Hillsborough: Football predictions, Week 3

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Wed. September 11, 2013 | Times Staff

Can’t-miss matchups
Thursday's games
Armwood (2-0, 1-0) at Hillsborough (0-1, 0-1)
Last week: Armwood defeated Blake 32-6; Hillsborough lost to Jefferson 28-23
Story line: Class 6A, District 8 game. …Two weeks into their season, the Terriers face a must-win situation in terms of playoff aspirations. …Terriers QB Dwayne Lawson ran for 110 yards (on 28 carries) in his team’s 3-0 regular-season triumph against Armwood last year, but managed only 48 (on 21 carries) in a 9-7 playoff defeat.  …Armwood junior QB Noah Johnson (big-toe sprain), sidelined last week, is slated to play. …This rivalry is being staged at Chelo Huerta Stadium for the third consecutive time.
Joey Knight’s pick: Brace yourself for the third consecutive defensive grudge match between these two. The Terriers need this one badly. Lawson and Co. find a way. Hillsborough, 14-13
Kelly Parsons’ pick:  Hillsborough looks to rebound against an Armwood offense that scored 80 points in the first two weeks. Unfortunately for the Terriers, a rebound will likely be delayed. Armwood, 24-10.

Sickles (2-0) at Newsome (2-0)
Last week: Sickles defeated Durant 28-0; Newsome defeated Gaither 38-7
Story line: These teams haven’t played since 2004, when Sickles trounced the upstart Wolves 42-13. …No county team has gotten off to a more impressive start than the Wolves, who have outscored Gaither and Tampa Bay Tech by a combined margin of 61-19. …Newsome senior Travis Hempstead and Gryphons junior Ray Ray McCloud III ran for 170 and 218 yards, respectively, in victories last week.
Knight: Two county teams — Sickles (at Newsome) and Strawberry Crest (at Tallahassee Leon) — have four-hour one-way road trips this week. I say the Gryphons will have the more pleasant return home. Sickles, 24-14
Parsons:  The Newsome defense has showed its strength the past two weeks, but the Wolves haven’t been tested like they’ll be against Ray Ray McCloud III and Co. Sickles, 35-2

Alonso (1-1) at East Bay (2-0)
Last week: Alonso defeated Steinbrenner 12-7; East Bay defeated Riverview 26-20 (OT)
Story line: These teams never have met in the regular season. …East Bay is seeking its first 3-0 start since 2002. …In his first two games, Ravens OL Gary Brown totaled eight pancake blocks.
Knight: “Make a statement” was the mantra I heard repeatedly at East Bay’s practice Monday. A win would be huge for coach Frank LaRosa’s program, but the Indians are working on woefully short rest; last week’s Riverview game was pushed to Saturday. Alonso, 27-13
Parsons: East Bay fought hard for its OT win against Riverview, and it will have to do the same to top Alonso’s veteran offense. A 3-0 start might just be enough motivation for the Indians to get it done. East Bay, 21-7

Middleton (0-2) at King (2-0)
Knight: A win gives the Lions their first 3-0 start since 1984, when Middleton coach Alonzo Ashwood was a high school sophomore. King, 27-13
Parsons: The Lions are riding high on their current streak and expect more than winless Middleton to bring them down. King, 31-14

Jefferson (2-0, 1-0) at Robinson (0-2, 0-1)
Knight: The chances are very strong Robinson will not face a team with a loss for another two weeks. Jefferson, 26-9
Parsons: Robinson opened its season against two of the best teams in the county in Plant and Sickles. Expect the Knights to fall to yet a third Hillsborough powerhouse this week. Jefferson, 38-13

Wharton (1-1) at Freedom (1-1)
Knight: Wildcats QB Chase Litton (wrist) has been cleared for this New Tampa throwdown. As sure as there’s 5 p.m. congestion on Bruce B. Downs, things will get chippy in this one. Wharton, 34-13
Parsons: Wharton has been on both sides of a shut out this season, and the Wildcats are likely still angry after being blanked by Plant City last week. Wharton, 21-7

Plant (1-0-1) at Gaither (1-1)
Knight: Panthers QB Colby Brown (wrist) has missed no practice time this week, coach Robert Weiner says. After Gaither’s 31-point loss to Newsome last week, this matchup’s lost a little mojo. Plant, 27-7
Parsons: If the Gaither defense couldn’t stop a team led by a first-year QB from racking up touchdowns last week, the Cowboys might have some issues with Weiner’s talent-stacked group. Plant, 41-14

Tampa Bay Tech (0-1) at Durant (0-2)
Knight: The Titans have had 12 full days to allow their season-opening loss to Newsome to fester. Wouldn’t want to play them tonight. TBT, 22-20
Parsons: Only having six points to show for its opponents’ five first-half turnovers in Week 1 elicits skepticism about the Titans’ ability to put points on the board. Look for Durant to finally snap its season-opening skid. Durant, 21-17

Elsewhere
Knight: Berkeley Prep 27, Orlando Lake Highland 8
Parsons: Berkeley Prep 28, Orlando Lake Highland 3

Knight: Tampa Catholic 34, Tarpon Springs 28
Parsons: Tampa Catholic 21, Tarpon Springs 7

Knight: Blake 20, Leto 6
Parsons: Blake 21, Leto 10

Knight: Steinbrenner 20, Spoto 12
Parsons: Steinbrenner 21, Spoto 7

Knight: Riverview 30, Brandon 13
Parsons: Riverview 35, Brandon 10

Knight: Carrollwood Day 26, Shorecrest 13
Parsons: Carrollwood Day 31, Shorecrest 17

Knight: Chamberlain 20, Lennard 14
Parsons: Lennard 17, Chamberlain 10

Friday's games

Jesuit (1-1) at Clearwater Central Catholic (1-1)
Knight: What bordered on mismatch a week ago now stands as arguably the area’s most intriguing game. Jesuit coach Matt Thompson brandished his defensive chops last week, when the Tigers shut down a potent Lakewood Ranch offense. CCC, upset loser at Tampa Catholic last week, is equally potent -- and peeved. CCC, 28-24
Parsons: Scoring 48 points in its season opener two weeks ago, CCC has the offensive tools to find the end zone many times over. Jesuit, as proved last week, has the ability to stop the Marauders in their tracks. Jesuit, 24-21

Strawberry Crest (1-1) at Tallahassee Leon (1-1)
Knight: For one night, the Chargers will know how the Friday Night Rewind crew feels. Which is to say, their heads won’t hit the pillow until well after 3 a.m. Saturday. Leon, 34-20
Parsons: Strawberry Crest has yet to meet an elite team in its own county, so a trip north might be a wake-up call for the Chargers. Leon, 38-28

Elsewhere
Knight: Cambridge Christian 44, Bishop McLaughlin 7
Parsons: Cambridge Christian 31-10

Knight; Seffner Christian 34, Merritt Island Christian 6
Parsons:  Seffner Christian 28, Merritt Island 10

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