We're back, with, really, all kidding aside, in all seriousness, no joking, the greatest Grab Bag ever. It's just a perfect blend of insane and inane that I feel like I should put a tip jar on my desk or something.
Games of the week
1. Indian Rocks Christian at Cambridge: A must-win game for Cambridge, this game has the potential to be another classic 2A-5 shootout. IRC is on fire. Grab Bag is taking the Golden Eagles, 38-20.
2. Land O'Lakes at Sunlake: The Seahawks have to beat their neighborhood rivals to stay alive in 6A-6, while the Gators can all but clinch a playoff spot with a win. I like the Gators in an ugly, nasty, vicious, violent, physical game that 1956 would be proud of, 14-7.
3. Jefferson at King: The Lions have teased us, but haven't quite broken through. The Dragons win, 33-16.
4. East Lake at Countryside: I'm guessing this ends up being closer than many think. Still, the Eagles defense will be the deciding factor in this one, with East Lake winning, 20-10.
5. Pasco at Hernando: I'm casting my lot with the more desperate Pirates. Pasco wins, 19-18.
6. East Bay at Strawberry Crest: Can I just predict a slobberknocker and be done with it? No? Okay, then I'm taking the Chargers, 6-4.
7. CCC at Calvary Christian: Can I just predict it will be a closer score than you probably expect and be done with it? No? Okay, then I'm taking CCC, 30-0.
Numbers of the week
No one is hotter than IRC right now. The Golden Eagles' rushing attack has been, uh, devastating.
Sept. 20: 36 rushes, 272 yards, 4 TDs
Sept. 27: 23-279, 6 TDs
Oct. 4: 32-386, 6 TDs
Oct. 11: 33-422, 6 TDs.
Add it up and you get 1,359 yards on 124 carries, or 10.9 yards a carry over the course of four games.
The Golden Eagles have outscored the less-than-imposing opposition 198-7 in that span.
Cambridge, which features a more balanced attack, has outscored four opponents in that same span 205-42.
Friday's game should be a thriller.
Top total-yard performances by a QB this season
In a single game
1. 533: Chase Litton, Wharton (455 passing, 78 rushing).
2. 519: Colby Brown, Plant (519 passing, 0 rushing).
3. 451: Deiondre Porter, Jefferson (287 passing, 164 rushing)
4. 437: Deon Cain, Tampa Bay Tech (343 passing, 94 rushing)
5. 415: Dwayne Lawson, Hillsborough (291 passing, 124 rushing)
Weird stat of the week
In Alonso's three wins, quarterback Chris Oladokun has completed fewer than 50 percent of his passes, thrown for only 304 yards and has five touchdown passes.
In Alonso's three losses, Oladokun has completed 52 percent of his passes for 812 yards and eight touchdowns.
You might think that'd be the other way around.
5 statistically impressive about Wharton QB Chase Litton
1. Leads Tampa Bay in passing with 1,416 yards.
NOTE: Tampa Bay Tech's Deon Cain now has 1,418 yards passing on MaxPreps, a different number than we originally saw when compiling stats. For what that's worth.)
2. His 455 yards passing last week broke his own school record.
3. Has 6,926 career passing yards, also a Wharton record.
4. Has now thrown for at least one touchdown and rushed for one touchdown in each of the past four games Wharton has played.
5. Has four games of more than 70 yards rushing, giving him 382 on the season, 230 more than he rushed for last season.
10 things you didn't know
1. Bloomingdale WR Doug Sandberg has at least four catches in every game this season.
2. Jefferson QB Deiondre Porter produced either a touchdown rushing or passing in 19 straight games, dating to 2011.
3. Middleton WR Shug Rhynes is not only leading Tampa Bay in receiving yards (811) and touchdowns (seven) and yards per catch (35.3), but has catches for 70, 76, 90 and 96 yards this season.
4. Strawberry Cest has thrown for 1,225 yards, despite losing its starter early to injury. Credit Austin Carswell, now 4-0 as the starter.
5. Steinbrenner's Curtis Fitch lost a QB duel to Chase Litton last week, but he did finish with a career-high 246 yards passing.
6. Zephyrhills transfer Mike Smith is on pace to break Andy Embody's single-season receiving record at Carrollwood Day. Smith has 677 yards, or 96.7 a game. Embody, who set the record last year with 973 yards, averaged 81 yards a game. But unless CDS can make the playoffs, Billy Embody's passing record of 2,027 yards may be safe from Taylor King, who is at 1,259 with three games left.
7. Ray Ray McCloud III was the first to 1,000 yards this year, but Nate Johnson should be second. The Sunlake junior needs 47 yards to hit the mark.
8. Does anyone else lead their team in rushing TDs (11) and sacks (5)? Because Indian Rocks Christian's Theo Anderson does.
