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HomeTeam football 25: First-week jitters out of the way

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Mon. September 1, 2014 | John C. Cotey | Email

HomeTeam football 25: First-week jitters out of the way

1. (1) Armwood (1-0)
Last week: Beat Durant 37-14
This week: at Blake, 7:30
Lowdown: The Hawks weren’t their usual dominant selves on opening night, still struggling with penalties. Even the defense was shakier, as the Cougars became the first Tampa Bay team to score in double figures in a season opener against the Hawks since a 21-20 win by Hillsborough in 2005. But Armwood is still the best Tampa Bay’s got this season.

2. (3) Sickles (1-0)
Last week: Beat Robinson 33-7
This week: at Durant, 7:30
Lowdown: Isaac Holder rushed for 96 yards in the season opener against the Knights, the most he's had since setting his career-best mark of 113 yards….last year in the season opener against the Knights.

3. (2) Plant (0-1)
Last week: Lost 20-14 to Lowndes (Ga.)
This week: vs. Robinson, 7:30
Lowdown: So, Plant lost a season opener? Ho-hum. Last two times the Panthers have lost their season openers, they went on to win state championships. 

4. (4) East Lake (1-0)
Last week: Beat Palm Harbor University 40-10
This week: vs. Largo, 7:30
Lowdown: The rout of rival PHU was the Eagles’ 16th straight victory in the regular season, currently the longest streak in Pinellas County. Last year, East Lake snapped Largo’s 15-game regular-season win streak.

5. (5) Clearwater Central Catholic (1-0)
Last week: Beat Naples Lely 38-6
This week: vs. Tampa Catholic, 7:30
Lowdown: The offense racked up 481 yards in the season opener, but it was the performance of the Marauders’ revamped defense that opened some eyes after allowing just six points.

6. (6) Largo (1-0)
Last week: Beat Northeast 40-0
This week: at East Lake, 7:30
Lowdown: Add Dakarai Allen to the list of Packer playmakers. The junior had two touchdown receptions and nearly 10 tackles against Northeast.   

7. (8) Pinellas Park (1-0)
Last week: Beat Boca Ciega 29-0
This week: at Gibbs, 7:30
Lowdown: We knew the Patriots  could run, and now we know they can play defense. They not only shut out the Pirates, but scored two defensive touchdowns. This week could be the same. Pinellas Park beat Gibbs 40-6 last year. 

8. (10) Tampa Bay Tech (1-0)
Last week: Beat Newsome 25-17
This week: Bye
Lowdown: The guy (ahem) who predicted Titan quarterback Deon Cain would be player of the year was counting on performances like last week when the Clemson commit scored with 30 seconds left to win a game. 

9. (11) Countryside (1-0)
Last week:. Lakewood 25-20
This week: vs. Bradenton Southeast, 7:30
Lowdown: The big question arising from the Cougars’ win over Lakewood is: why does @BobbyHomeTeam continue to try Countryside? I mean, we’re not one to call out people by name, but Twitter wants to know.

10. (12) Jefferson (1-0)
Last week: Beat Alonso 28-12
This week: at Hillsborough, 7:30
Lowdown: The Dragons have zero time to celebrate the win over the Ravens, because you could say this week’s game is a must-win district game. Already? Yes, already.

11. (15) Bloomingdale (1-0)
Last week: Beat Strawberry Crest 16-7
This week: vs. Brandon, 7:30
Lowdown: Isaiah McIntyre looked good last week and has the Bulls looking for their third 2-0 start in the past four seasons.

12. (13) Plant City (0-0)
Last week: Game vs. Steinbrenner called at halftime; no makeup
This week: at Wharton, 7:30
Lowdown: The Raiders played half a game last week and called it a night due to weather. This week’s opponent apparently did the same, minus the lightning.

13. (14) Hillsborough (0-0)
Last week: Bye
This week: vs. Jefferson, 7:30
Lowdown: The Terriers had a week off to prepare for a two-game stretch (Jefferson, then Armwood) that could decide their playoff future. The Terriers have to win at least one of them, and this one might be the easier of the two.

