What we learned
1. In the second half, they rested.
After Plant piled up 41 first-quarter points against Riverview, the reserves finished off the Sharks 56-6. After Jefferson QB Quentin Williams threw touchdown passes No. 14 through 18 as the Dragons went up 48-0 in a 62-7 win over Osceola, the second-stringers came in. Call it garbage time, but for teams that have postseason plans, it's always good to get the No. 2's some game-speed reps.
2. You don't always need offense.
In a defensive battle, Hillsborough tallied just 150 yards total offense in its 20-13 win over Alonso but forced four turnovers. Some teams might be lighting up scoreboards this week (Jefferson, Armwood, Plant, King), but the Terriers are a good example that you can win games with defense and special teams.
3. It might be time to jump on the Longhorns bandwagon.
We admit, we've been hesitant to make a big deal about Lennard's best start in school history. But, man, the Longhorns are hard to ignore at 4-0 after another convincing win, this time a 35-14 triumph over St. Petersburg Catholic. And yes, they still have to tangle with district heavyweights Robinson and Jesuit, but we're about to put up our "Hook 'em" sign.
4. Don't cross the boss.
First-year coaches Wayne Ward (Plant City) and Lee Meitzler (Alonso) each benched their starting quarterbacks for violation of team rules this week. Each coach needed a win this week but decided discipline was more important. Both teams lost, but both coaches believe their signal-callers will return as better players.
5. Armwood won't be at full strength against Plant this week, and probably for the rest of the year.
WR A.J. King, returning from his knee injury a week earlier than expected, tore his ACL in the second quarter against Wharton and will most likely miss the rest of the season. The senior, a Purdue commitment, was the Hawks' leading receiver a year ago, and they had hoped to have him back on the field at full strength for this week's showdown against Plant.
This week's games to watch
Armwood (3-0) at Plant (3-1): The Hawks will be minus WR A.J. King (ACL in knee), but Armwood is still our No. 1 team. But Plant is still Plant (Actually, they're "Plant, Plant, Plant"). And this game is arguably between the bay area's top two programs: Since 2003, they've combined to win five state titles.
Jesuit (4-0) at Robinson (3-0): We've had this one circled since the schedules came out as the game to decide District 2A-5, but this could be one of the best games of the year. At this point, they're both legitimate state contenders as first-year coach James Harrell takes a strong Jesuit team south of Gandy to take on a stacked Knights team that rarely had to sweat so far this season.
Brandon (4-0) at Sickles (3-1): This was shaping up to be a matchup of undefeated squads before Sickles suffered a shutout at the hands of Largo on Friday, but it should still be a close game as the Eagles' run-heavy offense squares off with the Gryphons' two-headed backfield of Cary White and Brieann Dollard.
By the numbers
1.4 Yards per rush allowed by Hillsborough's defense in the Terriers' 20-13 win over Alonso
2 Interceptions, in 149 pass attempts, thrown by Berkeley Prep's Destin Nichols this season. Friday against CCC, Nichols was 6-for-7 for 110 yards and two TDs, all in the first half
4 Interceptions by Dillon Floyd over the last two weeks. The Carrollwood Day School junior picked off two passes last week and added two Friday night
|Berkeley Prep offensive line||Greg Tomlin, Jake Rosen, Speros Theofilos, Chase Carmichael, Marc Schwartz and Tyler Davis were the primary blockers for Nelson Agholor (20 carries, 178 yards, three touchdowns) in the Bucs' 37-7 romp of Clearwater Central Catholic.|
|RB Dazmond Patterson, Jr., Plant City||With starting QB Bennie Coney suspended, Patterson helped pick up the slack in the Raiders' 24-21 loss to Newsome. He racked up 217 all-purpose yards, pulled in a spectacular 50-yard touchdown catch and even threw for a 74-yard score on a halfback pass coach Wayne Ward said Patterson called himself.|
|RB Tyrell Garner, Jr., Brandon||Garner led the Eagles with 149 rushing yards and a touchdown on 10 carries as Brandon moved to 4-0 with a 28-14 win over East Bay.|
|CB Jeremiah Green, So, Hillsborough||Terriers coach Earl Garcia says Green is going to be the next Terrence Mitchell, and he wears the current USF freshman's old No. 3 jersey. On Friday, Green picked off two Alonso passes, including a fourth-quarter interception that helped Hillsborough seal a 20-13 win.|
|RB Tevin Abbney, Sr., Lennard||Abbney rushed 27 times for 192 yards and four touchdowns of 7, 7, 4 and 6 yards as the Longhorns remained undefeated with a 35-14 win over St. Petersburg Catholic.|
|WR Tyron Baker, Sr., Spoto||Baker was QB Nick Addison's favorite target in the Spartans' 56-8 rout of Blake. The speedy senior caught eight passes, four for touchdowns, and racked up 219 receiving yards in the first half.|
|RB Shawn Hibbert, Sr., King||In a 51-6 mauling of Strawberry Crest, the Lions tailback ran for 120 yards on just 12 carries, including a first-quarter 48-yard touchdown run that opened the scoring.|
"This was like a family brawl for me. (Hillsborough coach Earl Garcia) is like a big brother, and you know when you get into a fight with your big brother, it all hangs out."
Lee Meitzler, Alonso coach, who faced Garcia for the first time as a head coach in the Ravens' 20-13 loss. Garcia gave Meitzler his first coaching job in the bay area and was an assistant under Garcia for four years