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Hillsborough: Sunday Morning QB

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Sat. November 2, 2013 | Matt Baker and Kelly Parsons

Hillsborough: Sunday Morning QB

Times’ super 7
1. Armwood (9-0, 8-0): Egad
! The Hawks gave up a touchdown — for just the second time in their past four games.
2. Plant (8-1-1, 5-0): Plant was already headed the playoffs, but why not ruin someone else’s chances? The Panthers are cruising heading into their ninth straight postseason.
3. Sickles (8-1, 5-0): Don’t look past Devin Santana and that stingy defense, which held Tampa Bay Tech to its fewest yards of the season. The Gryphons have allowed 21 total points in their past three games.
4. Tampa Catholic (8-1, 5-0): Senior Kenny Bryant (110 yards) and the Crusaders ran all over Bishop McLaughlin for their eighth consecutive win. Next stop before the playoffs: a grudge match against rival Jesuit.
5. Jefferson (8-1, 7-1): This week’s matchup against solid Steinbrenner will be just another tuneup for a playoff opener against Largo.
6. Plant City (7-2, 3-1): The Raiders’ appear to be peaking at just the right time. We’ll soon see if Plant City’s three-game win streak will carry over to the three-way tiebreaker for district title.
7. Jesuit (6-3, 2-0): Now the Tigers and the Crusaders both have district titles in their back pockets heading into Friday’s big rivalry game.

Blind side
Some things we didn’t see coming
1. Sickles destroying TBT: Tampa Bay Tech appeared to be one of the best teams around earlier in the season, but Sickles jumped on the Titans early — the Gryphons scored 21 points in the first quarter — and never let go on its way to a district title.


2. Berkeley Prep topping Frostproof: The Buccaneers’ 2-3 district record is deceiving, considering they lost to TC, Lakeland Christian and Fort Meade by a combined 12 points. Scoring 21 unanswered points to top the Bulldogs was a validation of a strong team.
3. Wharton’s comeback: The Wildcats’ 22-point fourth quarter in a 30-23 win over Bloomingdale wasn’t a shock. The fact that Jeremy Jefferson and Wharton did it without a touchdown pass is remarkable.

Tiebreaker preview
Plant City, East Bay and Strawberry Crest will vie for the two playoff berths at Plant City in Monday’s Class 7A, District 8 tiebreaker. Their district records are identical at 3-1, but the matchups between them have been lopsided — two of the three games were decided by at least three touchdowns.
East Bay keeps finding unconventional, ugly ways to win — like two fourth-quarter safeties in Friday’s 10-7 win over Durant. Strawberry Crest’s young program has a shot at its first playoff appearance in program history and should be refreshed, coming off of a bye week.
Expect Plant City QB Landon Galloway to be one of the night’s key players. Since East Bay held the UCF commit to 38 passing yards and two interceptions in a 19-13 Indians win, Galloway has completed 64 percent of his passes and accounted for 11 touchdowns.

Five stars of the night
1. Wharton RB Jeff Keil: His three rushing TDs included the biggest of the night — the winner in the closing seconds of a must-win victory over Bloomingdale. He added the two-point conversion for good measure.
2. Plant City RB Sterling Day: He rushed for three touchdowns to help the Raiders beat Brandon 26-3 and force a tiebreaker in Class 7A, District 8.
3. Cambridge Christian QB Garrett Young: The 6-foot-1 junior rushed for a touchdown, threw for a TD and returned an interception for a score in a 29-6 win over Canterbury.
4. Gaither QB Alex McGough: The FIU commit threw for 189 yards and ran for 125, including a 60-yard touchdown with less than a minute to go in Gaither’s 35-30 win against Steinbrenner.
5. Hillsborough QB Dwayne Lawson: The junior threw for 311 yards and had four touchdowns — three through the air and one on the ground — in a 40-10 win against Robinson.

By the numbers
97 Points scored by Tampa Catholic in the past two weeks.
1,655 Rushing yards for Ray Ray McCloud III this season after Friday’s 216-yard, three-touchdown performance against Tampa Bay Tech.
6 Victories for King, which secured its second winning season since 2004.

Final five words
Can anyone stop Ray Ray?

Photo: Trina Thompson, who works overseas and rarely gets to see her son play, cheers Deon Thompson of TBT on during Friday's game.

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