Tuesday, April 24, 2018
Sports

Hillsborough: Sunday morning quarterback

Hillsborough County Super 7

1. Plant (1-0-1): That Godby preseason game seems more like an aberration each week.

2. Armwood (2-0): Hawks enter crucial district clash at Hillsborough with QB Noah Johnson (big toe sprain) ailing.

3. Jefferson (2-0): We'll quote senior DB/WR Chavez Pownell: "We're not planning on losing any games."

4. Sickles (2-0): Suddenly, Thursday's Gryphons-Newsome game looks like the county's best matchup.

5. Newsome (2-0): Has any bay area team been more impressive the first two weeks?

6. Tampa Catholic (1-1): The first win of the Mike Gregory era, 13-10 over CCC in overtime, ultimately may stand as one of his greatest.

7. Plant City (2-0): Raiders, who have teased us in the past, apparently are the real deal.

In the conversation: Berkeley Prep (2-0), Bloomingdale (2-0), East Bay (2-0), Hillsborough (0-1), Jesuit (1-1), King (2-0), Tampa Bay Tech (0-1)

Audibles

"He's a fighter. He's a fighter and competitor." — Jefferson QB Deiondre Porter on Hillsborough junior counterpart Dwayne Lawson, who amassed nearly 400 total yards in the Terriers' 28-23 loss to the Dragons

"Durant's just too good of a team. We left at least two touchdowns on the field (Friday) that we should have gotten. Maybe if we would have had those, I could have pulled him. But I just didn't feel comfortable." — Sickles coach Brian Turner, explaining why he still had TB Ray Ray McCloud (15 carries, 229 yards) in the game with a 28-0 fourth-quarter lead

"We always get another team's best shot when they play against Plant. To be honest, I'm not unhappy about the game. I thought we played tough and responded." — Plant coach Robert Weiner on his team's 28-7 win against Robinson

"They played disciplined. Any time you can get a team that's disciplined and believes in your system, and how you want them to play and do things the right way, it shows on the field." — Newsome coach Ken Hiscock on his defense after a 38-7 win at Gaither

Tweet of the day

@EB_CoachLo 26-20, 2OT win over Riverview!!!!! Let me hear the Indian Nation!!! — East Bay coach Frank LaRosa

Blind-sided

Five things we didn't see coming:

1. Tampa Catholic over CCC. Our predicted margin of victory was only off by 24 points.

2. Jesuit. Banged up after last week's loss at Wauchula Hardee, the Tigers rebounded for a 31-7 win against Lakewood Ranch.

3. Travis Hempstead. The Newsome senior did something even Will Worth didn't pull off last year, running for more than 200 yards in one game.

4. Plant City's defense. In eight quarters this season, the Raiders, whose mantra is "keep chopping," have pitched shutouts in seven of them. "We know that the tree never falls on the first swing of the axe," defensive coordinator Greg Meyer said. "We will always have to keep chopping."

5. Newsome's defense. The Wolves shut down Gaither, whose only TD came on a kick return, and sacked QB Alex McGough a half-dozen times.

Litton leads QB casualties

Wharton QB Chase Litton (right wrist) is among a handful of prominent area quarterbacks on the injury report entering Week 3.

Litton sprained the wrist landing on the track at Plant City's stadium after being chased out of bounds Friday. According to his older brother, Joshua, trainers have suggested he miss three weeks, though Litton is bent on returning sooner.

Elsewhere, Armwood coach Sean Callahan said Hawks starter Noah Johnson (sprained big toe), who didn't play Friday against Blake, is week to week. Currently, he's struggling to push off on the injured foot.

Meantime, Panthers starter Colby Brown banged up his right (throwing) hand in the first half against Robinson and didn't return. Brown was set to see a doctor Saturday; Weiner said Friday night he believes Brown will be fine for Thursday at Gaither.

By the numbers

2 TDs on interception returns already scored by Armwood FS Kyle Gibson this year

6 Offensive touchdowns scored by Seffner Christian senior Robbie Shell, a school single-game record, in a 54-21 victory against Masters Academy

7 Consecutive victories for Jefferson, the longest current streak in the county. The Dragons haven't lost since squandering a 21-point lead in a 36-28 loss to Hillsborough on Oct. 5, 2012

9 Consecutive years Plant has defeated Robinson

44 Total yards (in as many offensive plays) Robinson managed against Plant's defense

238 Receiving yards, on only three catches, by Middleton WR Shug Rhynes. Two of his catches went for TDs of 90 and 88 yards

Final five words

Can one Friday be dry?

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