Sunday, April 22, 2018
Sports

Column: Jefferson QB Porter is unstoppable

LARGO — Largo defenders went to bed Friday night, I imagine, with visions of Jefferson quarterback Deiondre Porter dancing in their heads.

The Packers contained him in the first two quarters, kept him from making his usual big plays, and shut down his big-play wide receivers.

But after halftime, not so much.

The Jefferson quarterback slipped through tackles, ran through holes and broke the backs of the Packers.

He scored three of his four touchdowns in the final two quarters, including one on a fourth-and-3 play that capped a 95-yard drive and gave Jefferson its first lead early in the final period.

The Dragons would not relinquish it.

"We couldn't stop him," said Largo coach Rick Rodriguez.

Porter had never rushed — or needed to rush — more than 21 times in a game until Friday, when he finished with 32 for 203 yards.

And it was the first time he had ever scored four rushing touchdowns.

After Largo opened the second half by recovering an onside kick and scoring on a deep pass to Raheem Harvey to open up a 17-6 lead, Porter got busy.

"I looked at him and said, 'You ready to be the man?' " said Jefferson coach Jeremy Earle. "He said, Coach, give me the ball. When you have that kind of guy, you gotta give it to him."

Gatorade buckets

1. The Jefferson defense was outstanding in the second half. After Donavan Hale connected on the pass to Harvey to make it 17-6, it forced Largo into five straight punts. The line got after Hale, and the defensive backs, led by Chavez Pownell, backed them up with nice coverage. Hale completed only 10 of his 35 passes.

"We couldn't get a first down," Rodriguez said.

2. The Jefferson offensive line — Gino Harrington, Zack Buchanan, Kenny Nelson, Josh Marrero and T.J. Williams — made sure the inside trap popped a few times in the second half and cleared the way for Porter. "They made holes for me, and I ran through them," Porter said.

3. Largo's plan was to play zone on the half of the field where there were three wide receivers, and leave Cordell Hudson on an island with whoever lined up on the other side. No help. Just Hudson. They called it Delly Island at practice, and after a few long pass attempts his way, he didn't see much action. He might even be a big part of the reason the Dragons went to the run game in the second half. It may have rained Friday night, but it was sunny on Delly Island.

Booooooo

The Packer stands were only about half full Friday, and that's pretty pathetic. The county's most consistent program, a perennial playoff team, and it appears the fans decided to bail on them.

Was it the threat of rain? The fact the game was on TV? Or did they figure the Packers couldn't win after the suspension and arrest of their two best players?

All three reasons, by the way, are poor excuses to miss a playoff game involving such a successful program.

Big numbers

47 — total touchdowns Porter has had a hand in this season, with 28 passing and 19 rushing, and he's now over 4,000 combined yards from scrimmage as well.

3 hours, 15 minutes — the time it took to play Friday's game, which is one of the longer non-overtime, non-catastrophic injury games I've ever seen.

5 — straight playoff losses for Largo, which is now 1-5 since going to back-to-back state semifinals in 2007 and '08.

Comments
Baseball: Bulls edge Knights to even series

Baseball: Bulls edge Knights to even series

After a two-hour weather delay Saturday evening at USF, the remote local threat of lightning finally dissipated.The postseason intensity never did.For the second consecutive night, the UCF-USF baseball series delivered, this time with the Bulls (25-1...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Athleticsí Sean Manaea no-hits Red Sox

Athleticsí Sean Manaea no-hits Red Sox

OAKLAND, Calif. – Sean Manaea watched as Marcus Semien fired a ball from short to second baseman Jed Lowrie, turned around, and jumped into the arms of catcher Jonathan Lucroy. History was made at the Coliseum.Manaea no-hit the Red Sox on ...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Maple Leafs force Game 6 with Bruins

Maple Leafs force Game 6 with Bruins

BOSTON — Tyler Bozak and James van Riemsdyk scored 1:19 apart in the second period, and then the Maple Leafs killed off a 5-on-3 and three more power plays in a row to beat the Bruins 4-3 in Game 5 on Saturday night and avoid playoff eliminatio...
Updated: 4 hours ago

Sundayís sports on TV/radio

TODAYAutosNHRA: SpringNationals2 p.m.FS1IndyCar: Grand Prix of Alabama3 p.m.NBCSNBaseballTwins at Rays1 p.m.Fox Sun; 620-AMMarlins at Brewers2 p.m.FSFIndians at Orioles2 p.m.MLBCubs at Rockies (in progress)4 p.m.MLBNationals at Dodgers8 p.m.ESPNColle...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Marc Topkinís takeaways from Raysí 10-1 Saturday win over Twins

Marc Topkinís takeaways from Raysí 10-1 Saturday win over Twins

* Is it time to take the leap and believe this is the real Blake Snell? He talked a good game this spring and pitched well in his debut, but that rough second outing raised old doubts. But a good outing in Chicago and two dominant ones on the homesta...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Yankees give top prospect Gleyber Torres a shot in majors

Yankees give top prospect Gleyber Torres a shot in majors

Gleyber Torres cannot help an erratic staff of starting pitchers. Nor can he help shake Giancarlo Stanton from his April funk. But the Yankees hope that calling up Torres from Triple A on Saturday will provide a jolt before they fall much farther beh...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Georgi Hristovís 57th goal ties Rowdies team record

Georgi Hristovís 57th goal ties Rowdies team record

ST. PETERSBURG — Georgi Hristov tied a 40-year-old franchise record with his 57th career goal Saturday at Al Lang Stadium, fueling the Rowdies' 2-0 shutout of previously unbeaten Real Monarchs SLC.Hristov, a forward in his sixth season with Tam...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Rays Tales: How low can this team go compared to those Devil Rays days?

Rays Tales: How low can this team go compared to those Devil Rays days?

When the Rays, in the opening weekend of their 20th anniversary celebration season, brought back and honored the inaugural 1998 Devil Rays squad, it got us thinking unexpected thoughts, such as which was a better team:The first one, or the current on...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Rays Journal: Team effort pays off in 10-1 win over Twins

Rays Journal: Team effort pays off in 10-1 win over Twins

ST. PETERSBURG – Let's be clear here, the Rays still have a long way to go, and a lot of ground to make up.But seeing them play like they did Saturday in beating the Twins 10-1, putting on a solid all-around show in cobbling their first three-g...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Lightning-Devils: How the NHLís top offense went on the defensive

Lightning-Devils: How the NHLís top offense went on the defensive

TAMPA — It was a couple of days after the Lightning beat the Bruins at home late in the regular season when associate coach Rick Bowness talked about how the defensive effort used in that shutout victory was the one the Lightning would need in ...
Updated: 6 hours ago