewood
I've gone back and forth on this game all week. I can make a pretty good argument for either team. I leaned Jesuit all week, but I'll go with speed. Lakewood 28-24.
2. Land O'Lakes at Sunlake
The Gators have to hold off upstart Sunlake to stretch Tampa Bay's longest postseason streak to 15 ...and they do, 23-19.
3. Berkeley Prep at CCC
The Marauders have been Giant Killers, but Nelson Agholor is not your every day giant. Berkeley Prep wins 28-21.
4. Hillsborough at Armwood
Classic "Hmmmm, We Could have An Upset Here" game. But truthfully, I don't see it. Armwood posts its fifth straight shutout, 24-0.
5. Alonso at Plant
The Ravens need to reboot after last week's disappointment, but Dads Stadium is a tough place to do so. Too tough, in fact: Plant 20-10.
6. Durant at Newsome
A little bit country, a little bit rock-n-roll. Okay, maybe a lot country. In a running game v. running game cruncher, give me Newsome
7. Tampa Bay Tech at Steinbrenner
Still waiting to see if either of these teams are as good as we though they'd be in the preseason. Maybe we get an answer in Tech's 14-7 win.
8. Jefferson at Sickles
Is this finally the end for the defending state champions? In the "Battle To Say We Could Have Made Playoffs In Any Other District", I
see the champs with one final show of defiance 26-24.
9. Strawberry Crest at Leto
These teams have yet to win and have been outscored 712-94, and yet, I find myself intrigued, and liking Leto 42-41.
10. Fivay at Pasco
Hey look! A tough district game for Pasco, playing a team with a 5-1 record that hasn't allowed more than 17 points all season! Woo Hoo!
…Okay, I can't even fake it. Pirates score 50 again, win 50-14.
11. Largo at Boca Ciega
The perennial disappointing Pirates' postseason hopes are hanging by a thread. This week, the Packers go snip snip, 28-7.
12. PHU at North Port
The Hurricanes are playoff bound after this resounding 35-20 victory.
The Upset Special is, well, upset. After a 2-0 start, it stands now at 2-2. It needs one, badly. So we're going with Spoto over Robinson,
because the Spartans have to win and are overdue for a defining victory. Or something. Spoto 17-15.
Picks to click
I really like Leto's Andre Simpson, who has four straight 100-yard games, to do something special this week, Land O'Lakes' Shadow Williams gets two sacks and two short TD runs, Chamberlain's Xavier Johnson busts the 1,000-yard milestone, Admiral Farragut's Todd
Macon goes over 200 yards and Canterbury scores 48 points in triple overtime, even if it is the Crusaders' bye week.
Impact player rankings
(Remember, these players aren't ranked in order of greatness, just on their stats, big-game performances and most of all, impact on their
1. (1) Alvin Bailey, Armwood
2. (2) Nelson Agholor, Berkeley Prep
3. (3) Gary Simon, Gibbs
4. (4) Billy Pavlock, PHU
5. (6) Tyrail Hawkins, Hernando
6. (NR) Jeremi Powell, Pinellas Park
7. (5) Brent O'Neal, Canterbury
8. (22). Jamal Roberts, Zephyrhills
9. (9) Toddrick Macon, AFA
10. (8) Mike Love, Countryside
11. (7) Bennie Coney, Plant City
12. (16) Janarion Grant, Pasco
13. (15) Sean Culkin, IRC
14. (NR) Ryan Green, SPC
15. (12) Mike Tate, Plant
16. (14) Rodney Adams, Lakewood
17. (10). Tracy Johnson, Lakewood
18. (NR) Jordan Sherit, Hillsborough
19. (21) Robert Davis, Carrollwood Day
20. (NR) Trey Dudley-Giles, Pasco
21. (17) Jarvis Stewart, Largo
22. (18) Diomi Roberts, Countryside
23. (11) Eric Striker, Armwood
24. (20) Matt Breida, Nature Coast Tech
25. (NR) Dazmond Patterson, Plant City
26. (NR) Eric Moate, Spoto
27. (26) Jacob Guy, Pasco
28. (13) Anthony Brown, Hillsborough
29. (24) Tyriq McCord, Jefferson
30. (19) Brandon Holloway, Alonso
31. (9) Greg Windham, King
32. (NR) Kenny Blanch, Tarpon Springs
Zero to 50
This season, Armwood has allowed 30 points, and could challenge the school record of 42 points allowed set in 2008, though with Hillsborough and Plant on the schedule, it won't be easy. Armwood's defensive units since 2000 holds four of the top 10 spots for fewest points allowed in a season. All of the other schools in top 10 set their record prior to 1973, making Armwood's achievement more impressive considering the Hawks are playing in an era dominated by more complex offenses with an emphasis on the pass, leading to more scoring opportunities. Here's the list of the all-time lowest scoring defenses, with a tip of the hat to local football record-keeping guru Steve Jones, who provided them for us:
20: Brandon, 1969
20: Robinson, 1963
36: Jesuit, 1975
36: East Bay, 1973
39: Plant City, 1969
42: Armwood, 2008
44: Plant, 1967
48: Armwood, 2010
49: Armwood 2007
50: Armwood 2005
De-fense, De-fense (cough, cough, cough)
Leto and Strawberry Crest play Thursday night, and for each team it's probably the chance to notch a win this season. But the teams are also chasing a dubious record I thought would never be broken: the 529 points allowed in one season by Indian Rocks Christian in 1993. Thanks to 70-0, 70-0 and 77-0 losses, the Golden Eagles' first season was no fun. But that's usually the case with first-year teams. Just ask River Ridge, which allowed 466 points in its rookie year, Durant (439) and Blake (498), to name a few. To break IRC's record for generosity, a team would have to allow 53 points per game. Which brings us back to Strawberry Crest and Leto. The Chargers have allowed 50.3 per game. Leto has allowed 57.5. In addition to each other, both teams still have Jefferson and Sickles on their schedules, and the Chargers also play East Bay. The two can save themselves from the record by playing a nice 14-7 game Thursday. But I'm guessing that won't be happening.
