4 teams to believe in
Lennard: Supporters of Lennard, just 1-19 over the past two seasons, spent the past few days practically guaranteeing the Longhorns would beat East Bay. And, well, boom went the dynamite in a 28-7 win.
Gulf: The Bucs have been more awful than the Longhorns recently. And after last week’s loss to Berkeley Prep, some of the enthusiasm for 2014 was tempered. Well, after a 35-10 win over Wiregrass Ranch, it’s back.
Spoto: New standout Terence Williams is the reason for all of the enthusiasm at Spoto. But holdovers Kevin Hobley, Todd Simms and Jesse Holmes combined for all five touchdowns in a 35-2 rout of perennial playoff contender Wharton. Come November, Spoto will be in the playoffs while the Wildcats won’t.
River Ridge: The biggest upset of the night? According to those in our Pick ’Em content, Land O’Lakes was the choice of 93 percent of prognosticators but lost 21-14 to River Ridge. That’s a lot of wrong people.
4 new faces in new places
Cade Weldon: The son of former Bucs quarterback Casey wasn’t content being a receiver behind Brad Mayes at Berkeley Prep. So he took his ball to Jefferson and threw it three times for touchdowns and ran in another score as the Dragons beat Alonso 28-6.
Stephon Williams: The St. Petersburg Catholic transfer now with Calvary Christian scored twice on catches and twice on runs in a 41-36 loss to Cambridge Christian and showed he will be a force in the district this year.
Jacquan Fuller: Another St. Petersburg Catholic transfer (we could go on and on, but we’ll stop after this one), he blocked a punt against his former team during IRC’s 35-0 win.
Marchalo Judge: With TBT clinging to a one-point lead and trying to avoid another upset loss to Newsome, the Middleton transfer sealed a win by returning an interception on the game’s final play in a 25-17 win.
4 unforgettable stars
Garrett Young: Oh. My. Goodness. Let’s see. The Cambridge Christian quarterback threw for four touchdown, ran for two and tossed a two-point conversion. That’s, like, almost every one of the Lancers’ points in a 41-36 win over Calvary Christian.
Ryan Marsh: The Mitchell running back ran for 207 yards last season on 32 carries. Friday night, he ran for 252 yards on 11 carries in a 32-0 win over Anclote. “He’s always been a great athlete,’’ rookie coach Andy Schmitz said. “Tonight, he showed he’s a great running back. He ran outside. He ran between the tackles. He proved himself to a lot of people.”
Alec Cromie: First start for Weeki Wachee’s 6-foot-3 sophomore quarterback and he throws five touchdowns in the first half of a 42-6 win over Interlachen.
Gordon Stetson: The Berkeley Prep running back caught almost a 100 yards worth of passes and scored on a run, reception and free kick return in a 44-6 rout of Middleton.
4 things from Friday
Arenaball: Last year, Dunedin and Dixie Hollins played a game that featured 845 yards of offense (and not a lick of defense), and the 42-41 Falcons win was their only one of the season. The rematch Friday? Another offensive showcase with Dunedin winning 45-34. Now it just has to do it again.
100 or bust? Nope: Nathan Johnson ran for at least 100 yards in every one of Sunlake’s games last year except one — Pasco. Friday, he failed again to eclipse 100 against Pasco (54) but scored twice. Oh, and he won (17-13). Again.
Heartbreak City: Hernando County might not want to get out of bed this morning. Nature Coast and Springstead lost on the last play. The Sharks fell 26-21 to Crystal River on a 31-yard pass, Springstead 6-0 to Citrus on an interception returned 76 yards.
Ram Tough: Ridgewood held off Fivay 47-40, marking the first time it has won a season opener since 2008. In the five openers since, Ridgewood was outscored 218-48.
4 winning debuts
Andy Schmitz: He took over for his dad at Mitchell, and the Mustangs delivered him a 32-0 win over Anclote.
Matt LePain: The former Largo defensive coordinator and Palm Harbor University head coach has his dream job and a dreamy debut at Dunedin, a 45-34 win over Dixie Hollins.
Marcus Paschal: The former Largo assistant and now the coach beat another former Largo assistant, Northeast’s Jeremy Frioud, 21-0 to win his first game at his alma mater.
Brian Surcy: The new coach at Bloomingdale beat Strawberry Crest 16-7.
Final four words.
Keswick Christian won. Bravo.