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Wed. October 23, 2013 | John C. Cotey | Email

Midweek Grab Bag: Pop goes last week's Grab Bag

And we thought last week's Grab Bag was a first-ballot Hall of Famer. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. This week's Grab Bag takes last week's Grab Bag, blows air into it and pops it in the face of all other Grab Bags. HAHAHAHAHAHHAHA.

Teams of the week
Sunlake won, to stay alive in the playoff race. So did Pasco. And Alonso...and Plant City...and Osceola...and Admiral Farragut...and Carrollwood Day...so congrats to y'all.

Player of the week
Sunlake running back Nathan Johnson, a big, burly 5-foot-10, 195-pound junior, ran for three touchdowns last week in a big season-saving win over Land O’Lakes, including one score in overtime.

Not only did he provide the yards when Sunlake was desperately searching for a score, but along the way, he quietly broke the school record for rushing yards in a season.

With at least two games to go, Johnson has 1,108 yards on the year. He passed both No. 2 Eddie Burgos (1,013 last year) and No. 1 Jacob Jackson (1,058 in 2010) to take the single-season record.

Young and restless

Indian Rocks Christian is the only team in Tampa Bay with three running backs  — Damian King, Theo Anderson and Zeke McGaughy — with more than 500 yards rushing. The trio also has combined for 27 touchdowns, and each player is averaging more than 10 yards a carry.

And the bad news for opponents? They are all underclassmen.

In fact, as good as the Golden Eagles are playing, they are still quite young.

Consider: 2,114 of the team’s 2,312 rushing yards are by underclassmen, and 556 of the team’s 789 receiving yards — via a sophomore quarterback — are from underclassmen.

So, yeah, have fun with that, 2A-5.

Five statistically impressive things about the Armwood D
1. Last year was the first time since 2002 the Hawks had allowed more than 100 points in the regular season, and defensive coordinator Matt Thompson left for Jesuit in the offseason. What would ever become of the vaunted Hawks D-block?

2. This: Armwood has allowed only 29 points in seven games and could break the school’s record for fewest points allowed in the regular season — 42 — set in 2008. That year, Armwood only gave up 93 points total.

3. Armwood has held seven straight opponents to single-digit point totals, the most since doing it 11 straight times in 2005. In four different seasons, the Hawks have had streaks of six straight.

4. In 2007, Armwood’s defense held six straight opponents to single digits, then allowed 10 to Plant City, then started another streak of six right after that.

5. If the Hawks can hold King, Chamberlain and Strawberry Crest to an average of four points a game the next three weeks, new record!

By the numbers
20 QB hurries by Blake’s Shavar Manuel the past two weeks. More on this guy later.

112 Tackles by Mitchell’s Larry Couch and Wiregrass Ranch’s Jaye Miner, the top total on the North Suncoast.

7 Points scored in Pasco’s win over Hernando last week. The last time a Pasco game had that few points, the Pirates were losing 9-6 to Springstead in the 2006 season opener.

TDs scored each last week by Zephyrhills’ Devin Brockington and Jaylen Pickett.

65 More points scored already by this year’s Gulf team, compared to last year’s. Little steps.

5 Straight 100-plus rushing games for Ridgewood sophomore Glass Wilson, who has 974 yards.

33.5 Yards per completion that Hillsborough’s Dwayne Lawson averaged last week in throwing for a career-high 402 yards.

10 Sacks by Jefferson’s Juwuan Brown and Blake’s Julian Jackson.

12 Straight games with a rushing TD for Sickles’ Ray Ray McCloud III.

67 Carries the past two games by East Bay, but only 165 yards.

70 Points Zephyrhills scored in beating Central last week, the most the Bulldogs have scored since lighting up Hudson 72-0 in 2000.

Lucky No. 7
Pasco’s 7-0 win over Hernando kept the Pirates’ playoff hopes alive and dealt Hernando a near-crippling blow.

The last time the Pirates won a game 7-0, it was an almost identical situation.

In 1998, behind quarterback Frank Craig and defensive end Sammy Gant and with the district title on the line, the Pirates also beat Hernando 7-0, knocking the Leopards from the playoff race and sending the Pirates in.

Switch-a-roo
Clearwater Central Catholic has finally decided on Jeff Smith at quarterback, after alternating between him and Blake Gomez this year.

Gomez, sensing the decision was coming, asked to move to wide receiver and in his first game at his new position, led the Marauders with three catches for 46 yards.

This is the second straight year that a quarterback that led CCC to the playoffs the previous season (in 2012 it was Jake Shade) was moved to wide receiver the following year.

Five statistically impressive things about Jefferson WR Derrick Ingram
1. Caught two passes for a career-high 140 yards and two TDs last week, snapping a string of 10 straight games without going over 100 yards.

2. His last four catches, over the past three games, have all been for TDs (covering 70, 70, 70 and 10 yards.)

3. Fifteen of Ingram’s 39 career catches are for TDs, or 38 percent.

4. In 14 varsity games in which he has catches, Ingram has scored in 11.

5. Six of his 11 catches this year have been TDs.

Did you know?
1. Shavar Manuel can’t be stopped? We’ve only been saying this all season. Add another four sacks to Manuel’s season total of 18, and the streak — 11 straight games with at least one sack — goes on.

2. Tommy McLaughlin stepped in for his first career start as Bloomingdale quarterback and was 14-for-26 for 225 yards and four TDs while rallying his Bulls to an incredible comeback win over Riverview that keeps them in the heat of the district playoff race.

