Make us your home page
Instagram

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

Audibles

"It's a real big win. It's not over because we still have Armwood, Sickles and King, but it's a real big win that shows Hillsborough is here. We're here. Armwood only beat (Jefferson) 20-0, and beat them 49-20."

Evan Jennings, Hillsborough senior receiver, on the Big Red's resurrection as a frontrunner for a playoff spot in Class 6A-8

"When they went into single coverage. I was like, 'All right, we're going to take that.' "

Antwon Amstrong, Plant City senior, who helped exploit Durant's man-to-man coverage with three catches for 81 yards in a 43-12 romp

"We're all about the playoffs, and it can't get here quick enough."

Sean Callahan, Armwood coach, on his team, which has an average margin of victory of 41 points in the five games it has played in Florida

What we learned

1. Armwood can win a state title with Alvin Bailey at quarterback. There, we said it. And coach Sean Callahan basically echoed that, saying Bailey "might be the best player in the state of Florida." While the Hawks would love to have 6-foot-5 junior Darryl Richardson healthy, Bailey, who toyed with Sickles in a 35-0 rout Thursday when Richardson exited, has proved capable of leading the Hawks. He can zig, zag, zone read and seems fearless. He also throws a nice ball. Armwood is more balanced with Bailey at wideout but it is arguably more self-assured when he's behind center.

2. There has been a changing of the guard in Class 7A-8. Rest in peace to Newsome's 14-game district winning steak that dated to the 2007 season. With Brandon's emphatic 34-0 shutout of the Wolves, perhaps we were too quick to call this a three-team race two weeks ago. Or maybe we were right, and Newsome is the odd team out of the mix that includes Plant City, Durant and Brandon. All we know for sure is that Plant City spanked Durant, and Durant beat Brandon by 12 points. So if Newsome wants to salvage its season, it's going to need to pull out an upset over one of those two teams.

3. If Tampa Catholic is sitting out the playoffs for the first time since 2004, the Crusaders have no one to blame but themselves. Two crucial fumbles and two key unsportsmanlike conduct penalties by the defense basically giftwrapped the 24-17 victory for Clearwater Central Catholic. What's worse, Tampa Catholic will have to beat Berkeley Prep to keep its playoff streak alive. Much, much easier said than done.

By the numbers

5 Number of undefeated teams in Hillsborough County going into Week 7 (Alonso, Plant, Plant City, Armwood and Berkeley Prep)

36.7 Margin of victory in Hillsborough's three Class 6A-8 district games

20 Consecutive scoreless quarters posted by Armwood's defense

21-2 The combined record of the four teams Jefferson has lost to this season — Robinson, Lakewood (Ohio) St. Edward, Armwood and Hillsborough

2004 The last time Blake won the Heritage Classic over rival Middleton. The Yellow Jackets' 41-19 win over the Tigers ended a six-game losing skid against Middleton, gave Blake a big district win and gave Yellow Jackets coach Harry Hubbard his first win over his old program.

Looking ahead

Sickles (4-1, 1-1) at Hillsborough (5-1, 3-1). It's tough to use a team's performance against Armwood as a measuring stick, so we'll give the Gryphons a pass on their performance this week and look forward to this game between the teams tied for second place in 6A-8. The winner will be in the driver's seat for a playoff spot.

Alonso (5-0, 1-0) at Plant City (5-0, 2-0). This week's only matchup of unbeaten teams could be slightly less exciting if Alonso quarterback Brandon Hawkins can't recover from the right shoulder injury that knocked him out of this week's game. Regardless, it will be another opportunity for Plant City to prove itself against a quality opponent.

Jefferson (1-4, 0-2) at King (3-3, 2-1). Both of these teams now find themselves as district dark horses in the Class 6A-8 race. The Dragons and Lions need some help to get to the postseason, but most of all they both need a quality district win.

Game balls

DB/WR Antwon Amstrong, Plant City: The senior had three interceptions, all at or inside his 10-yard line, and caught three passes for 81 yards and a touchdown.

RB Cyrus Dooley, Brandon: The sophomore played a pivotal role in the 34-0 upset of district foe Newsome, rushing for 147 yards and scores of 30, 28 and 31 yards.

WR Evan Jennings, Hillsborough: The 6-foot-3 senior was the best receiver on the field in a 48-20 district win over Jefferson, making seven catches for 145 yards and three touchdowns.

King defense: The beleaguered Lions defense took out its frustrations on lowly Leto, recovering six fumbles, including four in Leto territory, gift-wrapping short fields for the offense in a 73-8 win over the Falcons.

RB William Lucas, Jesuit: He turned four carries into 60 yards and three touchdowns in a 78-0 — no that's not a typo — win against Lennard.

QB Aaron Midthus, Tampa Bay Tech: The senior rebounded from a loss to Plant with a five-touchdown day in a 40-7 district win over Wiregrass Ranch. Midthus ran for three scores and threw for two.

DB Eddie Pastrana, Gaither: The free safety had five — yes, five — interceptions in the a big 37-7 district win over Steinbrenner on homecoming.

Plant City's offensive line: Props to the group perhaps most responsible for QB Bennie Coney's career night (377 passing yards, five touchdowns). Take a bow Reyes Aguilera, Colton Box, Arquil Drone, Lance Doenges, Seth Crowell, Montel McBride and Zach Shinn.

Hillsborough: Sunday morning quarterback

10/08/11 [Last modified: Saturday, October 8, 2011 8:02pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. What Wilson Ramos will mean to the Rays lineup, pitching

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Chris Archer was stumping for all-star votes for Corey Dickerson during a live interview Wednesday morning on the MLB Network when he lifted the right earpiece on his headset and said, "I hear a buffalo coming."

    Tampa Bay Rays catcher Wilson Ramos (40) waves to the crowd after being presented with the Silver Slugger Award before the start of the game between the New York Yankees and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Tuesday, April 4, 2017.
  2. Jameis Winston as 2017 NFL MVP? 66-to-1 odds from Vegas

    Blogs

    Could Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston be an NFL MVP in 2017? It's certainly unlikely, but the sports book at Bovada has opening lines with Winston getting 66-to-1 odds, worse than 22 other players across the league.

    Bucs fans would be very happy if quarterback Jameis WInston can put himself into consideration for the NFL MVP award during the 2017 season.
  3. Deon Cain, Duke Dawson, Derrick Nnadi among SI's top 100 players

    Blogs

    Sports Illustrated's countdown of the top 100 players in college football continues with three more local players.

  4. The greatest coaches never to win it all

    College

    As foregone conclusions go, some things are approaching the death-and-taxes stratosphere: summer humidity in Florida, a Kardashian seeking attention, and Mike Martin coming up short in Omaha.

    Florida State coach Mike Martin walks to the mound to talk to pitcher Cole Sands during the second inning of the team's NCAA College World Series baseball game against LSU Wednesday in Omaha, Neb. [AP photo]
  5. Bucs fans ranked 25th in study of NFL teams

    Blogs

    The Bucs and their fans are ranked 25th in an Emory University study of NFL teams' "fan base and branding analysis."

    Bucs fans were on their feet for this fourth-quarter play at home against the Carolina Panthers at Raymond James Stadium in 2015.