Bloomingdale may be the only team with a running back and a wide receiver that have ALMOST scored a touchdown in every game this
season. Running back Eugene Baker, who leads the team with 933 yards and 13 scores, has run for a score every contest this season, including four games with at last two. Wide receiver Adam Posateri, coming off back-to-back 100-yard receiving games, has a touchdown in six of the Bulls' seven games. For the year, Posateri has 28 catches for 459 yards and eight touchdowns, which may be a team record.
Unsung player of the week
Blake QB Zain Gilmore is developing into one of Tampa Bay's more prolific passers. In his past three games, the 6-0, 170-pound Yellow
Jacket junior has thrown for 283, 272 and 292 yards, completing 55 of his 89 attempts for eight TDs. You should recognize the name -- his father, Zain Gilmore, rushed for 2,322 yards and 31 touchdowns for Robinson in 1997, earning Mr. Football honors in Florida, and when we ranked Hillsborough County's 99 Best Players Ever in 2000, Gilmore checked in at No. 7.
80-0 Ain't So Bad
Sure, Armwood put it on Strawberry Crest last week, but the Hawks dropped 84 on King in 2004, Hernando dropped 87 on Ridgewood in 2003, East Bay dropped 96 on Blake in 1997, and Bartow beat Clearwater 106-0 in 1922.
Numbers we dig
0 -- Times Robinson and Lakewood have played. Yeah, we're already looking ahead to next week.
4 -- Straight shutouts for Armwood. One more will tie the county record of 5, set by Robinson in 1963.
11.5 -- Sacks by Countryside's Mike Love .
20 -- Consecutive playoff appearances by St. Thomas Aquinas, a state record. Land O'Lakes is going for 15.
4,069 -- Career rushing yards for Canterbury's Brent O'Neal. He has 63 TDs, too.
43 -- Combined TDs by Pasco's David Emmanuel, Trey Dudley-Giles and Janarion Grant.
299 -- Rushing yards by Brandon against Plant last week, the most we could find against the Panthers since forever.
Top five comments of the week on HomeTeam
1. I disagree with the original idea that John Kreese was the bad guy in The Karate Kid. If you look at his body of work as a whole, he was a warrior in Vietnam, ran a pretty hard core karate dojo, and his team always won. And then you take Johnny Lawrence, the original 1980's bad guy. All this guy did was follow instructions. Sure, the leg sweep was questionable, but that is up to the ref to make those calls. I think the Karate Kid needs to be re-written with the actuall tough, disciplined dojo winning and a guy like LaRussa getting his tail kicked in. Let's be honest with ourselves, that is how it would really happen. Congrats to Alonso. -- Hasselhoff on ... well, something.
2. I thought the onside kick down 66-6 was a gutsy call. I like the coach's mindset that 'it aint over till its over.' -- skurdhidingid on Wiregrass Ranch's loss to Countryside.
3. Busta was wrong. The Spongers won a big one. Good for Tarpon. -- Ballbusta with a rare show of humility. Can't wait for him to eat his words about PHU making the playoffs. Wheeeeee!
4. Both of these QBs are very good and can be dangerous in similar, and in different ways. They both can pass well and both can run well. Slight passing advantage to Pappas (imho), somewhat bigger running advantage to Pavlock (imho). Small "presence" advantage to Pappas. Staying out of the "protocol" of the situation, I for one was glad to see both teams playing their best WRs/teams, made for an honest head to head and TS prevailed in a level match. Sounds like it was an exciting match No second guessing or what ifs. -- AceV breaking down Billy Pavlock and Louis Pappas.
5. I think Lakewood's soft schedule is going to come back and hurt them this week... -- skurdhidingid