1. St. Petersburg (7-0): The Green Devils do not need a passing game with a rushing attack that can average 300 yards per game.
2. Countryside (7-0): It was a struggle, but the Cougars came through in the fourth quarter to beat Tarpon Springs 17-3.
3. East Lake (6-1): The offense creates the buzz, but the defense has forced seven turnovers combined in the past two games.
4. Largo (6-1): The bye week comes at an opportune time for the Packers, who were able to prepare for a district showdown with Boca Ciega this week.
5. Clearwater Central Catholic (5-2): The offense takes a step back after getting shut out by Tampa Catholic 14-0.
6. Lakewood (3-3): The Spartans' three losses have been to St. Petersburg, Countryside and Jefferson, which are a combined 21-0.
7. Admiral Farragut (6-0): In their toughest test so far this season, the Blue Jackets roll to a 46-7 victory over Lakeland Santa Fe Catholic.
What we learned
1. Tarpon Springs is getting better. It has been a rough transition for the Spongers and new coach Atif Austin. We knew Tarpon Springs would roll against the Pasco County opponents, as evidenced by the Spongers' 2-0 start in their district. But Tarpon Springs has gone 1-4 against Pinellas County teams this season. Still, the Spongers are showing signs of improvement. Against Largo two weeks ago, they scored more than 30 points. And this week, they held Countyside's offense to fewer than 50 yards of offense through three quarters.
2. You cannot write off Pinellas Park. It appeared the Patriots' playoff hopes were dashed when QB Jesse Hevia went down with a knee injury against Northeast three weeks ago. But Pinellas Park has rebounded nicely, relying on an opportunistic defense and sturdy running game to stay in games. If the Patriots can beat Seminole and Gibbs the next two weeks, they will most likely, at worst, force a three-way tiebreaker for the runnerup spot in Class 5A, District 9.
3. Seminole has playoff hopes. Three weeks ago, all the Warhawks were hoping for was to win a game. They were 0-5 at the time and lost to St. Petersburg and East Lake by a combined score of 110-28. But then Seminole beat Northeast in overtime and blasted Osceola 42-19 this week. The Warhawks, who now own a two-game win streak, currently are tied with Northeast for second place in 5A-9 with a 1-1 district record (Gibbs and Pinellas Park are both 0-1).
Offensive player of the week
FB Trevor Sand, Seminole: A bruising back, Sand battered Osceola defenders, gaining 204 yards on 21 carries and scoring three touchdowns in a 42-19 win. Two of Sand's touchdown runs were more than 40 yards.
Defensive player of the week
LB Jeremi Powell, Pinellas Park: Switched from defensive end, Powell made an immediate impact at his new position, recording 10 tackles, three sacks and scoring defensive touchdowns on an interception and fumble return in a 17-7 win over Clearwater.
This week's key games
Boca Ciega (2-4, 1-1) at Largo (5-1, 2-0): This is a must-win for the Pirates, who can force a three-way tie at the top of 4A-10 with a win providing Sickles beats winless Leto. All the Packers have to do is win to clinch the district title.
Tarpon Springs (3-4, 2-0) at Wiregrass Ranch (3-3,2-0): In all likelihood, this game will decide the 4A-6 district champion and runnerup. The Spongers defense will get a test from Wiregrass Ranch's passing game.
Countryside (7-0, 2-0) at Palm Harbor U (3-3, 0-1): The Hurricanes cannot afford another 5A-8 loss if they want to make the playoffs. A Cougars win will most likely set up a showdown with East Lake in two weeks to decide the top two spots in the district.
|Rashad Lewis, St. Petersburg||Running back ran through Boca Ciega with 255 rushing yards and scored five touchdowns.|
|Pete DiNovo, East Lake||Sophomore quarterback was 10-for-14 passing for 125 yards and two TDs in 31-0 win vs. Northeast.|
|Shaquille Bradford, Boca Ciega||Quarterback threw for three touchdowns and ran for another in a 42-26 defeat against St. Petersburg.|
|Teddy Willis, Seminole||Running back/receiver was effective on the ground with 123 yards and two scores against Osceola.|
|Darius Daniels, Tarpon Springs||All-purpose player had 103 yards rushing and 38 receiving in a loss to Countryside.|
|Jaime Quezon, Shorecrest||Quarterback threw for 160 yards, ran for 113 and accounted for four touchdowns in 49-34 victory over Seffner Christian.|
|Cortavious Givens, Admiral Farragut||The freshman running back scored two rushing touchdowns in 46-7 win against Lakeland Santa Fe Catholic.|