This has been an exciting season, to say the least. From Armwood's opening-night nail-biter over Plant and Chamberlain's big win against Hillsborough, to Freedom's shocker vs. Wharton and Bloomingdale's unlikely 3-2 start, we've been thoroughly entertained by what has transpired between the sidelines. To recap all that has happened, and give a taste of what's in store down the stretch, here's our midseason report.
Dontae Aycock, Chamberlain, QB: Nobody in the county goes harder play in and play out than this guy. Thus far, he has had a hand in 14 touchdowns.
Andrew Burdick, Lennard, QB: Is any local player more valuable to his team? The surprising Longhorns have scored 14 touchdowns. Burdick has helped produced 13 of them.
Aaron Murray, Plant, QB: Critics (remarkably, a few do exist) point out that his team scored two points against Arwmood. We prefer this stat: In a little more than six quarters of action since the opener, the Georgia commit has 19 touchdown passes.
Mywan Jackson, Armwood, QB: He's completing nearly 60 percent of his passes. He's averaging nearly 10 yards a carry. He has accounted for 20 touchdowns. Need we say more?
Armwood defensive line: How do you pick out just one when the entire unit has been dominant? Tampa Bay Tech coach C.C. Culpepper calls this the best high school defensive front he has ever seen.
Let Freedom ring: Everyone knew the Patriots would be better in 2008, but not many expected a Week 1 win over a veteran Wharton team.
Out of the gate: Carrollwood Day School began its first season of 11-man football in style, ushering in the season with a 15-point victory over First Academy.
By a hair: Tampa Bay Tech stayed unbeaten when a last-second Freedom field goal went just wide in Week 4.
Eight is enough: In the first half against Riverview, Murray had eight touchdown strikes.
Give him five: Against Blake, Alonso defensive tackle Demonte McAllister recorded five sacks. As a team, Blake completed four passes.
Most compelling story lines
Spoto's forfeits: The second-year Spartans started 3-0, but had to forfeit the wins for using an ineligible player. The team hasn't won on the field since.
Crossed up: Troubled wide receiver Dykerius Cross at Arwmood was released from the team and ran afoul of the law but has since been given another opportunity by the squad.
Bloomingdale's quest: Never before have the Bulls had a winning season. As we speak, they're halfway there.
Murray vs. Murray: Plant's Murray had a state-record 51 touchdown tosses last year. At his current pace, he'd surpass that in Week 1 of the playoffs.
Billy ball: A possible first state title for veteran Chamberlain coach Billy Turner, right, looks more and more realistic every week.
Games to watch
Jefferson at Chamberlain, Oct. 16: Always a good game, this season's tilt has an added bonus: The Chiefs' Turner could be going for career win No. 250.
Chamberlain at Plant, Oct. 31: A year ago, Plant won. Can the Chiefs turn the tables?
Hillsborough at Tampa Bay Tech, Nov. 7: The winner is likely to reach the playoffs.
Jesuit at Tampa Catholic, Nov. 13: The Tigers have owned this series of late.
Armwood vs. Plant, Dec. 5: If things happen the way we think, they'll meet again in the third round of the Class 4A playoffs.
Top five teams
1. Armwood: The nationally ranked Hawks have outscored opponents 185-12. And they might not have even peaked yet.
2. Chamberlain: This team has it all. A solid quarterback. A sound running game. A dominant defense. And a legendary coach.
3. Plant: The Panthers have lost only three games since the start of the 2006 season. Each has come to Armwood.
4. Hillsborough: Don't sleep on the Terriers. These dogs, who are starting to round into form, still have plenty of fight in them.
5. Tampa Bay Tech: The Titans entered the 2007 season with a 21-game losing streak. They're 11-4 since.