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Midweek Grab Bag: Fun football factoids by the millions

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Wed. September 19, 2012 | John C. Cotey | Email

Midweek Grab Bag: Fun football factoids by the millions

How many numbers and names can you fit into one Grab Bag? A million! Go ahead, prove me wrong. ONE MILLION!

Dandy Dozen

1. Clearwater Central Catholic at Palm Harbor U.:
This is a reversal of the "little school hoping to take down the big school for a signature win" story line. But PHU isn't really THAT much bigger, if you just count the football program. The teams combined for 27 yards passing in a snoozer last year, but with Homecoming and all, this should be an electric night. Still, I like CCC 18-16.

2. Land O'Lakes at Hernando: This is a huge district clash between the teams many think will finish 1-2. But neither has impressed so far, with Hernando looking for its first win and the Gators coming off a 49-7 thumping by Pasco. Leopards, finally, 32-23.

3. St. Petersburg at Northeast: Is Northeast that good? Is St. Petersburg that bad? Let's find out. Green Devils 28-25.

4. Sunlake at Springstead: Two undefeated squads square off. Sunlake looked great in Week 1, not so much in Week 2, and the 3-0 Eagles have impressed but I'm still not sure about either team. I'm surer about Springstead, 17-14.

5. Lakewood at Dunedin: Lakewood is the last remaining team in Tampa Bay to not allow a single point. I'm not sure Dunedin, which has scored 21 all season, is the team to do it. But I think the Dunedin defense will give Lakewood fits. You can run on the Falcons, but the Falcons have only surrendered 187 passing yards in three games. Passing, though, is Lakewood's bread and butter. Defense is their jam. Who's hungry? Lakewood 21-0.

6. Bloomingdale at Tampa Catholic: I picked Bloomingdale last year, so I'm including this game just to rectify that and take the Crusaders, 23-10.

7. Chamberlain at Tampa Bay Tech: Chamberlain needs to run. TBT doesn't usually let you do that. That doesn't change this week. TBT 28-6.

8. Newsome at East Bay: Two teams committed to the run, the over/under on the time it takes to finish this game is 37 minutes. Newsome 30-20.

9. Hillsborough at Strawberry Crest: I'm impressed with the Chargers. But these are the kind of walls a young, rebuilding team often runs into after a hot start. It might hurt. Hillsborough 35-14.

10. Carrollwood Day at Shorecrest: Robert Davis could go over 1,000 yards. No, not for the season….for the game! (I kid, I kid….or do I?) CDS 35-7.

11. Wesley Chapel at Zephyrhills: I don't think we've seen the best of the Bulldogs. This week, I think we do. Zephyrhills 29-20.

12. UPSET SPECIAL: River Ridge coach Ryan Benjamin takes on his old high school coach, Scott Schmitz at Mitchell, in what will be a smash mouth game.  If there are any fireworks, they will come in the trenches. I'm obligated to stay with River Ridge after all my preseason blathering about the Knights, but my three-game bandwagon contract expires after this game and I need to see something to re-sign. River Ridge 27-24.

Grab Bag Offensive Player of the Week
Alonso's Ish Witter was the Ravens' work horse in last week's 21-7 win over King, the first victory for the team this season. Witter carried the ball 32 times for 205 yards and two touchdowns, all career highs.

The junior running back's previous highs in a game were 24 carries and 137 yards. Witter has shown promise since his freshman year, when he ran for 314 yards, but appears to be coming into his own this season.

After rushing for 570 yards and four scores all of last year, Witter is ready to smash both totals in the coming weeks, already totaling 384 yards and four touchdowns after three games for the Ravens.

RUNNER-UP: Middleton's Amp Carswell had two long touchdown runs, both in the second half, to give the Tigers their first win since 2010.

Grab Bag Defensive Player of the Week
Largo's Harry Brown. Do I need to say more?


By the numbers

-3  Rushing yards for Wiregrass Ranch the past two weeks, combined.

65 Carries for Bloomingdale's Eugene Baker the past two weeks, including 35 last week.

14 More completions by King QB Kenyatta Young that the week before. The Lion was 1-for-9 in his debut, but 15 for 21 last week.

5-1 Alonso's record the past three seasons when Ish Witter rushes for 100-plus yards.

