TAMPA — All hope is not lost.
Despite Carrollwood Day School's loss to Admiral Farragut two weeks ago, the Patriots are still alive in the Class 2A, District 5 race. And that's thanks to Farragut's loss last week to Indian Rocks Christian.
Tonight starts a four-week dash to the finish of the season for Carrollwood, with four league games, including a home date in two weeks against district leader Indian Rocks Christian.
Heading into tonight, Indian Rocks holds the advantage with a 4-1 mark in district play. Carrollwood Day and Admiral Farragut are both 3-1, although Farragut holds the tiebreaker by virtue of the 36-29 victory on Sept. 28.
More league wins for Carrollwood, including one tonight against Bradenton Christian and particularly against Indian Rocks, would go a long way toward cementing a playoff berth.
Tonight's slate features mostly nondistrict contests. Among them: New Tampa rivals Freedom and Wharton square off; Alonso hosts Plant City; Gaither hosts East Bay and Chamberlain travels to Durant. In district matchups, Cambridge hosts Keswick Christian and Sickles tries to rebound from its Armwood loss at home against another power, Hillsborough.
All kickoffs are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. unless noted.
Plant City (3-2) at Alonso (3-2)
Last week: Plant City lost to Durant 22-7; Alonso defeated Bloomingdale 20-0.
Why you should go: Alonso is playing much better. After an 0-2 start, the Ravens have won three games in a row, outscoring opponents 76-13. The Alonso defense, a huge reason for the upswing, allowed just 100 total yards in its shutout win against Bloomingdale.
Bloomingdale (3-3) at Leto (0-6)
Last week: Bloomingdale lost to Alonso 20-0; Leto lost to King 48-3.
Why you should go: The Falcons could compete in this one, or at least score a few points. Bloomingdale has lost two of its last three and was shut out last week. Leto RB Andre Simpson has 300 yards rushing on the season and has scored both of the team's touchdowns this year. He could get more tonight.
Chamberlain (2-3) at Durant (5-0)
Last week: Chamberlain defeated Freedom 31-16; Durant defeated Plant City 22-7.
Why you should go: In a matchup of good running backs, it's defense that will be key. Chamberlain RB Xavier Johnson (475 yards, six TDs) and Durant RB Jamarlon Hamilton (335 yards, eight TDs) will get their yards, but Chamberlain's defense will have to be stout to slow down unbeaten Durant's other weapons.
East Bay (2-2) at Gaither (4-1)
Last week: East Bay defeated Riverview 33-14; Gaither defeated Steinbrenner 22-6.
Why you should go: To see Gaither's offense and defense, which are clicking on plenty of cylinders. QB Alex McGough threw two more TD passes, while the Cowboys' D forced five turnovers and blocked a punt against the Warriors.
Hillsborough (5-0) at Sickles (3-2, 1-1)
Last week: Hillsborough defeated Jefferson 36-28; Sickles lost to Armwood 20-16.
Why you should go: Sickles was close to pulling off its biggest upset in program history last week with its fourth-quarter lead against state-ranked Armwood slipping away in the fourth quarter. The Gryphons have to rebound quickly — another 6A-8 district loss tonight and its dangling playoff hopes will likely be gone.
Riverview (2-3) at Steinbrenner (1-4)
Last week: Riverview lost to East Bay 33-14; Steinbrenner lost to Gaither 22-6.
Why you should go: To see if the Warriors can bounce back from an awful three-game losing streak.
Wharton (3-2) at Freedom (2-4)
Last week: Freedom lost to Chamberlain 31-16; Wharton lost to Plant 27-7.
Why you should go: Are you kidding? It's the battle of New Tampa. And Wharton and Freedom are both playing better football this season, although both are coming off losses. And, Wharton's Chase Litton (975 yards passing, nine TDs) and Freedom Taylor King (400 yards, five TDs) have played well of late.
Keswick Christian (1-4, 1-3) at Cambridge Christian (3-2, 2-2)
Last week: Keswick defeated Northside Christian 35-28; Cambridge lost to Calvary 37-8.
Why you should go: Go check out Cambridge athlete Robbie Robertson. This do-it-all player leads Cambridge in rushing with 532 yards and seven TDs, leads the team in receptions with 21 catches for 286 yards and three TDs. He's even thrown a touchdown pass this season. All totaled, he's accounted for more than 800 yards and 11 TDs this season.
Carrollwood Day School (5-1, 3-1) at Bradenton Christian (3-3, 3-1), 7 p.m.
Last week: CDS defeated Canterbury 40-19; Bradenton Christian lost to Imagine School of North Port 40-38.
Why you should go: Because CDS, thanks to Admiral Farragut's loss to Indian Rocks Christian, is still alive in the Class 2A, District 5 playoff chase. CDS is tied for second in league play with Admiral Farragut, which topped the Patriots earlier in the season to hold a tiebreaker edge. In the meantime, CDS needs district wins while it eyes an Oct. 26 showdown with district frontrunner Indian Rocks Christian.