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Cotey's top 25: Really, this is the last one

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Mon. November 12, 2012 | John C. Cotey | Email

Cotey's top 25: Really, this is the last one

The regular season is over, and the HomeTeam Top 25 is as well.

Our poll was, according to some emails, perfect this year. Others wrote in emails and called it magnificent, spot on, prescient. And even one email called it The Poll to End All Polls.

Now, I never actually opened those emails, I’m just assuming that’s what they said.

But hey, we had Plant, Armwood and Countryside all atop the list at one point, and while the rest of the ranking world was still trying to figure who these scrappy Packers were, we had them No. 1.

And that’s where they stayed. Right to the end.

Prescient, indeed.

1. Largo 10-0 (1): The Packers finish the regular season ranked No. 1, thanks in large part to the near-perfect play of quarterback Juwan Brown, who has 17 touchdown passes and zero interceptions.

2. Plant 9-1 (2): As usual, the Panthers enter the playofs on a roll and though it wasn’t easy, managed to beat Tampa Bay Tech, Robinson and Armwood this season by a combind 10 points.

3. Pasco 10-0 (4): Amazing stat: The Pirates have outscored opponents by a total of 956 points the past two seasons.

4. Durant 10-0 (6): The Cougars notch the first perfect regular season in school history.

5. Robinson 9-1 (3): The good news for the Knights if they are to win a state championship: they won’t have to play Plant again.

6. East Lake 9-1 (7): In a record-setting year, quarterback Pete DiNovo had another benchmark Friday - his 20th touchdown pass, breaking the school reord of 19 he set last year.

7. Countryside 4-6 (5): The playoffs begin Friday sans the Cougars, which quite frankly, feels kind of weird.

8. Clearwater Central Catholic 9-1 (8): Since allowing 36 points to East Lake in the season opener, the Marauders have given up just 35 in the nine games since.

9. Hillsborough 8-1 (8): For the 18th time, Hillsborough coach Earl Garcia heads into the playoffs looking for that elusive state title.

10. Lakewood 9-1 (11): This week’s playoff opponent, Orlando Bishoip Moore, is only 1-3 vs. Tampa Bay teams in the postseason.

11. Armwood 7-3 (11): The most dangerous three-loss, 11th-ranked rebuilding team in the land.

12. Wharton 8-2 (12): Did you know this is the 10th anniversary of the Wildcats' only trip to the state final, where they lost to Ely 22-10 in 2002?

13. Gaither 8-2 (13): The Cowboys rushing totals have decreased each of the past three games, from 67 to 33 to 24. And while that may not be ideal, it should be noted Gaither won two of those games.

14. Tampa Bay Tech 7-3 (12): The Titans have won four straight first-round playoff games, but have lost their second-round games by an average of almost 20 points in that span.

15. Jesuit 7-3 (15): Beat. Tampa. Catholic. Thank you and good night.

16. Jefferson 6-4 (16): Deoindre Porter threw his 40th touchdown pass last week, and gues what? He still has a year to go.

17. Sickles 7-3 (17): Ray Ray McCloud finishes 275 yards short of the school rushing record, but had 62 fewer carries than Cary White did in setting it. And he’s only a sophomore.

18. Springstead 9-1 (18): The Eagles will host a playoff game for the first time since 2004, though in three tries have never won a playoff game at home.

19. Hernando 6-4 (19): The Leopards' reward for making the playoffs is a game against undefeated and No. 1 Gainesville. Godspeed, boys.

20. Sunlake 8-2 (20): These guys are a reason it’s such a shame there aren't more bowl games.

21. Palm Harbor University 7-3 (21): After making school history by making the playoffs and winning on the road last year, the Hurricanes are trying to make more history by making the playoffs and winning on the road TWO STRAIGHT SEASONS. And then, you know, beating East Lake in Round 2 or something.

22. Osceola 7-3 (22): The Warriors are averaging 39 points during their win streak and in the past five weeks have had four guys - Austin Lawrence, Quadarius Patterson, Courtney Burge and Daviel Clarke - break 100 yards rushing. Viva La Wing-T!

23. Nature Coast 6-4 (23): Matt Breida carried on a long tradition of excellence at RB for the Sharks, finishing his career with 3,170 yards and 37 TDs.

24. Anclote 6-4 (NR): The Sharks have won six straight games by an average of 25 points heading into the playoffs. That’s good timing.

25 (tie). Tampa Catholic 7-3 (24): The Crusaders can’t beat Jesuit, but they do get another chance to play this week.

25 (tie). Pinellas Park 6-4 (25): The Patriots head into the playoffs with a 2-3 record in their past five games.

25 (tie). Carrollwood Day School 9-1 (NR): Robert Davis will try to become Hillsborough’s rushing king this week, and the Patriots will try to win the first playoff game in school history.

25 (tie). Dunedin 6-4 (NR): The season-opening loss to Tarpon aside, the Falcons' other three losses were to teams that were a combined 25-5, and Dunedin finished on a 5-1 hot streak. Bravo.

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