10 Different receivers for Plant who caught the team's 18 completions.

15 Players that have scored points this season for Robinson.

7 Interceptions this year for Berkeley Prep

34 Carries for Matt Breida last week, and the Nature Coast RB picked up a season-high 177 yards and a touchdown for the 12th time in his past 13 games.

310 Yards passing last week by East Lake's Pete DiNovo, a career high.

Five amazing things about Robert Davis
Carrollwood Day School's Robert Davis is chasing the Hillsborough County career-rushing record, but it's not the final destination that will end up being so impressive, but rather the journey.

Check these numbers out:

1. Davis has 19 straight 100-yard games.

2. Davis has scored a rushing touchdown in 13 straight games.

3. Davis has a rushing touchdown in 20 of his last 21 games.

4. Davis has scored a touchdown in all 23 games of his high school career.

5. The last team to hold Davis under 100 yards? Faith Baptist, which doesn't even have a football program anymore but managed to limit Davis to 86 yards on 13 carries in 2010.

Random thoughts
(And by random I mean painstakingly researched)

1. Armwood's Alvin Bailey was our Player of the Year last season because he was pretty much unstoppable, and that hasn't changed in 2012. Despite not playing the first half last week, Bailey caught two touchdown passes in the second half in the win over Tampa Bay Tech. That stretches his streak of having his hand in at least two touchdowns to six games. The last team to hold Bailey to a single score was Hillsborough, and the last team Bailey failed to score against was King last year.

2. Northeast QB Ryan Davis has back-to-back 250-yard passing games, and adding his rushing yardage in has accounted for 845 yards from scrimmage. Will anyone beat him to 1,000?

3. Freedom threw a touchdown pass last week in the win over Brandon, which is a pretty rare sight on that side of New Tampa. The Patriots got an overtime pass from Taylor King to get their first win, only the third time in the last 13 games Freedom has found the end zone via the air.

4. What is wrong with the Jefferson defense? Well, great opponents for one thing, but the Dragons have already allowed 147 points in three games, and going back to last year, have allowed 48 or more points four times in their past 11 games.

5. Robinson has eight players with interceptions this season, and five of them have returned theirs for touchdowns. Who is in the Pick-6 Club? Javaughn Johnson, Terrance Baldwin, Carlos Duclos, Brandon Peters and Dominic Jennings.

6. Aaron Banks' 300-yard game last week against Jefferson was Plant's first since Oct. 21, 2011, when James Few threw for 329 against Alonso. Banks is the fifth Plant quarterback (Robert Marve, Aaron Murray, Phillip Ely and Few are the others) to throw for 300 yards since 2006. Predictably, no other school is close.

7. Northeast running back Keith Harrington is the only player in Tampa Bay, unofficially, that has more than 200 yards rushing AND  receiving total this year. Ironically, his rushing totals have declined every week, and his receiving yards have increased each week.

8. Tampa Bay Tech can't seem to run or pass against Armwood, never once netting 200 yards from scrimmage against the Hawks during its recent resurgence. And don't get me wrong, TBT shares that distinction with a lot of other schools.

While it's easy to understand the Titans' lack of aerial success -- going back to 2005, Tech has played Armwood six times in the regular season and passed for a grand total of 251 yards -- the fact that the Titans haven't been able to run for more than 116 yards in any game is surprising. Those 116 yards came last week, by the way.

9. This is the third time in four seasons that Tampa Catholic has started 3-0. In the past seven seasons, Tampa Catholic has either started 3-0, 0-3 or 0-2 in six of them.

10. What to make of Hernando? The Leopards lost to East Ridge to open the season 42-25, but everyone said East Ridge was a good team. East Ridge, however, then lost its next two games 55-13 and 57-13. But that 55-13 loss was to South Sumter, a very good team that "only" beat Hernando 38-6 last week. I have no idea what all that means.

11. Thought I'd throw some props Osceola's way. The Warriors stunned St. Petersburg last week, and in their last seven games are 4-3. Two of those losses were by five and seven points. Not too shabby.

12. Riverview is 2-0, its best start since 2006 when it started 4-0 before suffering a loss to….Riverview. Yeah, the one in Sarasota.

The Grab Bag is compiled by me, John C. Cotey, digging my nose into stats provided by coaches to MaxPreps and HomeTeam. So if you want to get in here, your stats will need to be in one of these places. You can always reach me at cotey@tampabay.com or on Twitter @JohnnyHomeTeam if you have any worthy tidbits.

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