Sunday Morning QB: Getting a little four quarters love



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Sat. September 6, 2014 | John C. Cotey | Email

Sunday Morning QB: Getting a little four quarters love

4 teams that are better than we thought

Hillsborough: We didn’t think the Terriers were bad. But the way the Terriers played defense in the second half against Jefferson, and the play of quarterback Dwayne Lawson, has inspired us. The Terriers’ frenetic and aggressive no-huddle offense is going to be a big problem for teams this year.

Sunlake: Apparently losing their offensive line and a ton of defensive starters isn’t enough to slow down the Seahawks. After beating Pasco last week and manhandling River Ridge on Friday, this is clearly the team to beat on the North Suncoast this year.

Indian Rocks Christian: Now, we already thought they were good enough to contend for a state title, but the Golden Eagles are beating teams so thoroughly even we can’t believe it.

Brandon: The Eagles beat Blake in the opener and fell in overtime to Bloomingdale this week. The offense isn’t putting up pretty numbers, but its defense is shaping up as one of grittiest around.


4 players who are better than we thought

1. Daniel Davis, Tarpon Springs: Yeah, we knew all about Davis before the season started, but not so sure we thought he could rush for 142 yards and catch passes for another 152 and average 29 yards every time he touched the ball, like he did Friday.

2. Malik Davis, Jesuit: Even sharing a backfield with Kevin Newman isn’t slowing Davis down. The sophomore ran for 174 yards and a couple of overtime touchdowns in a win over Lakewood Ranch on Friday night.

3. Rudy Dawson, Hillsborough: Dawson had 13 catches and two runs, and six of his 15 touches produced first downs. He was all over the field on offense Friday night. With Anthony King out with a possible torn ACL, Dawson could end up with huge numbers this season.

4. Trenton Soto, Fivay: In his last three games (two this season, final game of last season) the Falcon wide receiver has 14 catches, 369 yards and eight touchdowns. 


4 mind-bending performances

1. Tyrie Adams, Dixie Hollins: Whoever picked this guy to lead Pinellas County in passing might be a genius. Oh wait, that was me. We’ll have to do some research, but that 505-yard passing performance Friday night might be a county record.

2. Garrett Young, Cambridge Christian: After accounting for six touchdowns last week, the senior quarterback had seven (five passing, two rushing) this week. Well, Garrett, now you’re just showing off.

3. Jaylen Pickett, Zephyrhills: Good last week. Great this week. A career-high 261 yards for the senior athlete, and he’s just getting started.

4. Dixie Hollins and Northeast: Defense? We don’t need no stinking defense. The teams combined for 109 points.


4 random thoughts

1. CCC quarterback Jeff Smith looks like a different guy this year. Faster, smoother and more confident. I think he might be the best quarterback in Tampa Bay right now.

2. East Lake is so good. It has had a running clock because of the mercy rule (ahead by 35 points in the second half) in 11 of its last 12 regular-season games, including Friday’s 42-0 win over Largo. It was the Packers’ most lopsided loss since a 47-2 defeat against Lakewood in 1999. The average score for East Lake in those 12 games: 47-5.

3. If I may borrow a line from the Joker in the original Batman movie, East Bay sure likes to dance with the devil in the pale moonlight. Friday’s 7-6 win over Riverview was the the third time in its past four victories, dating to last season, that Easy Bay won by a single point.

4. The most surprising losses Friday night, in order: Pinellas Park (to Gibbs), Sickles (to Durant), and Pasco (to Fiv…) oh wait a minute, that wasn’t a loss, was it? Still...we’re surprised.


SMQ Team of the Week: Durant

On the first play Friday night, Sickles quarterback Isaac Holder hit Trey Fullwood for an 80-yard touchdown. It was the start, oddly enough, of a fantastic night for the Durant defense.

The opening play aside, the Cougars swarmed the vaunted Sickles running game, holding Ray Ray McCloud III to 39 yards on 15 carries and shocking the Gryphons, who are ranked No. 2 in the HomeTeam 25, by a 30-20 score.

“I mean, 34 (McCloud III) and 1 (Holder) were two very, very talented guys that we had to really, really pay attention to,” Durant coach Mike Gottman said. “I had no idea we would shut them down like we did. I think our kids were excited about the challenge. They just rose to the occasion.”

Durant played most of the night in its base defense and rarely blitzed. But a few adjustments after last week’s loss to Armwood, and some solid outings by freshman inside linebacker Tanner Jurnigan, safety Quenton Williams and defensive tackle Dustin Miller helped Durant become the first Tampa Bay team to hold McCloud under 100 yards since Jefferson in 2012, 15 games ago.

It was McCloud’s lowest rushing total since his freshman season.

“He’s pretty special,’’ Gottman said. ”I was kind of amazed.”

Durant got a career-high 150 yards rushing from Crispian Atkins, and quarterback Erick Davis threw for 89 yards and rushed for 134. Gottman also said kicker Derek Wells was key. The senior kicked three field goals (33, 30 and 44 yards) and put every kickoff except one in the end zone.


SMQ Player of the Week: D.J. Johnson, Gibbs 

Gibbs coach Rick Kravitz raved about the speed of  D.J. Johnson during the spring and preseason. On a team full of athletes, Kravitz believed Johnson was the fastest and most athletic of all. That proved true Friday night in Gibbs’ 22-14 upset win over Pinellas Park. Johnson was a fill-in for Tyrell Hubbard-Smith, who missed practices due to illness and did not start at quarterback. Johnson threw for 108 yards and scored a touchdown. 


Coach of the Week: Steve Lewis, Seffner Christian

Roughly 950 miles from West Point, Va., where Steve Lewis picked up the first win of his career coaching Essex High School, the coach picked up No. 150 Friday night. A longtime local fixture, Lewis has coached locally at now defunct Temple Heights Christian, Cambridge Christian and helped start the programs at Strawberry Crest and Seffner Christian. He might have one of his best teams this year. The Crusaders are 2-0 after a 35-10 win against St. Stephen’s. Seffner Christian had nearly 150 yards in penalties but Marcus Richardson rushed for more than 200 yards, and quarterback Jacob Couch added 123 through the air to deliver the milestone win to this 43-year veteran.


Chasing history

Lakewood quarterback Ryan Davis threw for 167 yards in a 34-31 win over Palmetto. He now has 4,954 yards passing in his high school career, which includes two years at Northeast. East Lake’s Pete DiNovo is the Pinellas County passing yards leader with 6,733. That means Davis needs 1,780 passing in the next eight games (or fewer if the Spartans make the playoffs) to surpass DiNovo, an average of 222.5 per game. 

Freshman: 343 yards (Northeast)

Sophomore: 2,120 yards (Northeast)

Junior: 2,158 yards (Lakewood)

Senior: 333 yards

Next up: at St. Petersburg



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