It's a light week for South Shore and Brandon schools, so maybe it's the perfect time to see if the resurgence at Bloomingdale may be more than a one-game wonder.
It's a tossup between which Bulls had a bigger opening-week win: the University of South Florida or Bloomingdale. The Valrico version won in Week 1 for the first time since 2004 and could become the first Bulls team in 17 years to go 2-0 with a victory tonight against Strawberry Crest.
The Bulls opened with a fairly surprising victory over Chamberlain and now hope to build on the momentum with another win at Strawberry Crest.
Durant, East Bay and Plant City also look to build on first-week wins, while Lennard and Seffner Christian seek bounce-back wins. Armwood, Brandon, Riverview and Spoto all have the week off.
All kickoffs are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. unless noted.
Bloomingdale (1-0) at Strawberry Crest (0-1)
Last week: Bloomingdale defeated Chamberlain 25-20; Strawberry Crest lost to Plant City 69-6.
The skinny: How about them Bulls? Junior Eugene Baker keyed the win over the Chiefs with a strong rushing attack, and Adam Posateri scored twice on a 20-yard reception and a 50-yard punt return. Given that, their chances look good against a Chargers team that struggled against Plant City.
Newsome (1-0) at Jefferson (0-1)
Last Week: Newsome beat Tampa Bay Tech 26-25; Jefferson lost to Robinson 38-18.
The Skinny: Newsome showed grit in its win against Tech, losing an early lead, only to come back and win at the end with a late score on a drive led by QB Will Worth. Jefferson, meanwhile, is smarting from its loss to Robinson in the opener. The loss was the Dragons' first since the end of the 2009 season. Jefferson coach Jeremy Earle said his young team would learn from the loss, which included four turnovers.
Durant (1-0) at Alonso (1-0)
Last Week: Durant defeated Freedom 36-0; Alonso defeated Gaither 25-14.
The Skinny: Durant QB Nick Fabrizio was practically unstoppable last week, piling up a little more than 200 yards on the ground and three touchdowns. Alonso has its own running threat in Ish Witter, who shredded Gaither for 121 yards and two scores. Expect both defenses to focus on stopping the run tonight.
Plant City (1-0) at Freedom (0-1)
Last Week: Plant City defeated Strawberry Crest 69-6; Freedom lost to Durant 36-0.
The Skinny: The Raiders may have set the tone for the year with their dominant performance in their season opener. QB Bennie Coney looked surgical in carving up Strawberry Crest with 270 yards passing and three TDs. However, loss of starting safety and defensive captain Sam Green during mop-up time against the Chargers could come back to haunt the Raiders come playoff time. Freedom started the year on a down note and looked bad in the process, posting just over 100 yards of offense.
East Bay (1-0) at Steinbrenner (0-1)
Last Week: East Bay defeated Lennard 13-2; Steinbrenner lost to Sickles 10-0.
The Skinny: Neither East Bay nor Steinbrenner did much on the scoreboard in their openers, but both units are playing solid defense. Now East Bay's defense will get a chance to slow down the Warriors' main source of offense, RB Jake Carroll, who posted 123 total yards last week.
Zephyrhills (0-1) at Tampa Catholic (1-0)
Last Week: Zephyrhills lost to Land O'Lakes 36-21; Tampa Catholic beat Bayshore 17-14.
The Skinny: Tampa Catholic overcame sloppy play to hold off Bayshore in its opener, but the Crusaders will have to be sharper tonight against Zephyrhills and QB Jamal Roberts. The underrated Roberts is a standout runner and passer, and rushed for three scores to keep the Bulldogs close in their opening loss to Land O'Lakes.
King (1-0) at Tampa Bay Tech (0-1)
Last week: King defeated Wharton 14-6; Tampa Bay Tech lost to Newsome 26-25.
The skinny: This should be a whale of a game. King quarterback Greg Windham was a little off last Friday (13-of-24 for 113 yards, on TD and one INT) but his 97-yard TD run was huge early and he engineered a comeback win against a good Wharton team. Look for Tampa Bay Tech, which lost late to Newsome, to come out angry.
Kissimmee Life Academy at Seffner Christian (0-1)
Last week: Season opener for Life Academy; Seffner Christian lost to Mount Dora Bible 37-7.
The skinny: The Crusaders, in just their second year of football, struggled in last week's opener against Mount Dora. Seffner Christian gained just 119 yards, and its lone touchdown came on an 80-yard Tanner Richardson kickoff return. Life Academy is in its first year of varsity football.
Middleton (0-1) at Jesuit (0-1)
Last week: Middleton lost to Hillsborough 30-0; Jesuit lost to Plant 34-20.
The skinny: Jesuit pulled quite a switcheroo before the Plant game last week, going with Aaron Paulsen at QB over former starter Tommy Eveld. After a shaky start, Eveld came in and rallied the Tigers but came up a little short in the loss to Plant. So who will start under center tonight? That might not be known until game time.
Gibbs (1-0) at Lennard (0-1)
Last week: Gibbs defeated St. Petersburg 12-5; Lennard lost to East Bay 13-2
The skinny: Gibbs is brimming with athletes from the skill positions and earned first-year coach Antonio Knox a win in the opener against St. Petersburg. East Bay controlled the ground game last week against Lennard's defense. That's bad news with Gibbs' Emmanuel Stewart coming to town.
Berkeley Prep (1-0) at Lakeland Victory Christian (0-1) (7 p.m.)
Last week: Berkeley Prep defeated Trinity Prep 45-14; Victory Christian lost to Admiral Farragut 42-13.
The Skinny: The Buccaneers got off to a fast start last week with QB Destin Nichols throwing four touchdowns in the romp against Trinity Prep. Victory, meanwhile, hopes to gain some traction after being run over by Admiral Farragut last week.
Times correspondent Rod Gipson contributed to this report. Brandon Wright can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.