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Pinellas: Sunday Morning Quarterback

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Sat. October 5, 2013 | Rodney Page and Bob Putnam

Pinellas: Sunday Morning Quarterback

Times’ super 7

1. East Lake (6-0, 2-0): Eagles keep their 11-game regular-season win streak intact with a 51-13 win over Seminole
2. Largo (5-1, 1-0): Quarterback Donavan Hale threw for two touchdowns to lead the Packers in a district-opening 35-7 win over Osceola.
3. Clearwater Central Catholic (5-1, 2-0): It wasn’t pretty, but the Marauders beat St. Petersburg Catholic 35-14 for their eighth straight win over their biggest rival.
4. Pinellas Park (6-0, 2-0): Typical game for the Patriots, who rush for more than 400 yards in a 56-0 victory over Northeast that clinches third straight winning season.
5. Countryside (4-1, 2-0): Decade-long dominance over Clearwater continued with a 49-0 victory that keeps Cougars perfect in district play.
6. Lakewood (4-2, 2-0): Bounced back from last week’s loss to Largo with a 38-0 victory over district rival Boca Ciega.
7. St. Petersburg (4-1, 1-0): Green Devils gain edge for runnerup in Class 8A-7 with 28-6 win over Palm Harbor University.

Top five performances
1. CJ Cotman, ATH, CCC: The freshman, who is a threat to score every time he touches the ball, put up some whopping numbers against St. Petersburg Catholic, rushing for 145 yards on three carries, catching five passes for 57 yards and scoring on a 99-yard run in the fourth quarter.
2. Napoleon Maxwell, RB, Admiral Farragut: Maxwell rushed for 101 yards and two touchdowns and caught three passes for 70 yards and a touchdown in a 35-21 win over Calvary Christian.
3. Weston Fordham, RB, East Lake: Fordham had only six carries against Seminole, but he gained 111 yards and scored two touchdowns on runs of 48 and 31 yards.
4. Frankie Hernandez, LB, Largo: Hernandez led the Packers’ defensive charge in a 35-7 win over Osceola with 22 tackles.
5. Pierre Johnson, RB, Pinellas Park: Against Northeast, Johnson had 166 yards rushing on nine carries and scored twice.

What’s trending
Too much, too soon: So far, East Lake has been unstoppable, putting up points in record fashion. In six games, the Eagles have scored 280 points, eight shy of their total from the regular season last year. In five of those games, they have been ahead by such a whopping margin (35 points or more) that a running clock was used in the fourth quarter. The way East Lake is cruising is reminiscent of Largo’s run last year, when the Packers beat every county team by four touchdowns or more on their way to an undefeated regular season. Those blowouts can also have drawbacks. The Eagles needed just 15 plays on offense to put up 37 points against Seminole and in nearly every game East Lake’s starters took a seat by the fourth quarter. With district games coming up against Countryside and Pinellas Park (which are a combined 10-1), the Eagles might need those reps to stay sharp.   
Must win: Canterbury’s undefeated season went away with a loss to Carrollwood Day. If the Crusaders want to remain in the playoff hunt, they’ll have to get past Indian Rocks Christian, which is undefeated in Class 2A-5. Another loss this week and Canterbury likely will be knocked out of postseason contention. 
Firmly grounded: Lakewood coach Cory Moore said after last week’s loss to Largo that district games are the most important. Against district foe Boca Ciega on Friday, the Spartans focused on the running game, mainly because quarterback Ryan Davis was held out due to a concussion. Lakewood had 270 yards rushing and three touchdowns. More surprising, the Spartans only passed for 50 yards. It will be interesting to see if Lakewood sticks to the running game the rest of the season.

By the numbers
2 Safeties for Largo against Osceola.
2 Touchdown passes by Pinellas Park, doubling the Patriots’ total for the season.
4 Touchdowns East Lake scored on special teams or defense against Seminole.
6 Games in which Seminole has scored first this season.
7 Different players who scored for Countryside against Clearwater.
10 Times Boca Ciega, Clearwater and Northeast have been shut out this season.
33 Carries each by Seminole’s Ra’Quanne Dickens and Tarpon Springs’ Michael Ford.
48 Average yards per carry by CCC’s CJ Cotman in a win over St. Petersburg Catholic.

Five final words
East Lake just scored again. 

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