Times’ super 7
1. Armwood (6-0, 5-0): The Hawks beat winless Leto, but they looked good doing it. Having likely already won the district championship, Armwood’s got an easy road the rest of the way.
2. Tampa Bay Tech (5-1, 2-0): The Titans’ win against Plant looks all the more mighty after the Panthers dropped undefeated Sickles, and TBT’s 38-21 win against Plant City on Friday wasn’t exactly close. Tech has proven it’s got the goods to compete with just about anybody.
3. Plant (5-1-1, 2-0): Sickles might have a tricky defense, but the Panthers solved the riddle, with only seconds to spare, to avoid a second loss in three weeks.
4. Sickles (5-1, 2-0): A close 24-20 loss to powerhouse Plant is no cause for concern for Josh Black and the Gryphons, who remain contenders for a deep playoff run.
5. Tampa Catholic (5-1, 2-0): The idle Crusaders are still atop Class 3A, District 4 heading into Friday’s matchup with Berkeley Prep.
6. Jefferson (5-1, 4-1): The high-flying Dragons have scored at least 39 points in four games this year. Can they do that this week against a much improved King team?
7. Wharton (6-1, 2-0): The Wildcats earned an emotional win to spoil Steinbrenner’s homecoming. Next up for Jeff Keil and his teammates: A season-defining stretch of Alonso, Plant and Bloomingdale.
“We’ve played a lot of great players in 10 years, and he’s about as good as anyone we’ve ever played. He’s good at the point of impact, he’s good after contact, and he’s good trying to finish the plays.” Plant coach Robert Weiner on Sickles running back Ray Ray McCloud III, who rushed for 98 yards in the first half against the Panthers. The four-star junior has unofficially totaled 1,136 rushing yards in six games.
Tweet of the night
The Blue Crew @TheBlueCrew: “This one was for you, Sean.”
Wharton’s student section honored severely injured LB Sean McNamee after the Wildcats’ 45-28 win over Steinbrenner
Some things we didn’t see coming
1. King shutting out Robinson. The Lions nearly beat Hillsborough last week, so we knew they meant business. But holding the Knights scoreless, something Plant, Jefferson nor Sickles have been able to do, was impressive. King allowed only 117 yards and tallied seven sacks to record its first shutout since a win over Plant City 10 years ago.
2. Hillsborough barely escaping Chamberlain. The Chiefs hung with Hillsborough until the final minutes, but give the Terriers credit for a winning, 99-yard drive in the final four minutes. Standout quarterback Dwayne Lawson hit Anthony King for the tying score, and backup kicker Lawrence Dawsey booted the winning extra point.
Race to the postseason
The best district battles brewing
1. Class 8A, District 6: Wharton and Plant meet Oct. 25 in a game that could decide the district title - unless the Wildcats stumble against Alonso or Bloomingdale.
2. Class 7A, District 7: Tampa Bay Tech, Gaither and Sickles are all 2-0. The Titans and Gryphons seem a step above, but FIU commit Alex McGough and the Cowboys have had an extra week to prepare for showdowns against the district’s two heavyweights.
3. Class 7A, District 8: Strawberry Crest is on pace for its best season ever; East Bay is the only other unbeaten team in the district. If the Chargers can knock off the Indians and Plant City in the next two weeks, they’ll earn the district title.
4. Class 5A, District 9: Jesuit will be No. 1, but Middleton and Spoto will decide the other playoff spot in two weeks. Will Midddleton’s win over rival Blake - the Tigers’ first of the year - give enough momentum to knock off the Spartans?
Five stars of the night
1. Jefferson quarterback Deiondre Porter. He had six touchdowns, three through the air and three on the ground, in the Dragons’ 55-13 win against Lennard.
2. Middleton quarterback Marcellus Ray. The Tigers came into their game against Blake winless, and Ray sought to change that from the start. He threw for 236 yards and had three long touchdown passes (38, 47 and 70 yards) in Middleton’s 26-21 win.
3. Newsome kicker Austin Cobb. His three field goals (24, 19 and 41 yards) were the Wolves’ only points in a 9-3 win over Durant.
4. Tampa Bay Tech LB Fred Russ. He had three sacks and recovered a fumble for a TD in a 38-21 win over Plant City. Not bad - especially considering he was ill.
5. Strawberry Crest’s Austin Carswell. The quarterback had three touchdowns, two of which came on 19- and 46-yard tosses, in the Chargers’ 24-7 win against Riverview.
By the numbers
3 Fumble recoveries for touchdowns in the TBT-Plant City game (TBT’s Fred Russ and Ricky Pyron and the Raiders’ Sawyer Dawson)
15 Plays ran by Armwood’s offense in a 74-0 victory
30 Minutes Hawks coaches needed to break down that game film
221 Points scored by Jefferson this season, almost half of which came in the last two weeks against Leto and Lennard.
480 Passing yards for Wharton quarterback Chase Litton in the Wildcats’ 45-28 win against Steinbrenner.
1,305 Passing yards for Jefferson’s Deiondre Porter through the Dragons’ first six games.
Final five words
Only one unbeaten team remains.