Friday, January 19, 2018

East Hillsborough Football Preview For Week 2

SEFFNER — Skyler Clark said the reason he transferred from Armwood to Seffner Christian before the season was "strictly academic."

But it probably doesn't hurt that the senior instantly became a full-time player and likely the most athletic player on the field for the Crusaders.

"He's a pretty impressive athlete, isn't he?," Seffner Christian coach Steve Lewis said.

Indeed. The 6-foot-3, 205-pound Clark stands out in the world of small school football. Clark started at quarterback on the junior varsity Hawks before being switched to defensive end last season.

"I always wanted to play quarterback, so I just kept working on that as well as learning (a new position)," Clark said.

That opportunity arose when Clark transferred. The Crusaders had a big hole to fill under center when Tanner Richardson graduated and Clark was more than ready to step in.

"It's a matter of getting more and more comfortable with the playbook every day," Clark said.

Clark also gives SCA something it hasn't had in its brief history: a legitimate throwing threat. Clark, who has a big-time arm and throws a pretty spiral, went just 4-of-13 for 43 yards in the opener but had a number of passes dropped, including a clear 40-yard TD.

Clark also is a threat on the ground, running for 31 yards on five carries. He also plays defensive end.

"Tanner was more of a scat back, whereas Tyler has a bruising style," Lewis said. "You can tell he's been well-taught before he got here and we are glad to have him."

Bishop McLaughlin probably won't be glad that the Crusaders have Clark when they face off tonight. It's one of eight games involving East Hillsborough teams. All kickoffs are 7:30 unless noted.

American Heritage (1-0) at Armwood (1-0)

Last Week: American Heritage def. Atlantic 29-0; Armwood def.Brandon 55-0.

Why You Should Go: To get a glimpse of what you will see at Florida Field next year. Alvin Bailey scored three TDs last week (two receptions and a 77-yard run) and then announced he would play for the Gators next year. But American Heritage may be one of the Hawks' tougher games.

Alonso (0-1) at Durant (1-0)

Last Week: Alonso lost to Gaither 24-21; Durant def. Freedom 57-7.

Why You Should Go: To see if Durant's Jarmarlon Hamilton will continue to shine. The senior tailback ran for 175 yards and five TDs last week.

Strawberry Crest (1-0) at Bloomingdale (0-1)

Last Week: Strawberry Crest def. Plant City 21-7; Bloomingdale lost to Chamberlain 27-13.

Why You Should Go: Because the Chargers' Karel Hamilton is bidding to become Strawberry Crest's first Division I signee. The 6-foot-1, 190-pound senior wideout caught three passes for 92 yards against Plant City last week, including TD grabs of 41 and 21 yards.

Lennard (0-1) at Gibbs (0-1)

Last Week: Lennard def. East Bay 43-9; St. Petersburg def. Gibbs 30-20.

Why You Should Go: Because Lennard's Victor Williams might take another one to the house. The senior took the opening kickoff back 90 yards and scored the Longhorns lone touchdown against East Bay.

Steinbrenner (0-1) at East Bay (1-0)

Last Week: East Bay def. Lennard 43-9; Steinbrenner lost to Sickles 34-10.

Why You Should Go: The East Bay backfield is loaded with explosive players and Chris Greene shredded Lennard on the opener to the tune of 127 yards on just six carries, including a 77-yard TD run.

Freedom (0-1) at Plant City (0-1

Last Week: Freedom lost to Durant 57-7; Plant City lost to Strawberry Crest 21-7.

Why You Should Go: To see if Freedom can solve Devyn Salmon. The 6-foot-1, 285-pound run stuffer recently committed to Michigan State after sorting through 15 BCS schools.

Seffner Christian (1-0) at Bishop McLaughlin (0-1)

Last Week: Seffner Christian def. Master's Academy 42-0; Bishop McLaughlin lost to Cambridge Christian 43-10.

Why You Should Go: To see if the Crusaders can cruise to 2-0.

Jefferson (0-1) at Newsome (0-1)

Last Week: Robinson beat Jefferson 58-21; Newsome lost to Tampa Bay Tech 34-10.

Why You Should Go: To see if two-way throwback Will Worth (QB, LB) can help the Wolves bounce back from a disappointing season opener. Worth ran for a team-high 70 yards and threw for 128 more in a loss to TBT last week.

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