The opening week of the season was highlighted by one upset (Palm Harbor University over Tarpon Springs) and a wild finish (Countryside holding on to beat Boca Ciega). And it was a good week if you were a new coach and your last name was Davis. After all, Jared Davis at Countryside and John Davis at Clearwater Central Catholic were the only new coaches to win in their debuts. Here is the recap from Week 1.
1. St. Petersburg (1-0): The Green Devils use their ground game and capitalize on special teams and defensive plays in a rare rout of East Lake. Next up is another big test against rival Lakewood.
2. Countryside (1-0): The Cougars do just enough to survive, getting big plays on defense and sticking to a smash-mouth attack to beat Boca Ciega.
3. Largo (1-0): The Packers young players come through to turn a close game into a convincing victory against rival Dunedin in the opener.
4. Lakewood (1-0): Defense is the Spartans’ calling card. But they also showed they can run the ball in a dominating performance against Gibbs.
5. Boca Ciega (0-1): Hard to punish the Pirates after staying with Countryside and having a chance to win in the final minute.
6. East Lake (0-1): Forget the 36-13 score. The Eagles had 20 first downs and threw for 174 yards against St. Petersburg. East Lake will get better.
7. Clearwater Central Catholic (1-0): The Marauders continue to impress with a 35-3 romp over Wesley Chapel to give John Davis the win in his second stint as coach.
Knocking on the door: Palm Harbor University, Pinellas Park.
Pete Dinovo, East Lake: In his first ever start, was 13-for-23 for 174 yards and a touchdown in a loss to St. Petersburg.
Tavares Dunlap, Northeast: Broke off fourth quarter touchdown runs of 66 and 36 yards to help the Vikings pull away from Dixie Hollins late.
Cortavious Givens, Admiral Farragut: 166 yards rushing and two touchdowns in the Blue Jackets opening game victory.
Justin Goodloe, Clearwater Central Catholic: Scored three times and gained 121 yards on the ground on 23 carries.
Tyler Higbee, East Lake: The week one county receptions leader after grabbing eight passes for 86 yards.
Terry Johnson, Countryside: Johnson put the Cougars ahead by two touchdowns after intercepting a pass and returning it 40 yards for a score, then rushing 80 yards up the middle of the Boca Ciega defense for another.
Armani Lonardo, Keswick Christian: Caught seven passes for 110 yards and a score and hit the game-winning field goal from 22 yards out to send the Crusaders past Indian Rocks Christian.
Stevie Murph, St. Petersburg: Murph’s 97-yard, third quarter kickoff return for a touchdown broke East Lake’s back in the Green Devils rout of the Eagles.
Trevor Sand, Seminole: Warhawks workhorse carried 25 times for 108 yards and produced three touchdowns in a narrow loss.
Gary Simon, Gibbs: Scored both of the Gladiators touchdowns - 80 yard punt return and 17 yard reception -- in a loss to Lakewood.
Michael Smith, Pinellas Park: Scored three red zone touchdowns in the Patriots blowout win over Osceola.
Offensive player of the week
Brent O’Neal, Canterbury: The Crusaders were missing James Goodwin, who left with an injury in the first half. That meant the bulk of the rushing load would go to O’Neal, who responded with 222 yards and four touchdowns, including two 70-yard scores. O’Neal also got into the end zone on defense, returning an interception 35 yards for a touchdown.
Defensive player of the week
Cody Pogorelc, St. Petersburg: A linebacker with a nose for the ball, Pogorelc came up with three big plays in the first half of the Green Devils’ win over East Lake. The first two came on consecutive sacks that helped stall an Eagles drive and force a field goal that was blocked. The final one was a fumble recovery that led to a touchdown and a 14-0 lead.