3. Deiondre Porter leads all Tampa Bay QBs in passing yards (1,713), passing touchdowns (19), rushing yards (875) and rushing TDs (11). Wow.

4. Hudson senior Zack Russell has completed all three of his pass attempts, is second on the team with 313 rushing yards (at 9.2 yards a carry) and leads the team with 14 catches, 227 receiving yards and three interceptions, while also ranking fourth on the team in tackles.

5. Plant’s Patrick Brooks is averaging 102 yards and 9.9 yards a carry in his three games back from injury. He already has more rushing yards than last year (307 to 293).

6. While Land O’Lakes QB James Pensyl has slowed down in terms of passing yards, he has not thrown an interception since the season opener, a span of six games and roughly 200 attempts.

7. Strawberry Crest RB Chris Perez needs 20 yards and two TDs to surpass last year’s total of 649 and 11.

8. Tampa Catholic QB Kyle Ploucher had five straight games completing at least 60 percent of his passes, until last week.

9. Gibbs is 3-1 in its past four games, and its only loss was by eight points to Tarpon Springs.

Great wall of Sunlake
After watching the Sunlake’s run defense last Friday, it might be the best in all of Tampa Bay.

It has held Pasco to 23 rushing yards, River Ridge to 34 and  Mitchell to 53. Friday night, it topped all those performances, allowing minus-12 yards to Land O’Lakes in a 28-21 overtime win.

Led by linebackers Ben Wood, Austin Yeloushan, Jarrett Stark and lineman Zion Osborn, the Seahawks have been an impenetrable wall for opponents this season. The fearsome foursome has more than 50 tackles each — Wood leads the way with 85 — and has combined for 24.5 sacks, helping reduce those rushing yards.

Most impressive, though, is this: it has allowed one rushing touchdown all season, a 2-yard plunge by Springstead’s Daniel Wright.
One. Touchdown.

Sunlake has now allowed just 525 yards on 218 carries this season for a paltry 2.4 yards carry, or 65 yards a game.

Five statistically impressive things about Middleton WR Shug Rhynes
1. Has 1,000 yards receiving this year, on the dot.

2. Has 1,000 of Middleton’s 1,336 yards through the air, or 74.8 percent.

3. Had four catches for 189 yards last week, the fourth time this year he has averaged more than 40 yards a reception.

4. Has two TD catches between 90-99 yards, and three TD catches between 80-89 yards.

5. Is averaging 37 yards a catch, which would be a national record according to the National Federation of High Schools record book, but we suspect that hasn’t been updated recently. The NFL record is 27.6 and was set in 1958, so you know, either way pretty impressive.

Better with age
East Lake RB Weston Fordham had a good season in 2012, but this year is even better.

Despite 44 fewer carries, Fordham — averaging more than 12 yards per carry the last four games — already has more yards (647-624) and TDs (12-9) than in 2012.

Where’d that guy come from?
1. Hillsborough’s Xavier Byrd caught five passes for 276 yards and three TDs. Byrd, who had 12 catches for 110 yards last year, already has 20 catches for 576 yards and six TDs in 2013.

2. Bloomingdale’s Logan Crouse had seven catches for 114 yards and three TDs last week, all career highs. In the first five games this season, Crouse had 17 catches for 128 yards, but in the past two games has 11 catches for 184 yards.

3. Middleton QB Marcellus Ray has now thrown for 1,336 yards and 15 TDs, which eclipsed the previous marks of Aaron Midthus (1,299 and nine in 2010) and Deandre Presley (1,128 and 10 in 2007) for the best in the past six years, though we’re not sure if that’s a school record. Yet.

4. On a team with revolving and inexperienced QBs, Robinson’s Jahrvis Davenport has managed to catch 22 passes for 473 yards. Davenport has 72 percent of all the Robinson’s receiving yards, 54 percent of all the receptions and 75 percent of all the receiving TDs.

5. Sterling Day, a sophomore, ran 20 times for 129 yards in Plant City’s win last week.

6. Steinbrenner’s Kezio Snelling has 551 return yards and three TDs this year, to go with 363 receiving yards and six TDs.

7. Dixie Hollins WR Davontae  Harrington has 12 catches for 275 yards and three TDs the past two weeks, and now forms what is one of Tampa Bay’s most productive pass catching duos with Jacquez Hill. Combined, the receivers have 70 catches for 1,187 yards and 11 TDs.

8. What’s 6-foot-3, 200-pound WR Dominic Bonelli need to do to get some college looks? The Palm Harbor University senior has 356 yards on 23 catches, and six of those are for touchdowns.

9. Osceola’s Jamil Morris has rushed for 844 yards and 13 TDs this season, and seems like a good bet for 1,000.

Five impressive things about the Pinellas Park offense
1. The Patriots have rushed for 475 yards or more in four straight games. There’s only a team or two that has done that once this season.

2. For the season, Pinellas Park has 3,050 yards rushing. East Lake, Friday’s opponent, has only allowed 611, or 2,439 fewer yards.

3. Pinellas Park is the only team with two running backs with 800 yards or more — Pierre Johnson (832) and Donte Maxson (800).

4. The Patriots haven’t thrown an incomplete pass since Sept. 27. In the two games since, they are 7-for-7 for 163 yards and three TDs.

5. The Patriots are averaging 14.2 yards a carry the past four weeks.

Times preps columnist John C. Cotey can be reached at cotey@tampabay.com, though really, why don't you just follow him on Twitter @JohnnyHomeTeam? Seriously, go do it now.

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