Sunday, May 27, 2018
Sports

Private schools face key District 5 football tests

CARROLLWOOD — It's only the second week of the season. But for some private schools, must-win games have already arrived.

Thanks to Class 2A, District 5's crowded nine-team alignment, league games come early and often. And this year, two Tampa schools have their eyes on being in the playoff chase after missing out to their Pinellas brethren in 2011.

Cambridge Christian and Carrollwood Day School both finished 6-4 last season and 4-4 in the district, out of playoff contention behind St. Petersburg's Canterbury School and Admiral Farragut (both 7-1 in the district). Indian Rocks Christian was third at 5-3.

Cambridge and CDS both got off to great starts last week with blowout wins. Now they will look to bring that level of play into league contests. Cambridge travels to face defending 2A-5 champ Canterbury, which is looking to rebound after an opening-week loss. CDS, meanwhile, begins league play hosting Keswick Christian.

In other contests involving North of Tampa-area teams, Sickles plays at Wharton and Gaither hosts Leto. Steinbrenner, Alonso and Freedom all travel to face eastern Hillsborough County foes. And after a season-opening win against Bloomingdale, Chamberlain is off this week.

All kickoffs are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. unless otherwise noted.

St. Petersburg Keswick Christian (0-1) at Carrollwood Day School (1-0), 4 p.m.

Last Week: Keswick Christian lost to Landmark Christian 39-7; CDS defeated Imagine School of North Port 42-7.

Why you should go: CDS tailback Robert Davis is so talented he scored a touchdown before even going on offense last week. Davis returned a fumble 30 yards for a score while playing defense on the third play of the game. Then he ran for 136 yards and scored three touchdowns on offense. Also, this is the first Class 2A, District 5 game of the season for both teams and CDS is out to make noise in the playoff push.

Cambridge Christian (1-0) at St. Petersburg Canterbury School (0-1), 7 p.m.

Last Week: Cambridge defeated Bishop McLaughlin 43-10; Canterbury lost to Orlando Agape Christian 34-20

Why you should go: Coming off its winning campaign a season ago, the Lancers are already off to a good start this season. This Class 2A, District 5 opener for both teams should tell us a lot about both teams. Just how good is the Cambridge defense that forced four turnovers last week? And how good is Canterbury a year after winning the league crown?

Lakeland Victory Christian (0-1) at Berkeley Prep (1-0), 7 p.m.

Last Week: Victory Christian lost to Admiral Farragut 18-14; Berkeley Prep defeated Winter Park Trinity Prep 28-6.

Why you should go: If you didn't get a chance to see the Buccaneers' new triple-headed offensive monster last week, make this a must-do. QB Brad Mayes threw two touchdowns to wide receiver Bubba Olivera and tailback Chris Williams ran for 158 yards and a score in the Bucs' big opening night win. And going up against a Victory Christian defense that gave up scoring plays of 57, 69 and 65 yards last week, the Berkeley trio may have more highlights tonight.

Leto (0-1) at Gaither (1-0)

Last Week: Leto lost to Blake 37-6; Gaither defeated Alonso 24-21.

Why you should go: To watch one of the best young quarterbacks in the county. Gaither's Alex McGough led the Cowboys to a last-second win on opening night, completing 14 of 21 passes for 200-plus yards and a touchdown along the way. McGough may light up the scoreboard against the depth-challenged Falcons, who haven't won on the field (a forfeit win came last season), since the season finale in 2009.

Sickles (1-0) at Wharton (1-0)

Last Week: Sickles defeated Steinbrenner 34-10; Wharton defeated King 27-7.

Why you should go: To see an interesting quarterback matchup. Wharton's Chase Litton saw his string of three straight 200-yard passing games end in last week's opener, but he still posted 189 yards passing and a touchdown in a big win. Sickles signal-caller Nate Mills threw for 100 yards and scored a touchdown on the ground in the Gryphons' thumping of Steinbrenner.

