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Pinellas: Sunday morning quarterback

Largo quarterback Juwan Brown, left, pitches as Sickles’ Antwan McCloud closes in. Brown rushed for 100 yards and threw for 137 in a victory.

DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times

Largo quarterback Juwan Brown, left, pitches as Sickles’ Antwan McCloud closes in. Brown rushed for 100 yards and threw for 137 in a victory.

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1. St. Petersburg (4-0): Looking more and more like a 10-0 team after a 61-14 win over Seminole. But we said that last year, too.

2. Countryside (4-0): Eclipsed the 40-point mark for the second consecutive week with its 44-7 romp of Dunedin.

3. East Lake (3-1): Failed to shut out Clearwater for first time in four years, 38-18. Slackers.

4. Largo (3-1): Packers in district driver's seat after 23-0 win over Sickles, though most of the players aren't old enough to have a license.

5. Lakewood (3-1): Defense will have to carry them.

6. Palm Harbor University (3-1): That thud you heard in north Pinellas was the Hurricanes falling back to Earth after 22-17 loss to Gibbs.

7. Northeast (2-1): A tough defense may be enough for a district runnerup spot.

Knocking on the door: Clearwater Central Catholic (3-1), Admiral Farragut (4-0), Tarpon Springs (2-2), Clearwater (3-1)

What we learned

1. Largo could win a state title within the next two years. Hyperbole? Don't think so. The Packers have a future Division I-A quarterback in sophomore Juwan Brown, the backfield is all sophomores and freshmen, the defensive line returns everyone next year, and sophomore LBs Harry Brown and Derrick Doss and freshman Francisco Hernandez are going to be special. They even have a top-flight kicker in sophomore Morgan Sever. They'll still be up-and-down this season, but what's not to like about this team's future?

2. No need to finish that Gibbs obituary. Remember last year when Gibbs started 0-3 then knocked off Palm Harbor University on the way to six straight wins? The Gladiators did it again Friday, rallying from a 17-2 halftime deficit to win 22-17. Just saying.

3. Lakewood's offense may keep it out of the playoffs. So, how many straight weeks are the Spartans going to need a last-minute Alphonso Evans touchdown pass to pull out a win? The Spartans have scored 14 in each of the last three weeks, which won't be enough to beat district foes Jefferson and Spoto.

Defensive player of the week

DB Steven Higgins, Northeast. Since we can't give a game ball to every Vikings defensive player, we'll single out Higgins, who had two of his team's three interceptions in its 14-10 victory against Pinellas Park. The Vikings held the Patriots to 89 total yards, three sacks and recovered a fumble for a touchdown.

Offensive player of the week

QB Juwan Brown, Largo. With his team leading Sickles 3-0 late in the first half, Brown broke free for consecutive 25-yard runs, then scored from 13 yards out to make it 10-0. Take away two bad snaps/fumbles he had to fall on for negative yardage, and Brown rushed for 125 yards and threw for 137.

Game balls

RB Jarvis Stewart, Largo: This is how you make a freshman debut: 28 carries, 143 yards and a touchdown in a 23-0 win over Sickles.

RB Emmanuel Stewart, Gibbs: Two short touchdown runs lead the Gladiators to first win of season, 22-17 over Palm Harbor U.

QB Louis Pappas, Tarpon Springs: Nearly flawless through the air (9-for-11, 237 yards), Pappas totaled four touchdowns in the Spongers' 42-15 romp of River Ridge.

RB Tyler Lane, East Lake: Ran for 152 yards and a pair of touchdowns on 22 carries in the Eagles' 38-18 victory at Clearwater.

RB Kelvin Smarwt, Boca Ciega: Totaled 147 yards, including 111 on the ground, and three touchdowns in the Pirates' 41-0 romp of Leto.

RB Diomi Roberts, Countryside: Ran for 122 yards and three touchdowns on 17 carries in a 44-7 rout of Dunedin.

This week's games to watch

Lakewood (3-1) at Countryside (4-0), 7:30 p.m. Friday. Lakewood DEs Dante Fowler and Evan Holmes against Countryside's Tyler Squared: tackles Moore and Pierson. Should be a doozy.

Palm Harbor U. (3-1) at St. Petersburg (4-0), 7:30 p.m. Friday. This was a lot more interesting before Gibbs beat Palm Harbor U. Tough opponent for PHU to bounce back against, but we'll see what the Hurricanes are made of.

By the numbers

0 number of three and outs by the Largo offense

2 touchdown passes by Lakewood QB Alphonso Evans in the final 90 seconds the last two weeks to win games

47 yards averaged on three kick returns by East Lake freshman Artavis Scott (not counting the 62-yard punt return nullified by a holding penalty)

182 points allowed by Osceola, the most in the Tampa Bay area

Pinellas: Sunday morning quarterback 09/25/10 [Last modified: Saturday, September 25, 2010 11:48pm]
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