Sunday, December 17, 2017
Sports

Pinellas: Sunday morning quarterback

Super 7

1. Largo (4-0, 1-0): Balanced offense gets Packers off to another good start in Class 6A, District 7.

2. Countryside (3-1, 1-0): After last week's loss to Largo, the Cougars bounce back in a big way against Seminole.

3. East Lake (3-1): Defense gets five turnovers, including three interceptions against Ocala Trinity Catholic.

4. Lakewood (3-0, 2-0): Old-school staples of running the ball and playing defense help Spartans cruise.

5. Clearwater CC (3-1): Three straight shutouts have got the Marauders back on track after season-opening loss to East Lake.

6. Tarpon Springs (3-1, 1-0): With victory against Dixie Hollins, Spongers match their start at the same point last year.

7. Northeast (4-0, 1-0): Showed they can close games with goal-line stand to beat St. Petersburg.

Breakout player

Lakewood RB Laterian Latimer rushed for 157 yards and three touchdowns on 13 carries against Dunedin. On a team with many offensive weapons, Latimer has emerged as a big threat.

Defensive MVP

Countryside DB Tyler Serpo blocked a punt for a touchdown in the second quarter of a 49-9 win over Seminole. Then in the third quarter, he returned an interception 25 yards for a touchdown.

Offensive MVP

Northeast sophomore QB Ryan Davis rushed for 116 yards and threw for 131 against rival St. Petersburg. He accounted for 247 of his team's 259 total yards.

Three thoughts for Week 5

1. The Class 2A-5 showdown between Carrollwood Day School and Admiral Farragut is one to see. Both teams have exciting players on offense. Both are 4-0, 2-0 in the district. Carrollwood Day has given up just seven points, while the Blue Jackets have scored 120. "It should be a lot of fun," AFA coach Chris Miller said.

2. If you're a fan of quarterbacks, get to East Lake-Largo. The Eagles' Pete DiNovo and the Packers' Juwan Brown are two of the best senior quarterbacks in the county. DiNovo, a UCF commitment, has thrown for more than 800 yards. Brown, a dual threat, has more than 500 yards passing and 300 rushing.

3. Based on last year, Northeast-Tarpon Springs could be one of the more entertaining games. The Spongers pulled out a wild 36-26 victory last year. The key will be whether the Vikings defense can hold up against Tarpon Springs' experienced offensive line.

Five things we learned

1. Defense wins games. There's a trend among the teams in our Super 7. All of them are adept are keeping teams out of the end zone. Each has allowed 17 or fewer points per game this season. Five teams (Countryside, CCC, East Lake, Lakewood and Tarpon Springs) gave up nine points or fewer this past Friday.

2. Lakewood can run the ball. Known as a pass-happy team that only pays lip service to the run game, the Spartans stayed committed to a ground attack against Dunedin, rushing for a season-high 346 yards. That will help Lakewood stay balanced, which will be key with big district games against Jesuit and Robinson looming.

3. This could be Northeast's year. The Vikings won four games all of last season, but they've already won the first four this season. They have an undersized defense that makes plays and an offense led by a sophomore quarterback and big-play receivers. They should not be taken lightly.

4. Jarvis Stewart is back. After being bottled up for two games, the Largo running back responded with two straight 100-yard rushing games, including 172 yards and three touchdowns against Osceola.

5. St. Petersburg coach Joe Fabrizio probably wishes he had a do-over button. After winning the opener against Gibbs, the 1-3 Green Devils have found ways to shoot themselves in the foot. Case in point: Friday against Northeast. St. Petersburg had 15 penalties for 126 yards. That's not like a Fabrizio team.

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