Thursday, January 18, 2018
Sports

AFA, SPC offenses always ready to cut, run

ST. PETERSBURG — Cortavious Givens carried would-be Indian Rocks Christian tacklers for extra yards, then arose from the scrum and gave his coaches the popular spoon-to-mouth gesture.

"Cortavious said, 'Feed me and I'll take care of it,' " AFA coach Ryan Hearn said. "When a great player does that, you feed him. He held up his end of the bargain."

Givens finished with 17 carries for 109 yards and helped the Blue Jackets to a 17-10 win last week over the Golden Eagles. In a way, it was a coming-out party for Givens. Or more appropriately, an "I'm back" party.

Givens, 5-foot-10, 220 pounds of solid muscle, tore his ACL in September 2011. He returned last season but had only 22 carries while mostly playing middle linebacker. Big colleges, like Florida and Florida State, that had sent letters stopped writing after the injury.

Other schools liked him as a linebacker. If he was going to get back on the Division I radar, he would have to show he's completely healed from injury.

"I'm a senior; I'm ready to get these highlights out," Givens said. "I'm ready to get the big offers. All the coaches from the Division I schools tell me they need to see the film. I'm going to give it to them."

Givens, playing with a chip on his shoulder, plans to run around and over as many opponents as possible this season. It continues tonight in a key Class 3A-5 game against St. Petersburg Catholic.

"I just need the ball and I'll help us win the game," Givens said. "I don't care who we're playing — CCC, SPC, whoever. I don't see anybody over there. Just give me the ball."

Stopping the running game will certainly be key for the Barons — and Admiral Farragut.

AFA (1-1) has Givens while the Barons (2-1) boast the trio of Jacquan Fuller, Tony Jones and Stephon Williams. Fuller leads the team with 36 carries for 294 yards and six touchdowns. Jones isn't far behind with 274 yards and three touchdowns. And Williams has 196 yards and three scores.

All of the Barons' 13 touchdowns have come via the run.

"We've got a nice running game right now," SPC coach Steve Dudley said. "Jacquan is very fast, and Tony and Stephon just run right over people."

Fuller spent his sophomore year trying to fill in for an injured Ryan Green (now at Florida State). Fuller played in five games and gained 424 yards. This season, he doesn't have the pressure of trying to be Green.

"I don't have to take every carry," Fuller said. "There's other guys on this team who can get yards. My job is to get to open space and make people miss."

Jones, a sophomore, doesn't mind his role. Especially since he gets to play with a family member.

"When I'm up at fullback I just block my butt off for Jacquan," Jones said. "And then when I'm at running back Jacquan blocks for me. Hey, we're cousins. We do that stuff for each other."

Rodney Page can be reached at [email protected].com or on Twitter @RodneyHomeTeam.

Comments
Lightning falls to Golden Knights

Lightning falls to Golden Knights

TAMPA — The door to the Lightning dressing room remained closed a little longer than usual Thursday night, and that wasn’t surprising.After the kind of performance displayed in its 4-1 loss to the expansion Golden Knights, this had players-only meeti...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Strong ties: USF vs. Louisville

Strong ties: USF vs. Louisville

TAMPA — USF has scheduled a three-game football series with Louisville — coach Charlie Strong’s former team — starting in 2022, giving his Bulls nine games against Power Five teams over the next seven years.USF visits Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium on ...
Updated: 1 hour ago

High school scoreboard for Jan. 18

Thursday’s scoreboardGirls basketballNortheast 64, Largo 24Boys soccerIndian Rocks Chr. 3, Berkeley Prep 2Palm Harbor U. 7, Tarpon Springs 0Girls soccerCountryside 5, Pinellas Park 0Palm Harbor U. 5, Tarpon Springs 1...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Djokovic wins in rising heat

Djokovic wins in rising heat

MELBOURNE, Australia — On a day when shade was a valuable commodity in the searing heat at Melbourne Park, Roger Federer played it cool at the Australian Open. Six-time champion Novak Djokovic, however, complained about the brutal conditions during h...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Sports in brief

GymnasticsUSA gymnastics Ends deal with KAROLYI ranch tainted by SEX abuse allegationsINDIANAPOLIS — The long relationship between USA Gymnastics and the Karolyi Ranch is over. The organization announced Thursday that it has terminated its agreement ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Star battle: Team LeBron versus Team Stephen

Star battle: Team LeBron versus Team Stephen

Team LeBron against Team Stephen is the NBA’s new All-Star matchup. Cleveland’s LeBron James and Golden State’s Stephen Curry will go head-to-head again, this time as captains who pick teams for the revamped All-Star Game. James and Curry received th...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Bruins continue climb up Atlantic Division

Bruins continue climb up Atlantic Division

NEW YORK — Patrice Bergeron scored three goals to lead Boston to a 5-2 victory over the Islanders on Thursday night, giving the Bruins at least a point for the 15th consecutive game. Brad Marchand had a goal and two assists as Boston improved to 11-0...
Updated: 1 hour ago
McIlroy returns from injury, trails by 3 in first round of European Tour event

McIlroy returns from injury, trails by 3 in first round of European Tour event

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates — Rory McIlroy’s patience was tested Thursday on his comeback, needing three late birdies to shoot 3-under 69 that left him three strokes behind first-round leaders Tommy Fleetwood and Hideto Tanihara at the Abu Dhabi ...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Carrollwood Day cruises past new district foe Seffner Christian

TAMPA – Carrollwood Day moved up to Class 4A this season, which meant it was in the same district as perennial power Seffner Christian. The Patriots made it clear Thursday night that they are the new team to beat.Four Carrollwood players scored...
Updated: 2 hours ago

Joe Smith’s takeaways from Thursday’s Lightning-Golden Knights game

Thought the bye week was a much-needed break for Andrei Vasilevskiy. And though you can’t pin Thursday’s loss on the goalie, he still gave up at least four goals for the fourth straight start (19 overall). Tampa Bay is used to Vasilevskiy’s brillianc...
Updated: 2 hours ago