Cotey's Top 25: Knights, Spartans ready to make claim for No. 1



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Mon. October 22, 2012 | John C. Cotey | Email

Cotey's Top 25: Knights, Spartans ready to make claim for No. 1

While the rest of the world scrambles to annoint Largo No. 1 after Armwood's loss, we will sit back and just enjoy the week because, well, we've had Largo No. 1 for a few weeks now.

Oh, wait. We still have to do the rest of the 24 teams?

Fine. Here goes:

1. Largo 7-0 (1): Someone told us that Largo doesn't have a player over 200 pounds on its defense, which would make this, what? 1933? (And by the way, if that's true, how far does that get you in the playoffs?)

2. Plant 6-1 (3): The Panthers have again finished atop of their district, but now the serious stuff starts with games remaining against Armwood (this week) and Robinson.

3. Robinson 7-0 (4): Friday. At Lakewood. Be there.

4. Pasco 7-0 (5): I'll say this about Janarion Grant: he sure knows how to make an entrance. 

5. Armwood 6-2 (2): This is the first time I can remember that Armwood and Plant will play when the teams weren't ranked Nos. 1 and 2. The Hawks have never been tougher to figure out.

6. Countryside 7-1 (6): Tick tock, tick tock. 

7. Lakewood 7-0 (7): It's official: the Spartans are for real. I don't care if you want to credit Cory Moore or Bikram Choudhury (yoga joke alert! yoga joke alert!), but Lakewood (along with Robinson and Pasco) is going to make 6A-Region 2 the toughest around.

8. Durant 7-0 (8): The Cougars' gave up more points last week than they had all season, but the Durant defense still ranks as one of the best five in Tampa Bay, with three more games to tighten it up.

9. East Lake 6-2 (9): Pete DiNovo and Artavis Scott are putting up numbers that are going to start making Kenny Kelly and Darrell Jackson jealous. And yeah, that one was for all you old-school football fans.

10. Clearwater Central Catholic 6-1 (10): The Marauders clinched their first district title since 2005 while setting a school record for sacks with 10. Take away one bad half against East Lake, and CCC is enjoying arguably its best season ever.

11. Hillsborough 6-1 (14): One week ago, the Terriers looked done. Now? They look downright dangerous.

12. Tampa Bay Tech 5-2 (13): Richard Benjamin, if he keeps playing the way he's playing, may be the difference between last season and a big-time playoff run this year. 

13. Wharton 5-2 (15): The Wildcats have big names like Roicky Enos, Chase Litton and Vernon Hargreaves III, but Jeff Keil may be the most unsung player in Hillsborough County. 

14. Jesuit 5-3 (11): The two big losers Friday night? Jesuit and Tampa Catholic. Jesuit, because they were eliminated from the playoffs, and Tampa Catholic, because now their season finale against the Tigers will be Jesuit's playoff game, as if it just being the big rivalry game hasn't been problem enough.

15. Springstead 7-0 (17): Is this some kind of record? The Eagles have allowed exactly seven points in five straight games. Record or not, it's impressive.

16. Gaither 6-1 (18): The Cowboys just keep winning. Can't call it ugly, or even pretty, so maybe handsome is the best word. Clearly, they are saving that eye-opening, knockout performance for Tampa Bay Tech.

17. Jefferson 3-4 (21): The Dragons ruined Sickles' season last week, but Hillsborough ruined theirs, so at the end of the night, all Jefferson has left to play for is pride.

18. Sickles 4-3 (12): From one of the team's biggest wins to one of its most painful losses, one of the toughest districts in the state -- and a massive upset -- claims another victim.

19. Palm Harbor University 6-2 (23): Jonah Fiskaa may sound like a piece of IKEA furniture that you can't figure out, but actually, he's a running back North Port couldn't figure out last week, running for 180 yards and leading PHU to a second straight postseason.

20. Pinellas Park 5-2 (24): The Patriots' win last week all but knocked out Countryside from the playoffs. They can make it official this week by beating the Cougars head to head.

21. Alonso 4-3 (19): The Ravens' three losses have come against Top 25 teams with a combined record of 19-2, but a win over Wharton still gets them into the playoffs.

22. Berkeley Prep 6-1 (16): The Bucs may have lost to CCC Friday, but they already are eying a rematch in the second round of the playoffs. 

23. Tampa Catholic 6-1 (22): The Crusaders have beaten an 8A team and 7A team, but unless they beat the next 3A team on their schedule (Berkeley Prep), they will be home for the holidays.

24. Fivay 5-2 (20): No match for Pasco, but the Falcons proved Friday the runnerup spot in the district goes through them.

25. Admiral Farragut 5-1 (NR): The Blue Jackets put up a season-high 63 points last week and are looking playoff-ready.

Close, and yet: Sunlake 5-2, Northeast 5-3, Hernando 4-4, Indian Rocks Christian 6-1.



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