Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Friday night matchups

With the first week of regular-season football upon us, we take a look at some of Friday night's matchups that will go a long way in deciding who comes out on top this season.

Palm Harbor University's Sean Shelton vs. Tarpon Springs' Danny Reyes

Shelton and Reyes, both seniors, are the veteran quarterbacks in a county where most programs are breaking in first-time starters.

Shelton, a four-year starter, is the most experienced. He is trying to lead the Hurricanes to their first winning season and playoff berth. It is a tough task considering PHU lost several players in the offseason. Lineman Chaz Green and receiver Jordan Jones transferred to Tampa Catholic and receiver Matt McNeely broke his leg this summer and is out until midseason. Shelton also has to face a Spongers secondary that is adept at picking off passes.

Reyes, a three-year starter, led Tarpon Springs to a 6-4 record last season. Most of Reyes' receivers return, notably Bobby Vavlas, Drew Kier and Josiah Fisk. Reyes also has a veteran offensive line and a good stable of running backs.

The game is important to both quarterbacks with many college scouts from smaller Division I schools expected to attend.

Dunedin's Darius Bellamy vs. Boca Ciega's defense

Last season, Bellamy ran through and around defenders on his way to a school-record 1,950 yards and 22 touchdowns. But in the season opener last season he was stopped in his tracks by a Pirates defense that held him to 34 yards on 12 carries.

Boca Ciega had success because it noticed Bellamy tensed up whenever he was getting the ball and was more relaxed whenever he didn't. Bellamy has fixed that glitch in his game and will benefit from running behind an offensive line that returns four starters, counting the tight end.

The Pirates' defense still is solid, led by lineman Julius Forte. Last week, Boca Ciega recorded seven sacks in a preseason game against Blake.

Lakewood's speed vs. Gibbs' speed

This rivalry game could turn into a track meet. After all, most of the skill players are sprinters.

The Spartans return nearly everyone who scored a touchdown last season. Jacquez Jenkins will be the quarterback after a strong showing in the spring. He has plenty of targets with Bernard Reedy, Victor Perkins and Frank Minton.

The Gladiators lost most of their skill players. But coach Yusuf Shakir is confident in the newcomers, especially after Gibbs placed high in several seven-on-seven tournaments this summer.

Josh Rembert is the starting quarterback. Jarvis West is the biggest playmaker as a runner or receiver.

Bob Putnam can be reached at [email protected]

Friday night matchups 09/04/08 [Last modified: Thursday, September 4, 2008 12:17am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Tampa Bay Downs full of high-paying races this season


    OLDSMAR — Tampa Bay Downs is green like never before.

  2. Astros rout Yankees to force Game 7 of AL Championship Series


    HOUSTON — Justin Verlander pitched seven shutout innings to outduel Luis Severino for the second time, and the Astros bats came alive in their return home as Houston routed the Yankees 7-1 Friday night and forced a decisive Game 7 in the American League Championship Series.

    The Astros’ Brian McCann, who has struggled during the ALCS, breaks a scoreless tie with an RBI double during the fifth inning off Yankees starter Luis Severino.
  3. Fennelly: What's not to like about Lightning's start?

    Lightning Strikes

    BRANDON — No one is engraving the Stanley Cup. No one has begun stuffing the league MVP ballot box for Nikita Kucherov.

    The Lightning, with a win tonight, would match the best start in franchise history, 7-1-1 in the 2003-04 Cup season.
  4. Quarterback Jameis Winston will start Sunday for the Bucs


    TAMPA — Jameis Winston hadn't thrown in practice since he injured his right shoulder in Sunday's loss at Arizona, and with that uncertainty, a wide line of TV cameras and reporters' cellphones were all out Friday morning, recording the moment as Winston tested his shoulder with his first throws early in …

    Despite a sore shoulder, Jameis Winston will be making his 38th consecutive start since being drafted first overall in 2015.
  5. Bucs journal: LB Kwon Alexander ready to return from injury


    TAMPA — LB Kwon Alexander, sidelined by a hamstring injury since the second quarter of the Bucs' season opener against Chicago, will finally make a healthy return Sunday against the Bills.

    Linebacker Kwon Alexander needs “to get my stats back up” after being out since the opener.