Cougars, Raiders face off for bragging rights

In the opening weeks of the season, some teams (undefeated Armwood and Plant City) answered questions, while others (0-3 Durant and Spoto) seem to have more questions than answers. Now district play moves into full gear with even those squads who have gotten off to inauspicious starts still hopeful of making the playoffs. Each team plays all of its district foes once with the top two finishers advancing to the postseason. All games kick off at 7:30 p.m.

Durant (0-3) at Plant City (2-0)

Last week: Durant lost to Tampa Bay Tech 31-10; Plant City DNP.

Why you should go: Because it's a bragging rights game. This is one of the few high school games in the county where you will be apt to see people tailgating in the parking lot and students sporting face paint in school colors. The stands will be packed, and what fans may witness is the ongoing maturation of Plant City quarterback Landon Galloway, who continues to impress after moving from receiver. On the other side, the Cougars are 0-3 and desperate to earn a victory against a neighborhood rival. Tighten your chinstrap for this one.

Newsome (2-1) at Alonso (2-1)

Last week: Newsome lost to Sickles 27-7; Alonso defeated East Bay 35-3.

Why you should go: After losing their entire backfield to transfers and graduation, the Wolves have had Travis Hempstead assume the lead role this season. Hempstead leads the team in rushes (46), yards (272) and TDs (3). Look for all those totals to increase against the Ravens.

Brandon (1-2) at Strawberry Crest (1-2)

Last week: Brandon lost to Riverview 28-21; Strawberry Crest lost to Tallahassee Leon 32-26.

Why you should go: Junior Joshua Engram is off to a hot start for the Chargers, racking up four sacks and two forced fumbles in the first three games.

Riverview (1-1) at Wharton (2-1)

Last week: Riverview beat Brandon 28-21; Wharton defeated Freedom 19-6.

Why you should go: Riverview QB Keisean Young was electric last week against Brandon, gashing the Eagles for 209 yards and three TDs on 20 carries. Young had TD runs of 1, 65 and 76 yards.

Robinson (0-3) at Armwood (3-0)

Last week: Jefferson beat Robinson 39-22; Armwood defeated Hillsborough 37-2.

Why you should go: Armwood rolled up nearly 400 yards of offense last week against the Terriers and were a blocked punt in the end zone away from a shutout. Robinson is in for a long night.

Blake (1-2) at Lennard (0-3)

Last week: Blake beat Leto 54-0; Lennard lost to Chamberlain 28-14.

Why you should go: After keeping it respectable against might Armwood, Blake exploded for 54 points and its first win of the season last week. Corey Bennett, who ran for four touchdowns against Leto, should find plenty of running room tonight vs. Lennard.

Bloomingdale (2-0) at Plant (2-0)

Last week: Bloomingdale DNP; Plant beat Gaither 41-8.

Why you should go: How about those Bulls? It will take a colossal effort for the Bloomingdale to leave South Tampa undefeated, but the Bulls have shown plenty of reasons for playoff optimism.

Spoto (0-3) at East Bay (2-1)

Last week: Spoto lost to Steinbrenner 34-22; Alonso beat East Bay 35-3.

Why you should go: Following a pair of wins to open the season, East Bay came back to Earth last week with a 35-3 loss to Alonso. Spoto has yet to win this year, and this game may its best chance in awhile with Alonso, Jesuit and Plant City coming up in successive weeks.

Cougars, Raiders face off for bragging rights 09/18/13 [Last modified: Wednesday, September 18, 2013 4:48pm]

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