Welcome to another season of glorious numbers crunching and inane statistics that mean something and nothing all at the same time. It’s good to have you back. If you have any notable numbers or milestones to report, you know the drill: email firstname.lastname@example.org or follow @JohnnyHomeTeam.
Top 10 games of the week
1. Largo (1-0) at East Lake (1-0): Toughest game of the week to pick. But to be the man, you have to beat the man, and until I see the man beaten by another man I must assume he is still the man, man. Huh? East Lake, 21-20.
2. Jefferson (1-0) at Hillsborough (0-0): The Terriers have had an extra week to prepare. I think that might matter. Well, that and having the best player on the field with the ball in his hands at all times. And yet, I’m pulled in the other direction by a Dragon defense that surprised last week. Eh, I’ll go with Jefferson, 20-17.
3. Tampa Catholic (0-1) at Clearwater Central Catholic (1-0): I don’t doubt the Crusaders still have a ton of talent on the roster even with the injuries. But mentally, I suspect they are bruised. Gimme CCC, 30-7.
4. Indian Rocks Christian (1-0) vs. Carrollwood Day (0-1) at Skyway: I think the Golden Eagles have a sneaky good and improved defense. Therefore, give me IRC, 35-20.
5. Weeki Wachee (1-0) at Springstead (0-1): The Eagles showed last week they still have a nasty defense. That’s enough for me to pick them to bounce back with a 26-0 win.
6. River Ridge (1-0) at Sunlake (1-0): Not sure what score to pick, but I think at least 11 ounces of blood and four teeth will be spilled in the trenches. I’ll take the Seahawks, 13-12.
7. Osceola (1-0) at Tarpon Springs (1-0): Last week was the first time in four games that Sponger Michael Ford didn’t rush for 100 yards. New week, new streak? Sure, why not. I’ll take the Spongers, 28-21.
8. St. Petersburg (1-0) at Clearwater (0-1): Two teams that did better than everyone expected last week. The Green Devils will be the team that does better this week. Green Devils, 28-17.
9. Brandon (1-0) at Bloomingdale (1-0): Isaiah vs. Isaiah, Alexander vs. McIntyre. Both had good games last week. Who will be the best this week? I say McIntyre, as the Bulls win 31-14.
10. Victory Christian (1-0) at Berkeley Prep (1-0): Well, it’s about time the Bucs face some competition. Are the Polk County All-Stars a step up, or a flight of stairs up? I think the Bucs are tuned up for a battle and win 26-24.
Five things to know about Mitchell’s rushing attack
1. Ryan Marsh ran for 236 yards on only 10 carries Friday.
2. His previous career high was 161 yards, set as a sophomore in 2012.
3. It was the third time in the last five games dating to last season that the Mustangs produced a 200-yard rusher. Last year, Nate Boler went over 200 yards in Week 8 and the regular-season finale.
4. It was the ninth 200-yard rushing performance for Mitchell going back to 2006. Ricky Trinidad has four of them — 249, 221, 257 and 210.
5. Daniel Barber holds the Mitchell rushing record of 263 yards, set Oct. 5, 2012 — at least going back to 2006.
Top five quarterback debuts
1. Alec Cromie, So., Weeki Wachee: 12-19-1-201, 5 TDs. Not bad — for one half.
2. Devin Black, Fr., Lennard: 9-17-1-233, TD. Sure didn’t look like a rookie.
3. Austyn Causey, So., St. Petersburg: 9-15-0-149, 3 TDs, 2 rushing TDs. Time for a story on Air Fabrizio? Or nah?
4. Cade Weldon, Jr., Jefferson: 8-16-1-101, 3 TDs, 1 rushing TD. Stabilizer at a crucial position.
5. Cyler Doran, So., Fivay: 10-22-0-130, 5 TDs. Losing effort, but hard to ignore that 50 percent of completions went for TDs.
Honorable mention: Blake’s Sam Oxendine (4-10-1-68, TD), Robinson’s Malik Tyson (16-40-1-216, TD), Gaither’s Dave Mazur (7-11-1-74, 2 TDs), Dunedin’s Tyler Palermiti (7-15-0-151, 3 TDs) and Seffner Christian’s Jacob Couch (8-13-0-177, 2 TDs).
4 Touchdown receptions by Fivay’s Trent Soto, on six catches
Usurped but unbowed
With all the talk of Jefferson transfer Terence Williams taking over as quarterback at Spoto, it’s easy to see why last year’s starter, Kevin Hobley, might be feeling down. But in the Spartans’ 35-2 season-opening win over Wharton, it was Hobley under center, and he was pretty good: 4-for-5 for 152 yards and two touchdowns. We’re not sure how long Hobley stays under center, but dating to last season, the senior slinger has now thrown for at least two touchdowns in six straight games, the longest such streak in Tampa Bay.
And at Lennard, senior Diontae Johnson — the Longhorns’ leader in passing yards and touchdown passes the last two seasons — gave way to promising freshman Devin Black, but shined at his new position. Johnson, an exceptional athlete, caught four balls for 140 yards and a touchdown in Lennard’s win over East Bay.
45 Yards rushing by Robinson on 48 carries in its last two regular-season games dating to last year. Yikes.
Did you know?
Even though Pinellas Park had a very nice 299 yards rushing in a win over Boca Ciega, it was just the third time the Patriots have been held under 375 yards in their past 11 regular-season games.
