Thursday, May 24, 2018
Sports

Pinellas: Sunday morning quarterback

Super 7

1. Largo (5-0, 1-0): Piled up 534 yards of offense in a dominating performance against East Lake.

2. Countryside (4-1, 1-0): It took a while, but the Cougars pulled through against upset-minded Palm Harbor University.

3. Lakewood (4-0, 3-0): Hard to tell what's more impressive: the Spartans' 184 points scored or the nine points allowed through five games.

4. East Lake (3-2, 0-0): Run defense has to get better after allowing more than 300 yards in two of their past four games.

5. Clearwater Central Catholic (4-1, 0-0): The shutout streak ended after three games, but the Marauders still rolled to a fourth straight win.

6. Northeast (5-0, 1-0): The fourth quarter is where the Vikings have shined the past two games, this time rallying to beat Tarpon Springs.

7. Tarpon Springs (3-2, 1-0): The two losses (East Lake and Northeast) have come by a combined 10 points.

Offensive MVP

Ryan Davis, QB, Northeast: Davis was unstoppable in the second half against Tarpon Springs. He threw for 343 yards, 281 in the second half, and six touchdowns in a 41-37 win over Tarpon Springs. He also had 54 yards rushing.

Defensive MVP

Mike Love, DE, Countryside: He said he still has not had a breakout game, but he did have his best performance this season, with eight tackles, a sack and fumble recovery in a win over Palm Harbor University.

Breakout player

Brad Hyman-Muhammad, WR, Admiral Farragut: The "Honey Badger" had a breakout game against Carrollwood Day. He caught six passes for 132 yards and three touchdowns in a 36-29 win. With Todd Macon and Cortavious Givens running, and Hyman-Muhammad receiving, the Blue Jackets are potent on offense.

Five things we learned

1. Largo has the county's most balanced offense. Juwan Brown has been unleashed at quarterback and has thrown for at least one touchdown in each of the first five games. The Packers are starting to pile up yards on the ground, as well. Largo had 329 yards rushing against East Lake, including 241 from Jarvis Stewart. Brown threw for 205 against the Eagles. Those kind of numbers are going to make the Packers tough to stop the rest of the year.

2. Gibbs misses Maurice Hall. The running back/linebacker was injured in a drive-by shooting two weeks ago and is out for the season. Dunedin scored 14 fourth-quarter points to beat the Gladiators in their first game without Hall. With Lakewood up next, Gibbs needs to find players to step up.

3. Clearwater will not go winless. The Tornadoes beat Dixie Hollins 34-0 for their first win this season. That's bad news for the Rebels, who had a chance of winning their first game of the season but instead realize they have a lot of work to do.

4. Northeast is having a dream season. This is a team that won only four games last season and is 5-0 this year. The Vikings were lost in the first half against Tarpon Springs. The defense gave up huge chunks on the ground and the offense sputtered. But they didn't give up. Take them lightly at your own risk.

5. Dunedin can have a winning season. By upsetting Gibbs for the second straight season, the Falcons are 2-3. Two of the losses came against the two toughest teams on their schedule (Lakewood and Robinson). Of the remaining five games, Dunedin faces four teams with a losing record. In fact, the combined record of the last five opponents is 5-18.

Three thoughts for the week

1. Don't give up on Tarpon Springs. Lost in its 41-37 collapse against Northeast is the 250 yards that Michael Ford gained. And the 187 yards that Dalton Collins threw for. The Spongers will learn to play all four quarters and should be tough in the second half of the season.

2. Pinellas County teams won all four games this past week against Hillsborough County opponents. The record is now even (7-7) in games played between the counties this season. The next few weeks will be telling, with Tampa Catholic playing Clearwater Central Catholic this week. Lakewood also has big games coming against Jesuit and Robinson within the next three weeks.

3. Palm Harbor University has a special teams weapon in Dominic Bonelli. The junior became the punter this season and had kicks of 63, 60 and 57 yards. That pinned Countryside back and helped the Hurricanes keep the game close. With the offense struggling the past few weeks, Bonelli's punting will help PHU win field-position battles and allow the defense to keep the Hurricanes in the hunt for a playoff berth.

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