9. Armwood ran only 15 offensive plays last week against Leto and scored 74 points. And here I thought East Lake running just 21 against Seminole and scoring 51 was impressive.
10. I think Tyrie Adams of Dixie Hollins became the first Pinellas County quarterback to record a 300-yard game last week when he threw for 302. Am I right?
NOTE: Nope, I'm not right on No. 10. On Sept. 20, in a 34-14 loss to Osceola, Boca Ciega quarterback Derrick Cook passed for 321 yards. I am, however, proud to report that I wasn't corrected on this by anyone, but rather, Cook's name popped into my head on a long drive to Gibsonton.
"Wait! The Bogie kid!"
"Ooooooohhhhh yeah, he had a 300-yard game, didn't he?"
That's kind of how the conversation went in my head.
No Miner acheivement
Wiregrass Ranch linebacker Jaye Miner recorded 25 tackles in last week's victory, making him the first player to reach 100 this season.
He will soon have some company, as Seffner Christian Trent Puleo (91) and Mitchell's Larry Couch (98) are on his heels.
5 statistically impressive things about Blake DE Shavar Manuel
1. He is 6-3, 230 pounds and only a sophomore.
2. He was credited with 12 quarterback hurries in last week's win over Middleton, which threw 33 passes, which means the Tiger QB had to rush more than every third throw.
3. He has 14 sacks this season, including at least two sacks in three straight games.
4. Has a sack in 10 straight games, dating to last season.
5. In 15 varsity games, Manuel has sacks in 13.
Unsung Player of the Universe?
We've always admired what Jeff Keil brings to the table for Wharton, and quite frankly, would put him at the top of any list of underrated players.
And that was before the past two weeks, which have been phenomenal for the senior back.
Keil has not only rushed for more than 100 yards the past two weeks, but has caught more than 100 yards worth of passes in both games as well.
Oct. 11: 21 carries, 102 yards; five catches, 124 yards
Oct. 4: 13 carries, 133 yards; seven catches, 126 yards
We can't recall anyone recently pulling off that feat in consecutive games. We imediately looked up Pasco great Janarion Grant, who came to mind first, but he didn't even come close to doing it once.
That makes Keil pretty darned good, and valuable, and since he performs his amazing feats without any glitz and glamour, pretty underrated.
5 statistically impressive things about Newsome football
1. Newsome failed to complete a pass last week. And still won.
2. That was the first time the Wolves hadn't completed a pass since Oct. 30, 2009, against Riverview. They won that game, too.
3. Since that Riverview game, the Wolves have had one game each year in which they completed just one pass (Gaither in 2012, Chamberlain in 2011 and Armwood in 2010). They won all those, too.
4. One of those games, against Armwood, they lost on the field but were later awarded the victory via forfeit. But still.
5. To recap, Newsome is 5-0 in their past five games in which they have completed one pass or none. Their margin of victory, minus the Armwood game, is 107-33.
The center of the football universe
So, really, what's in the water in (the) Seffner (area)?
The three football-playing schools located (around) Seffner — Armwood, Strawberrry Crest and Seffner Christian — are a combined 16-3 and have outscored opponents 687-193, making the average score of games involving Seffner area teams 36.1-10.1.
NOTE: Oops. Strawberry Crest is in Dover, which is right next to Seffner, and I should remember this because everytime I've gone to Strawberry Crest in the past I make a Ben Dover joke to myself, though sometimes I want to write that Strawberry Crest is in Plant City, but I'll get it right one of these days. Anyway, this note has been altered/corrected. The Grab Bag is sheepishly sorry for the error.
5 more things you didn't know
1. Tyrie Adams has increased his passing yardage every week since the season opener, throwing for 162, 221, 267, 271 and 302. Good luck keeping that up, Rebel.
2. Countryside DE Steven Czop has eight sacks -- two each against Northeast, Southeast, Lakewood and Tarpon Springs.
3. Deangelo Reeves ran for a career-high 167 yards last week. His St. Petersburg Green Devils host Bradenton Manatee on Friday.
4. Ridgewood rushed 66 times last week. We think that's a school record, though we can't be sure. We do know that by digging around on MaxPreps, we only found one other game even close: 52 carries against Fivay in 2010.
5. On a night in which his team ran for minus-2 yards, Hernando QB Tyler Kline had a decent showing against South Sumter, setting season highs for completions (13), attempts (30) and yards (168).
5 statistically impressive things about Sickles RB Ray Ray McCloud III
1. Was the first running back to 1,000 yards this season, now with 1,161 yards.
2. Has rushed for 378 yards more than he had at this point last year.
3. Has rushed for 150 yards and at least one TD or more in seven straight games.
4. Has rushed for 100 yards or more in nine straight games.
5. Has scored a TD in 11 straight games.
Times preps columnist John C. Cotey can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow him on Twitter @JohnnyHomeTeam. We promise you won't be disappointed.