Sunday, June 24, 2018
Sports

Pinellas: Sunday morning quarterback

They started off by playing one another in one of the most anticipated matchups of the season. • Now, Clearwater Central Catholic and East Lake are the only county teams left standing in the playoffs. • The Marauders (11-1) are in the state semifinals for the second time in school history by relying on a devastating running game and suffocating defense. The Eagles (11-1) are in the region finals for the second straight season thanks to a high-powered passing game and a bend-but-don't-break defense. • This week comes the hard part. Both play teams ranked No. 1 in their classifications. CCC hosts Fort Lauderdale University School, which beat defending Class 3A state champion Delray American Heritage in the region finals. East Lake travels to play Orlando Dr. Phillips, which knocked off defending Class 8A state champion Plant in the region semifinals.

Offensive player of the week

Trey Larry, CCC: The senior, who has a knack for producing big plays, had another against Tampa Catholic. Trailing 7-0 in the third quarter, Larry took a pitch and raced 54 yards for a score. He finished with 105 yards on six carries.

Defensive player of the week

George Campbell, East Lake: Known more as a receiver, Campbell had game-turning plays on defense, scoring on two fumble recoveries. In the third quarter, he scooped a fumble and raced 95 yards for a touchdown and a 22-7 lead against Vero Beach.

Breakout player

Jake Shade, CCC: A former starting quarterback, Shade has made significant contributions on defense. He had an interception and broke up two passes in the second half against Tampa Catholic.

Injury report

CCC coach John Davis said it appears FB Domenic James' knee injury could be a torn anterior cruciate ligament.

"We won't know for sure until Domenic sees a doctor on Monday," Davis said. "But it doesn't look good. I don't think there's any way we'll get him for this week."

James' first-half injury against Tampa Catholic was a blow considering the Marauders relied on James heavily in the running game and on play-action passes.

"We struggled for a while because we had to make a lot of adjustments with Domenic not being in there," Davis said. "I thought Ethan Thompson really did a great job filling in at fullback and playing on both sides of the ball."

Davis said he expects DB Michael Stevenson to return from a concussion this week.

By the numbers

0 Number of times East Lake QB Pete DiNovo had not run or passed for a touchdown in a game before this past week's game against Vero Beach.

0 Number of state semifinal games played at Clearwater Central Catholic before this Friday. The Marauders will host Fort Lauderdale University School in the first state semifinal ever played at CCC.

2 Consecutive years East Lake has played in the Class 8A region final. The Eagles lost to Plant last year in overtime.

14 Combined point deficit in Lakewood's two losses to Robinson (18-7 in the regular season and 22-19 in the Class 5A region semifinals).

124 Total yards allowed by Orlando Dr. Phillips in its 24-7 win over Plant. Dr. Phillips hosts East Lake this week.

Quotable

"The guys played well, but I hated it went down to a spot. If (Robinson) didn't jump, I was going to call timeout. (The officials) didn't give me timeout, and it was a horrible spot." — Cory Moore, Lakewood coach, after Tracy Johnson's sneak was stopped on fourth and 1 from its own 40 with 2:41 left and leading 19-14 at Robinson. Moore claimed he called timeout after trying to get Robinson to jump offside, but it wasn't granted.

"I was nervous for sure, but the snap and hold were perfect. All that was left was for me to do my job. Once the kick went in, it was the most amazing feeling ever." — Matt Fosnacht, CCC kicker, on his 32-yard winning field goal to beat Tampa Catholic 10-7.

Spartan superlatives

Although Lakewood failed to reach the third round of the playoffs, it is worth noting how much the Spartans accomplished. Lakewood beat Jesuit for the first time in school history to clinch a playoff berth for the first time since 2009. The Spartans also beat rival St. Petersburg for the first time in five years.

Comments
Rays team up to beat Yankees again 4-0

Rays team up to beat Yankees again 4-0

ST. PETERSBURG — With all that's been said, tweeted, ranted and written on these pages and elsewhere about the Rays' odd, unorthodox, weird and some days downright wacky pitching plan, this might be the craziest thing yet:It's working.Like, rea...
Published: 06/23/18
Greg Auman answers your questions about NFL’s investigation into Jameis Winston

Greg Auman answers your questions about NFL’s investigation into Jameis Winston

There are many unanswered questions and discrepancies about the story of Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston and the March 2016 Uber ride in Arizona that has led to his upcoming three-game suspension for violating the NFL's conduct policy.The Bucs won't ...
Published: 06/23/18
Will this be Jameis Winston’s last season in a Bucs uniform?

Will this be Jameis Winston’s last season in a Bucs uniform?

A t his introductory news conference after being drafted No. 1 overall by the Bucs in 2015, Jameis Winston said to judge him on his actions moving forward."Actions speak so much louder than words, or what they may have read or what they may have hear...
Published: 06/23/18
Rays Tales: Why ‘trades’ and ‘prospects’ are always in same conversation

Rays Tales: Why ‘trades’ and ‘prospects’ are always in same conversation

Besides the continual evolution of their intriguing pitching plan, the primary topics of conversation for the Rays over the next several weeks will be trades and prospects. And not mutually exclusively.Some sooner than others, the Rays are going to c...
Published: 06/23/18
Former Mitchell High player Nathan Smith taken in NHL draft by Jets

Former Mitchell High player Nathan Smith taken in NHL draft by Jets

It's rare to see an NHL draft pick with Tampa Bay ties, but the Jets used a third-round pick Saturday on center Nathan Smith, 19, who played for Mitchell High School in Trinity and most recently for the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders of the USHL.Smith was ...
Published: 06/23/18
Report: Lightning to talk to John Tavares during free-agent courting period

Report: Lightning to talk to John Tavares during free-agent courting period

Despite limited salary-cap room, the Lightning is among at least five teams expected to talk with Islanders All-Star center John Tavares, who can be a free agent July 1, when the courting period begins Sunday, ESPN reported.Tavares also is expected t...
Published: 06/23/18
Rays journal: New confidence carries over for Willy Adames

Rays journal: New confidence carries over for Willy Adames

ST. PETERSBURG — The key to SS Willy Adames rapping two of the biggest hits in the Rays' 4-0 win Saturday actually took place the night before.An RBI single that snapped an 0-for-12 and a second hit two winnings later in Friday's game restored ...
Published: 06/23/18
Another small, quick forward headlines Lightning’s draft picks

Another small, quick forward headlines Lightning’s draft picks

Even without a first-round pick, the Lightning wrapped up its draft with seven picks Saturday, starting with Gabriel Fortier, an undersized 18-year-old forward from Quebec in the second round."They were guys that we really wanted," Lightning director...
Published: 06/23/18
Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Saturday’s Rays-Yankees game

Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Saturday’s Rays-Yankees game

INF Daniel Robertson has only played two games after a short DL stint, but it seems like he has already made a half dozen great plays. Willy Adames and Jake Bauers get the attention, but Robertson has the skills to steal the show any night.It is obvi...
Published: 06/23/18
Tampa Bay Tech wins Battle of the Bay 7-on-7 tournament

Tampa Bay Tech wins Battle of the Bay 7-on-7 tournament

TAMPA — Tampa Bay Tech lost some significant players from an offense that averaged more than 40 points per game last season.The biggest departures were in the passing game. Mike Penix, the Tampa Bay Times' all-Tampa Bay offensive player of the ...
Published: 06/23/18