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Pinellas: Sunday morning quarterback

Not going to get him Lakewood and QB Tracy Johnson, feeling pressure from Brad Smith, beat rival Jesuit to lock a playoff berth.

DANIEL WALLACE | Times

Not going to get him Lakewood and QB Tracy Johnson, feeling pressure from Brad Smith, beat rival Jesuit to lock a playoff berth.

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1. Largo (7-0, 3-0): Despite having Juwan Brown out for most of the game, the Packers crush Boca Ciega and are one win from clinching the 6A-7 title.

2. Countryside (7-1, 3-0): The Cougars roll to their fifth straight victory and have outscored opponents 218-23 during this streak.

3. Lakewood (7-0, 6-0): The Spartans knock off longtime nemesis Jesuit to clinch a playoff spot in 5A-8.

4. East Lake (6-2, 2-0): The offense puts up big numbers again as the Eagles secure a postseason berth in 8A-7 with a win over Sarasota Riverview.

5. Clearwater Central Catholic (6-1, 2-0): A dominant defense that records nine sacks and scores once leads the Marauders to a victory over archrival Berkeley Prep and wraps up the 3A-5 district title.

6. Palm Harbor University (6-2, 2-0): Matt Lepain gets consideration for coach of the year after leading the Hurricanes to their second straight playoff berth with a win over North Port.

7. Osceola (5-3, 2-1): A mistake-free, ball-control offense helps the Warriors to their fourth straight win as they stay in contention for at least a runnerup spot in 6A-7.

Offensive MVP

Daviel Clarke, Osceola: In a pivotal game against Tarpon Springs, Clarke rushed for a team-high 146 yards and scored three times. His last touchdown, a 31-yard run in the final three minutes of regulation, sealed the win.

Defensive MVP

Shaquill Griffin, Lakewood: He blocked a 32-yard Rhett Waldron field goal try with 33 seconds left to preserve a 20-17 win over Jesuit. It guaranteed a playoff spot for the Spartans and may have been a season saver.

Breakout player

RB/LB Pierre Johnson, Jr., Pinellas Park: Johnson gained 108 yards on eight carries, scored two rushing touchdowns, ran in a two-point conversion and had an interception in a 35-14 win over Northeast.

Five things we learned

1. Lakewood is a different team. The Spartans have been saying all along that, unlike last year, they don't worry about individual stats. Whatever it takes to win is good enough. That seemed to be the case in a 20-17 win at Jesuit. Now they face Robinson on Friday for the district championship.

2. CCC can get to the state semifinals. After clinching its first district title since 2005, the Marauders are guaranteed at least one home playoff game. The defense has proved to be championship worthy, and the offense is producing big plays. It is enough for CCC to get to the state semifinals, where it most likely will face either Delray Beach American Heritage or University.

3. East Lake's passing game is clicking. The return of Artavis Scott from a Week 1 sprained ankle has given the Eagles the added dimension to push the ball down the field. In the last two weeks, Scott has 16 catches for 362 yards and six touchdowns. His emergence has helped QB Pete DiNovo put up monster numbers, too (36 of 50 for 612 yards, nine touchdowns in the last two weeks).

4. Shorecrest is improved. With a victory over Bishop McLaughlin this past week the Chargers are 5-2 and have won more games this year than in the previous two seasons combined.

5. Robby Hicks can lead Countryside. Since taking over as the starting quarterback two weeks ago, Hicks has thrown for more yards (417) and more touchdowns (five) than now-ineligible Christian Strong did in his first six games as starter (396 yards, four touchdowns).

Thoughts looking ahead

1. With a win against Bradenton Lakewood Ranch on Friday, Largo can clinch its eighth straight district title. That's not much of a reward considering the Packers will most likely face Armwood in the first round of the playoffs after the Hawks were upset by Hillsborough last week.

2. After all the talk and all the scenarios in what was supposed to be wild playoff race in Class 2A, District 5, the contenders have been whittled to three: Admiral Farragut, Carrollwood Day and Indian Rocks Christian. A lot will be determined this week. If IRC beats Carrollwood Day, and Admiral Farragut wins out, then IRC is the champ and Farragut is the runnerup. If Carrollwood Day beats IRC and wins out, and Farragut wins out, then Farragut is the champ and Carrollwood is the runnerup.

Pinellas: Sunday morning quarterback 10/20/12 [Last modified: Sunday, October 21, 2012 12:06am]

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