Sunday, April 22, 2018
Sports

Hillsborough: Sunday morning quarterback

Times' Super 7

1. Armwood (4-1): If nothing else, give the Hawks props for rallying from a 21-point deficit against Jefferson.

2. Plant (3-1): Panthers collect nary a style point for their comeback win at TBT, and they probably don't care.

3. Robinson (5-0): Meet the most opportunistic defense (11 touchdowns already) in the history of mankind.

4. Durant (4-0): The Cougars managed to win on a night when their offense didn't give them much.

5. Wharton (3-1): The Wildcats don't have much time to mourn their first loss with Plant coming to town.

6. Hillsborough (4-0): Terriers look efficient in 65-0 scrimmage against Leto.

7. Berkeley Prep (5-0): Things will start getting a bit treacherous for the Bucs in coming weeks.

In the conversation: Gaither (3-1), Plant City (3-1), Sickles (3-1), Tampa Bay Tech (3-2), Tampa Catholic (5-0)

Unprecedented

We defy anyone to find a defense, at any level, that has been as opportunistic as Robinson's through five games. The Knights have 11 — yes, 11 — defensive scores, with junior LB Javaughn Johnson scoring a school-record six. In Friday's 49-0 romp of Blake, the kid known as "JJ" set a Robinson single-game record with three defensive TDs (two interceptions, one fumble recovery). Eleven defensive TDs in five games?! Come on, we've got to believe that has never been done. Not in the NFL, XFL, TBYFL, nowhere.

Unsung

Some guys we should've appreciated more on Friday night:

LB/DL Reggie Butler, King: The senior man-child had three sacks and a fumble recovery in the upset of Strawberry Crest.

WR Tony Castro, Jesuit: On a night when the Tigers' blocking schemes were mostly brilliant, the 6-foot-2 senior stood out. "He blocks like a madman for his teammates," line coach Brian McNulty said.

ATH Andy Embody, Carrollwood Day: He scored on a 91-yard punt return and caught three passes for 43 yards at Admiral Farragut.

DB Vernon Hargreaves III, Wharton: Funny to say, but Hargreaves had a 64-yard interception return, a forced fumble, drew a pass interference in the fourth quarter and had at least a couple of touchdown-saving tackles.

S Leon McQuay, Armwood: Area's top uncommitted recruit had two interceptions against Jefferson.

Audibles

"He wanted to go back in, but in a game like this, I'm not going to risk his knee and his future just to put him back in. Hopefully, we'll win out and make the playoffs." — Lane McLaughlin, Carrollwood Day coach, on RB Robert Davis (at right, 17 carries, 107 yards), who exited with what McLaughlin called a sprained meniscus in the second half of a loss at Admiral Farragut

"No. 2 might be the best player we've seen this year." — Michael Bradley, Durant offensive coordinator, on Wharton LB Rocky Enos. That's high praise considering Enos, a 6-foot, 210-pound senior, plays on a defense that includes senior DB Vernon Hargreaves III, perhaps the area's top college recruit.

By the numbers

4

Defensive TDs scored by Robinson in the second quarter of Friday's win at Blake

9

First downs by Durant in its win against Wharton

18

Consecutive regular-season wins for Berkeley Prep, the longest current streak in the county

168

Rushing yards by Jamarlon Hamilton in Durant's victory against Wharton, only two more than his total in the Cougars' 20-point win last year

240

Penalty yards in Alonso's 35-6 win against Freedom. The teams combined for 30 infractions

Five thoughts on next week

1. If Armwood spots Sickles three touchdowns, the Hawks aren't coming back.

2. Tampa Catholic-CCC and Jefferson-Hillsborough suddenly appear a lot more interesting than they did two weeks ago.

3. We know some folks will deem Plant City a trap game for Durant, but they'll be wrong. How can anyone call an in-town rivalry and pivotal district contest a "trap" game?

4. It'll be interesting to see what, if anything, the Blue Crew cooks up for Friday when Plant returns to New Tampa for a district showdown against Wharton. If the football game goes anything like the volleyball match, expect a few more headlines.

5. Just wondering where the lightning delays will be Friday. You know they're coming.

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