The previous best game of Weeki Wachee running back Shawn O’Gorman’s career came in last season’s opener, when he rushed for 70 yards and a touchdown. But the Hornet junior must have a taste for Interlachen. Against the same opponent in this year’s kickoff game, O’Gorman ran for 107 yards and a touchdown, and added four catches for 89 yards and two additional scores.
1.9 Yards a carry for Brandon, but thanks to some late heroics by Isaiah Alexander, it didn’t stop the Eagles from beating Blake.
Satcher Shines like a Diomi
Dante Satcher’s 263-yard effort in a win over Lakewood was the most yards by a Countryside running back since Diomi Roberts ran for 272 on Oct. 28, 2011, against Pinellas Park.
Causey and effect
We’re not saying St. Petersburg doesn’t pass the ball much, but Austyn Causey’s 149 yards passing were the most for the Green Devils since Nov. 4, 2011, when Keegan Oberholzer threw for 206 in a loss to Countryside. In the 22 games since, the Green Devils had passed for over 100 yards just once before Causey’s nifty debut.
124 Yards rushing for Nature Coast’s DeShawn Smith, breaking his previous best of 123 set last year in a win over Pasco.
Five defensive highlights
1. Jefferson had 12 tackles for a loss by a combined eight players in the win over Alonso, which included eight sacks.
2. Gaither had eight sacks: Decalon Brooks (three), Shawn Torres and Quinn Crecy (two each) and Tyler Hill (one).
3. Tampa Catholic’s Cody Endris was credited with 24 tackles, including 14 solo tackles. (Teammate Malik Barrow had 16, with nine solo.)
4. Justin Frain of Seminole was credited with 18 tackles, and Derek Cromartie of Brandon had 17.
5. Mitchell’s Levi Oliveto had three sacks, while Gaither’s Javon Hammon had two interceptions.
Missing targets, good and bad
Alonso’s touted quarterback, Chris Oladokun, had one of the worst games of his career accuracy wise, completing only 11 of 38 passes for 28.9 percent. That’s the second-lowest completion percentage of his career. Only his 7-for-31 against Plant last year was worse. But if you’re looking for a silver lining, consider: he threw 27 incomplete passes and not a single interception. In 258 career passing attempts, Oladokun, a junior, has only thrown three picks, or one every 86 pass attempts.
28 Yards a touch Seffner Christian sophomore Karmi Mackey averaged last week. Mackey had four rushes for 113 yards, and caught two passes for 55 yards.
66.7 Percentage of times Mackey touched the ball and scored. He had three TDs on four carries, and one of his two catches was a TD.
Five unsung performances
1. Corey Bennett, Blake: He was probably No. 101 in our HomeTeam 100 deliberations, and don’t we look stupid now. Bennett ran for 227 yards on 36 carries, a career high in both categories.
2. Davontae Harrington, Dixie Hollins: He just makes plays. Maybe the most underrated athlete in the area. Opened with eight catches, 168 yards and a score.
3. Joey Caruso, Hudson: The Cobras quarterback and safety had an impressive debut, passing for 87 yards, rushing for 65 yards and two touchdowns and sacking the opposing quarterback twice.
4. Corey Walker, Jefferson: Made his Dragons’ varsity debut a winning one, with 106 yards rushing stepping in for injured starter Mondrea Lofton, who twisted an ankle.
5. Malik Davis, Jesuit: The sophomore running back burst onto the scene in the win over Tampa Catholic last year, and after 23 carries, 149 yards and four total TDs, he’s hear to stay.
6 Straight games with at least two touchdowns rushing by Hudson.
Last year, Dunedin’s leading rusher was Ahmad Middleton with 290 yards. And Kane Taylor led the team with three rushing touchdowns.
For the whole season!
Those numbers won’t be nearly this bad this season, not after Jordan Williams rushed for 212 yards and three touchdowns in the Falcons’ win over Dixie Hollins. Heck, even Kendrick Harvey — 13 carries, 101 yards — should eclipse last year’s leading totals.
5 Players for Indian Rocks Christian who averaged 17 or more yards a carry last week: Garrett Ross-Johnson (1 carry, 17 yards), Damian King (1 carry, 24 yards), Tristin Denisac (2 carries, 40 yards), Jacquan Fuller (1 carry, 51 yards) and Theo Anderson (1 carry, 57 yards). The game was called with eight minutes left in the second quarter.
Anclote is rebuilding this year after graduating one of the area’s top rushing attacks. Friday, the Sharks managed only 34 yards on 18 carries in a loss to Mitchell.
The Sharks have rushed for at least 100 yards as a team in 44 of their 51 games since 2009, and Friday’s total was the programs’s second-lowest, behind a 18-yard effort against Pasco in 2010.
8 Straight 100-yard rushing games by Ridgewood’s Glass Wilson, tops in the Tampa Bay area.
Unlucky Team of the Week
You don’t lose many games in which you only allow six points, but that’s what Springstead did Friday when Citrus picked off a pass on the game’s final play and ran it all the way back for a 6-0 win.
The previous 49 games that Springstead had allowed just seven points or fewer, it won. You have to go back to 1999, in a 7-6 loss to Gulf, to find the last time the Eagles were on the short end of a game they allowed just one score in.
The last time Springstead dropped a game allowing just six points was in 1988, when it was beaten 6-3 by county rival Hernando.
The only lower scoring games in Springstead history were two 3-0 games — a win over Gulf in 1992 and a loss to Zephyrhills in 1994.