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)

Hillsborough: Sunday morning quarterback

What we learned

Jesuit looks like a playoff-caliber team. Whatever doubts anyone had about the Tigers early in the season have been safely put to bed now. Tommy Eveld is a more-than-capable signal-caller. Running back Rico Gonzalez can handle 20-plus carries a game, and freshman Kevin Newman is emerging as a nice complement to him. The defense forced four turnovers in its 38-22 win over Spoto, and Bryce Greene hit his first field goal of the year. At this rate, it's hard to imagine Jesuit not earning one of the two playoff spots in the nine-team District 5A-8.

Plant has you where it wants you. Much has been written about how the Panthers get better as the season goes along. And this year, they seems to be writing a familiar script. Coming off a bye week, Plant pounded a solid Tampa Bay Tech team 36-0. Their defense, which hasn't allowed more than a touchdown in three straight games, can no longer be termed underrated. And for those hoping to catch the Panthers off their game now, Plant is 44-2 after Week 5 since 2006.

Robert Davis could start anywhere. After watching the Carrollwood Day junior's surreal performance Friday afternoon against Admiral Farragut (292 rushing yards, 99-yard kick return, interception) with a bum left shoulder, we're convinced. Farragut is no puny private-school outfit, and Davis ran through and past the Blue Jackets. Tailback, scatback, slot receiver — this kid could play somewhere for any school in the county.


"It was a great night for us overall. Offensively, defensively, and special teams. We were able to hit a a field goal tonight, and I'm happy about that."

James Harrell, Jesuit coach, on his team's dominating 38-22 win over Spoto

Game balls

RB/CB Antonio Crawford, Plant. The Panthers' Georgia Tech recruit, above, did it on both sides of the ball for Plant, scoring on a 2-yard run in the first quarter and returning an interception 88 yards for a touchdown in Plant's 36-0 win over Tampa Bay Tech.

QB Nick Fabrizio, Durant. The Cougars' senior operated the option offense with precision, rushing for 210 yards and four touchdowns on just 12 carries in a 41-21 win over Wharton.

RB Brandon Holloway, Alonso. The Mississippi State commitment scored three touchdowns in the Ravens' 38-0 win over Freedom, including a 70-yard kickoff return for a score.

QB Alan Knippel, Brandon. After completing two passes in the last two weeks, Knippel went 7-for-11 for 122 yards and three touchdowns in Brandon's 35-28 loss to Sickles.

RB Kevin Newman, Jesuit. Another week, another freshman running back from a Catholic school with a big game. He turned 11 carries into 79 yards and three touchdowns.

RB/LB Robbie Robertson, Cambridge Christian. The junior two-way player produced three of his team's four turnovers — two of them leading to touchdowns — and scored both of Cambridge's second-half touchdowns in a 39-27 district win over Indian Rocks Christian.

DL Cameron Rupp, Jesuit. The big guy (6-foot-4, 285 pounds) returned the first interception of his career 65 yards for a score.

DL Taylor Timmons, Tampa Catholic. The 6-foot-2, 285-pound defensive lineman had three sacks in the Crusaders' 28-14 win at Lake Highland Prep.

By the numbers

16 Consecutive shutout quarters by Armwood's defense. It hasn't allowed a point since the fourth quarter of its Aug. 26 win at Las Vegas Bishop Gorman. (Brandon scored on a kick return against Armwood, and TBT scored off a blocked punt.)

.857 Combined winning percentage of Jefferson's first four opponents. The Dragons faced two nationally ranked teams in a seven-night span, including Friday's 20-0 loss to Armwood.

13 Turnovers forced by Plant in four games this season, including four in the Panthers' 36-0 win over TBT.

8-1 The combined record of Jesuit and Tampa Catholic. Evidence of divine intervention?

Looking ahead

Hillsborough (4-1, 2-1) at Jefferson (1-3, 0-1). This is Game 2 of the Dragons' four-week stretch through the gauntlet of 6A-8, but this district game might be the most important. The winner takes the driver's seat on the way to a playoff berth. Adding fuel to the fire: First-year Jefferson coach Jeremy Earle guided Hillsborough to the 1996 Class 6A state title game.

Durant (3-1, 1-0) at Plant City (4-0, 1-0). There are three teams (Plant City, Durant and Newsome) for two playoff spots in 7A-8. Last year, Durant was the one left out. Consider this an opportunity for the Cougars to show that won't be the case this year.

Steinbrenner (3-1, 1-0) at Gaither (2-2, 1-0). In a district (7A-7) that no fewer than four teams can realistically win, this one is huge. It's no stretch to call this the biggest game in the Warriors' two-plus years of existence.

Hillsborough: Sunday morning quarterback 10/01/11 [Last modified: Saturday, October 1, 2011 9:50pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Rays journal: Erasmo Ramirez ready to start a day after closing game

    The Heater

    MINNEAPOLIS — RHP Erasmo Ramirez was on the mound to finish Sunday's 15-inning marathon win over the Twins and will start tonight's game against the Rangers.

    The Rays’ Erasmo Ramirez throws 12 pitches in the 15th inning against the Twins to earn the save then says after the game that he’s ready to make his scheduled start against the Rangers: “My arm feels good.”
  2. Rays exhausted but happy after 15-inning win over Twins (w/video)

    The Heater

    MINNEAPOLIS — Before the Rays eventually won Sunday's 6½-hour, 15-inning marathon against the Twins 8-6, they did plenty to lose it. And we need to get that out of the way first.

    The Rays’ Evan Longoria enjoys a laugh after scoring, barely, to tie it in the ninth on Steven Souza Jr.’s two-out single.
  3. Tom Jones' Two Cents: ABC's Indy 500 coverage is stellar again

    TV and Radio

    Times columnist Tom Jones looks back at the best and worst from a weekend of televised sports.

    Best coverage

    Takuma Sato left, celebrates after winning the Indianapolis 500 as Helio Castroneves is a little late passing him. ABC’s coverage of the race is stellar throughout, with plenty of extras but no fake drama.
  4. Takuma Sato surprise winner of wreck-filled Indy 500

    Auto racing

    INDIANAPOLIS — Takuma Sato, a journeyman driver, became the first Japanese winner of the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday when he held off three-time champion Helio Castroneves in a 230-mph wheel-rubbing duel to the finish.

    Scott Dixon’s car goes over the top of Jay Howard, soaring so high that Helio Castroneves drove under it while it was airborne. Stunningly, there were no serious injuries.
  5. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Sunday's Rays-Twins game

    The Heater

    The Rays won because they got two innings of good relief from each of the two pitchers who contributed to them losing Saturday's game, Danny Farquhar (who again struck out Miguel Sano) and Tommy Hunter, who both posted zeroes.