14. (7) Lakewood (0-1)
Last week:. Lost 25-20 to Countryside
This week: at Palmetto, 7:30
Lowdown: Lakewood needs to figure itself out or it could continue to fall down the rankings. Quarterback Ryan Davis can’t do it all, so some others must step up on offense. And right now, the defense isn’t near where it was at the end of last season. 

15. (17)  Jesuit (1-0)
Last week:. Beat Wauchula Hardee 31-17
This week: at Lakewood Ranch, 7:30
Lowdown: Malik Davis had four touchdowns last week, and it could be Kevin Newman’s turn this week. Either way, the Tigers are likely to pound the rock and try and wear out the Mustangs. 

16. (18) Berkeley Prep (1-0)
Last week: Beat Middleton 44-6
This week: vs. Lakeland Victory Christian, 7
Lowdown: Berkeley Prep has had two weeks of bench-emptying blowouts. We think this is the week, as the kids like to stay, that stuff gets real. 

17. (NR) Sunlake (1-0)
Last week: Beat Pasco 17-13
This week: vs. River Ridge, 7:30
Lowdown: So, Sunlake is the best team in the North Suncoast, right? I can say that, right? Because I just did.

18. (9) Pasco (0-1)
Last week:. Lost 17-13 to Sunlake
This week: at Fivay, 7:30
Lowdown: The Pirates’ days of dominance over everyone in Pasco County might be over, but the ship hasn’t sunk. We’re we’re betting they begin working their way back up the poll starting this week.

19. (21) Indian Rocks Christian (1-0)
Last week:. Beat St. Petersburg Catholic 35-0
This week: vs. Carrollwood Day (at Leto), 7:30Lowdown: The Golden Eagles had 210 yards rushing in a season-opening win that ended with about eight minutes left in the second quarter because of lightning. 

20 (16). Alonso (0-1)
Last week: Lost 28-12 to Jefferson
This week: vs. East Bay, 7
Lowdown: Crossroads game already? Is Alonso going to start slow? The Ravens lost to Jefferson and East Bay last year, but need to get the wheels moving earlier this season.

21. (NR) River Ridge (1-0)
Last week: Beat Land O’Lakes 21-14
This week: at Sunlake, 7:30
Lowdown: If you had asked me in the preseason to set up a four-team playoff to determine the best team in Pasco County, I probably would have had River Ridge play Land O’Lakes in one semifinal, Pasco against Sunlake in the other, and the two winners play for the title this week. Which is, well, exactly what we got.

22. (19) Tampa Catholic (0-1)
Last week: Lost 23-6 to Madison County.
This week: at Clearwater Central Catholic, 7:30
Lowdown: With Nate Craig and Bentlee Sanders out, Tampa Catholic is desperately seeking a hero this week against the Marauders. Well, probably a couple of heroes. 

23. (20) Land O'Lakes (0-1)
Last week: Lost 21-14 to River Ridge
This week: vs. Anclote, 7:30
Lowdown: The Gators’ pass-happy attack will be pass-sad if the rushing attack can’t average more than 2.7 yards a carry this week.

24. (NR) Lennard (1-0)
Last week: Beat East Bay 28-7
This week: at King, 7:30
Lowdown: This is not a typo.

T25. (23) Newsome (0-1)
Last week: Lost 25-17 to Tampa Bay Tech
This week: vs. Gaither, 7:30
Lowdown: Two touchdowns in the final minute doomed the Wolves last week, but we’re not ready to give up on them just yet. We still think Newsome will prove itself as a top team in the coming weeks.

T25. (25) Tarpon Springs (1-0)
Last week: Beat Clearwater 27-13
This week: vs. Osceola, 7:30
Lowdown: Behind the play of newcomer Daniel Davis, the Spongers rallied to win their fourth straight against the Tornadoes.

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