Friday's football games
All at 7:30 unless noted
Tarpon Springs (3-3, 1-1) at Palm Harbor University (4-2, 1-0)
The breakdown: Last year, the Spongers pulled out a wild 37-31 victory. Don’t expect another shootout. Both teams rely on their ground game this season. Tarpon Springs has tightened up on defense after allowing more than 30 points in each of the last two games. But the Spongers do have one edge: they are undefeated on the road (3-0).
Who’s hot: Tarpon Springs running back Michael Ford had 135 yards last week and ranks among the area’s leading rushers. PHU’s offensive line paved the way for team to rush for 257 yards against Sarasota Riverview.
Rodney Page’s pick: Unless the Spongers turn it around quickly, it looks like three straight losses. PHU 28-21.
Bob Putnam’s pick: Hurricanes are playing better defensively. PHU 21-20.
Tampa Catholic (5-1, 1-1) at Northeast (5-1, 1-1)
The breakdown: Both teams are coming off dreadful losses, their first of the season. The Vikings were demoralized by Countryside in a 49-0 loss. TC was never really in a 27-7 loss to CCC. Even though it’s non-district, this game is critical to both teams' confidence.
Who’s hot: Throw the last game out. Northeast quarterback Ryan Davis has thrown for 1,129 yards and 11 touchdowns this season.
Page: Though the Crusaders are playing up in class, it seems like Northeast is reeling. TC 24-21.
Putnam: Offensively, Crusaders could give Vikings trouble. TC 28-26.
Calvary Christian (3-2, 2-1) at Admiral Farragut (5-1, 3-1), 7
The breakdown: This game has major implications in Class 2A-5. Both teams stay in the hunt for a district title with a win. A loss makes it very tough. Expect the team that runs better to win.
Who’s hot: Derek Barnes of Calvary has 449 yards rushing and five touchdowns. Todd Macon of AFA is third in the county with 674 yards and five touchdowns.
Page: Admiral Farragut erases the memory of last week’s loss. AFA 35-21.
Putnam: Blue Jackets rebound and stay within striking range of district title. AFA 28-14.
Osceola (3-3, 1-1) at Clearwater (3-3, 1-1)
The breakdown: Both teams are on a roll with two straight victories. And one of these teams will finally be above .500 after this one.
Who’s hot: Clearwater quarterback Jordan Leston threw for 133 yards and ran for 47 in last week’s win over Seminole.
Page: Three straight for Clearwater? Not quite. Osceola 23-20.
Putnam: Tough call, but I’ll go with the Warriors. Osceola 24-22.
Sarasota (3-3, 0-1) at East Lake (4-2, 1-0)
The breakdown: The Eagles have won two straight, allowing just 23 points in those games. East Lake also is starting to get healthy with Artavis Scott nearly at full strength.
Who’s hot: Eagles quarterback Pete DiNovo ran for two touchdowns and threw for another against North Port.
Page: Sarasota has lost two straight. Make it three straight. East Lake 17-7.
Putnam: Eagles are heading in the right direction. East Lake 21-13.
St. Petersburg Catholic (2-3, 0-2) at Sarasota Cardinal Mooney (3-3, 1-2), 7
The breakdown: The Barons have been battling all season, despite the loss of Ryan Green and a lack of depth. SPC had Berkeley Prep on the ropes in the first half last week before fading. The running game has to get going early and stay hot.
Who’s hot: Stephon Williams scored against Berkeley last week and will need to continue his tough running.
Page: Cardinal Mooney has lost three straight after winning its first three. Barons make it four straight. SPC 28-24.
Putnam: Cougars are just a little bit tougher. Cardinal Mooney 31-21.
Countryside (5-1, 2-0) at Wiregrass Ranch (0-4, 0-1)
The breakdown: This might as well be a bye week for the Cougars, who won last year’s meeting 66-6.
Who’s hot: Countryside running back Mike Jerrido ran for 122 yards in last week’s win over Northeast.
Page: The Cougars are too much. Countryside 32-14.
Putnam: A big time mismatch here. Countryside 56-0.
Dunedin (3-3, 3-2) at Jesuit (4-2, 4-1)
The breakdown: The Falcons can go above .500 with a win and need to stick with their ground game for the upset.
Who’s hot: Dunedin running backs Tramaine Batten and Shaquille Dixon combined for 117 yards last week.
Page: It hasn’t been the best season for Jesuit, but it has enough against Dunedin. Jesuit 20-14.
Putnam: This one will be closer than expected. Jesuit 17-16.
Gibbs (2-3, 2-2) at Robinson (4-0, 3-0)
The breakdown: The Gladiators lack depth, but they scrap on every play. Gibbs frustrated Lakewood last week for a half before giving up two second-half touchdowns. An even better effort is needed against Robinson’s staunch defense.
Who’s hot: Gibbs RB Adrian Johnson broke off a 44-yard run last week and has taken some of the burden off Emmanuel Stewart.
Page: Robinson is just too good on defense. Robinson 27-6.
Putnam: Gladiators will hang — for a half. Robinson 40-19.
Boca Ciega (0-5, 0-2) at Pinellas Park (4-1, 2-0)
The breakdown: The Patriots are looking for their fourth straight win while Boca Ciega is trying to win its first game. Both teams are going to run, and Pinellas Park has been doing that pretty well this season.
Who’s hot: Patriots’ running back Pierre Johnson and Garret Nevitt have combined for five touchdowns so far.
Page: Patriots keep on grinding. Pinellas Park 17-14.
Putnam: Kenny Crawford gets another win against his alma mater. Pinellas Park 28-7.
Lakewood (5-0, 4-0) at Lennard (0-5, 0-3)
The breakdown: A Class 5A-8 game between teams headed in opposite directions. Lakewood has given up only nine points all season. On paper, this looks like a mismatch.
Who’s hot: Spartans defensive back Shaquill Griffin had an interception that set up a score in last week’s win over Gibbs.
Page: Things get tougher for the Spartans after this week. Lakewood 42-0.
Putnam: Spartans roll with old-school football. Lakewood 34-0.
Canterbury (1-5, 1-4) at Indian Rocks Chr. (4-1, 4-1)
The breakdown: Another Class 2A-5 game. No team has been a bigger surprise than Indian Rocks Christian. The Golden Eagles are sitting atop the district after an upset of Admiral Farragut. Canterbury, which defeated Calvary Christian for its only win, is looking for another upset.
Who’s hot: Zeke McGaughy has been solid all season for IRC, with 489 yards and five touchdowns.
Page: Indian Rocks continues to roll. IRC 31-13.
Putnam: Golden Eagles stay in playoff hunt. IRC 35-21.
Keswick Chr. (1-4, 1-3) at Cambridge Chr. (3-2, 2-2)
The breakdown: After scoring just 28 points in their first four games, the Crusaders scored 35 in a win against Northside Christian last week. They’ll need another effort like that to win their second straight.
Who’s hot: Keswick running back Adam Foster rushed for 209 yards and three touchdowns last week.
Page: Keswick got its first win last week, but two straight is too much to ask. Cambridge 18-9.
Putnam: Crusaders might not have enough to win this one. Cambridge 24-16
Seffner Chr. (3-2) at Shorecrest (3-2)
The breakdown: A battle of independents. Shorecrest comes off a bye week while Seffner lost to Landmark Christian 45-7.
Who’s hot: Shorecrest’s Garrett Schulte has rushed for six touchdowns.
Page’s pick: Shorecrest takes it at home. Shorecrest 27-14.
Putnam’s pick: Chargers get one step closer to winning season. Shorecrest 24-21