MORE from our HomeTeam writers.
Sunday Morning Quarterback
What we learned
1. The Ravens have some resilience. After Alonso’s well-documented regular-season adversity, not to mention a 50-0 loss to Armwood in the regular-season finale, we weren’t sure the Ravens would show up for the playoffs. But a fourth-quarter rally from a 10-point deficit Friday night at Newsome put us in our place and the Ravens in the second round of the playoffs.
2. South Carolina is scouting someone from Jefferson. Gamecocks offensive assistants Steve Spurrier Jr. and G.A. Mangus were on the Dragons sideline for part of Friday’s game. Our guess: They were evaluating 6-foot-3 receiver Andre Davis (seven catches, 84 yards, two TDs) in person.
3. Pat O’Brien deserves some coach-of-the-year consideration. Forced to use their backup quarterback (who also happens to double at linebacker), the Gryphons took a fourth-quarter lead into Friday’s playoff game at Armwood before falling 22-9. Did anyone really think O’Brien’s squad, which saw its best season ever end at 8-3, would play the Hawks that close? Neither did we.
This week’s games to watch
Armwood (9-1) at Largo (9-2): We’ve got one word for this contest: Slobber knocker.
Wauchula Hardee (8-2) at Robinson (10-1): The fast, physical Knights defense will have its hands full with Wildcats senior quarterback Ezayi Youyoute and two other Hardee ball carriers who have run for at least 700 yards. Hardee scored at will against Jesuit. Then again, so did Robinson.
Countryside (10-1) at Tampa Bay Tech (9-1): Two of the bay area’s best running teams square off in what could be considered TBT’s biggest game ever. With a victory, the Titans advance farther than ever in the postseason.
Numbers of the day
24 Wins totaled by third-year Tampa Bay Tech coach C.C. Culpepper, an all-time program record
21 Tampa Bay Tech’s win total from 1980-89
5 Two-way starters missing for Carrollwood Day in their 47-10 bowl-game loss Thursday at Northside Christian. In addition to leading rusher Darius Bing (rib) and receiver Matt Monteilh (foot), leading tackler Deuce Gruden threw his back out during pregame warmups and couldn’t play.
“Our game plan was to run the ball. I told (assistant) coach (Jeremy) Earle I’d do anything to win. I just want that (state title) ring real bad.” — Jefferson quarterback Quentin Williams, who attempted only two passes in the first quarter
Jefferson’s offensive line: Quarterback Quentin Williams was barely touched in the pocket Friday, and the credit goes to Delryn Wilson, Alain DelRio, Manny Cromuel, Garrett Wolfe, Kevin Reeves and Domingo Cabrera. “This was their best game,” coach Mike Fenton said.
QB C.J. Bennett, Alonso: The University of Wyoming commitment threw four of his six touchdown passes in a 27-point fourth quarter, rallying the Ravens past Newsome in the wildest game of the night. Bennett finished 24-for-39 for 286 yards.
RB T.J. Glover, Plant: The Panthers senior ran for touchdowns of 80 and 63 yards and even kicked a second-half extra point in Plant’s rout of Plant City.
QB Blake Rice, Robinson: The Knights junior had a proficient evening (10-for-15, 172 yards, two TDs) in Robinson’s 42-21 playoff romp of Arcadia DeSoto. His two TDs were first-quarter strikes to Frankie Williams.
QB Christian Green, Tampa Catholic: Green totaled 205 yards and scored three TDs in the Crusaders’ 29-13 win against Fort Myers Dunbar.