Sunday Morning QB: Approaching midseason



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Sun. September 28, 2014 | John C. Cotey | Email

Sunday Morning QB: Approaching midseason

SMQ team of the week

Clearwater Central Catholic: The Marauders, ranked No. 1 in Class 3A, had eight players nursing injuries during the week. Five were healed enough to play, but the Marauders still were without two of their offensive linemen for a matchup against Ocala Trinity Catholic, No. 4 in 3A. After falling behind early, CCC rallied for a wild 45-42 win. Quarterback Jeff Smith threw for a school-record 397 yards and three touchdowns and rushed for 113 and two more scores. “It was a tremendous win to be beat and come back the way we did,” Marauders coach John Davis said.


SMQ player of the week

Plant RB Patrick Brooks: In each of the past two weeks, Brooks has been clutch for the Panthers in the fourth quarter, breaking the game wide open in a win against Gaither on Sept. 12 before scoring the go-ahead touchdown in a rainy, turnover-laden district matchup with Bloomingdale a week ago. Friday in Plant’s 44-7 win against Tampa Bay Tech it was much of the same for the 5-foot-10 senior running back. But this time, he didn’t wait until the final minutes of the game to turn it on. Brooks scored a Plant record-tying five touchdowns against the Titans and had nearly 300 all-purpose yards. He leads Plant with 738 yards rushing and 11 touchdowns. 


SMQ coach of the week 

Todd Donohoe, Freedom: So, Freedom loses its best player to IMG to start the season, and the defense plays way better than anyone expected, once again controlling a team in a 10-7 win over Strawberry Crest. Donohoe has steered the Patriots to its best start in almost a decade. And the win that does that? Over Strawberry Crest, the school that dumped him three years ago. 


Stat of the night

Gulf’s Keshaun Peters didn’t complete every pass Friday, only the ones he needed to. He completed a pass on third and 16 (for 43 yards), third and 14 (for 54 yards), third and 13 (for 17 yards), third and 13 (for 16 yards), third and 7 (for 46 yards) and third and 17 (for 41 yards). So six of his 15 completions were on third and 7 or longer, accounting for 217 of his 417 yards.


Four midseason surprises

Freedom: The Patriots won again Friday, beating Strawberry Crest and improving to 4-1. Since the program started in 2003, Freedom has started 0-5 three times and 1-4 four times, but only once had it started 4-1, back in 2005.
Lennard: The Longhorns are 4-1 after their first loss Friday, but it was a game they should have won. Costly fumbles kept them from controlling their destiny, and now they need a lot of help to make the playoffs.
Berkeley Prep: The Bucs are a good, solid team without a lot of glitz, but they are 5-0 heading into next week’s district showdown with Fort Meade because they do everything well.
River Ridge: The Royal Knights (4-1) might just ride a feisty defense and workhorse Chris Schwarz right into the playoffs, and that hasn’t happened since 1998.

Four defensive efforts that make you say wow

1. Pinellas Park held Dixie Hollins to 46 total yards and two first downs in a 49-0 win.
2. Armwood held Jefferson to minus-4 yards of offense in its 42-0 district win. The Hawks have allowed just six points — Robinson scored a touchdown in the final seconds two weeks ago — in their past four games.
3. Berkeley Prep held Springstead to 107 total yards of offense, including 12 yards on 16 carries by leading rusher Daniel Wright. The Eagles didn’t convert their first third down until their last drive, making them 1-of-9 for the game.
4. Newsome held Jesuit to zero yards rushing, and just 72 yards for the game in an upset victory.


Four big-time moments

1. Facing fourth and goal from the 1-yard line in overtime against Pasco, Nature Coast coach Justin Worden figured it was now or never. He looked over at big offensive lineman Christian Pellage, a South Carolina commit, and asked him to play defense. After a timeout, Pellage was inserted at nose tackle in the hopes of disrupting the play. Pasco fumbled and it was ruled the Pirates were down at the 1 before pushing the ball in the end zone. “I didn’t play defense at all in the game, but they trusted me and put me in there,” Pellage said.
2. After Lennard squandered a wonderful chance to take its first lead of the night by fumbling on the Hillsborough 6, Terrier quarterback Dwayne Lawson drove his team 94 yards for a touchdown that all but ended the Longhorn hopes. The last three plays of the drive were runs of 17, 20 and 5 yards.
3. Osceola is not known for passing, but desperate times call for desperate measures — say when trailing 7-3 with one play left. That was when Warriors quarterback Ryan Allan heaved up a 22-yard touchdown to Wilan Harvey in the end zone as the horn sound to give Osceola a 9-7 win and ruin the Falcons’ homecoming night.
4. East Bay snapped a three-week string of one-point games in exactly the fashion you might expect, waiting until less than 30 seconds were remaining before James Hambrick broke off a 67-yard touchdown run to beat Wharton 14-7.


Record watch

Lakewood quarterback Ryan Davis threw for 200 yards vs. Gibbs on Monday, then 229 against Largo on Friday. He has 5,634 career passing yards. He needs 1,099 yards to tie former East Lake quarterback Pete DiNovo’s Pinellas County record of 6,733, or 219.8 yards per game in the next five games.  

Up next: vs. Boca Ciega, Thursday


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