Steinbrenner (0-1) at East Bay (1-0)

Last Week: East Bay defeated Lennard 43-9; Steinbrenner lost to Sickles 34-10.

Why you should go: To watch an East Bay offense that is hitting on all cylinders. The Indians scored 55 points in the exhibition game and 43 points in the season opener, mainly thanks to a trio of talented runners in Brandon Byrd, Chris Greene and Chris Carpentier.

Alonso (0-1) at Durant (1-0)

Last Week: Alonso lost to Gaither 24-21; Durant defeated Freedom 57-7.

Why you should go: To see how the Ravens bounce back from last week's last-second lost to Gaither. Why? Because tonight, the Raven defense has to face Durant's Jamarlon Hamilton, who ran for 175 yards and FIVE touchdowns in one half last week against Freedom.

Freedom (0-1) at Plant City (0-1)

Last Week: Freedom lost to Durant 57-7; Plant City lost to Strawberry Crest 21-7.

Why you should go: Because after its first-ever lost to neighborhood rival Strawberry Crest, Plant City is looking to take out its frustration on somebody. Enter Freedom, which despite managing some offense last week, gave up 200-plus yards rushing on defense and seven touchdowns on the ground.

Comments
Rays journal: Reliever Austin Pruitt pitches nearly six scoreless innings for second career save

Rays journal: Reliever Austin Pruitt pitches nearly six scoreless innings for second career save

ST. PETERSBURG — Rays RHP Austin Pruitt has started and worked out of the bullpen, in both short and long relief.But he did not expect to pick up his second career save Sunday by having to log 5⅔ innings, allowing only three hits whi...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Rick Stroud’s takeaways from Sunday’s Rays-Orioles game

Rick Stroud’s takeaways from Sunday’s Rays-Orioles game

So the team that just got back from a 10-day, 11-game road trip in three time zones is headed back out west for Memorial Day? The Rays travel to Oakland, Calif., Seattle and Washington, D.C. It's the first time they visited the West Coast on back-to-...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Martin Fennelly: A column to match Rays’ upside-down pitching

Martin Fennelly: A column to match Rays’ upside-down pitching

  In the spirit of the Rays' topsy-turvy pitching alignments, last goes first in this column. Go to the end to start reading. "The buy-in that we get, the buy-in to each other, and the team effort has been really fun to be part of to this point," C...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Rays bats come alive with six-run rally to beat Orioles 8-3

Rays bats come alive with six-run rally to beat Orioles 8-3

ST. PETERSBURG — If you think the Rays are holding their pitching staff together with baling wire, duct tape and an overbooked shuttle to Triple-A Durham, a bigger story might be how their bats keep producing runs no matter who is swinging them...
Updated: 2 hours ago
For starters: Rays RHP Sergio Romo opens the game for the second time in 48 hours vs. Orioles

For starters: Rays RHP Sergio Romo opens the game for the second time in 48 hours vs. Orioles

ST. PETERSBURG – Speaking of openers, the Rays will start RHP Sergio Romo (1-1, 4.66 ERA) for the fourth time this season, the second time in 48 hours vs. the Orioles. The 35-year-old Romo did not make it out of the first inning Friday, allowin...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Rays journal: After Alex Colome trade, Rays’ closer situation is fluid, Kevin Cash says

Rays journal: After Alex Colome trade, Rays’ closer situation is fluid, Kevin Cash says

ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays have had to get creative in how they start games. Now, after Friday's trade of closer Alex Colome, they might have to get creative in how they finish them.How they handle the ninth inning going forward will be a fluid ...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Vegas envy: Is Tampa Bay ready for a Vegas’ birth-to-best story?

Vegas envy: Is Tampa Bay ready for a Vegas’ birth-to-best story?

What in the name of the 0-26 Bucs is going on here?The breathtaking Vegas Golden Knights are the greatest expansion team in professional sports history. They are the best (or worst) thing to ever happen to our games, having won 51 times during the re...
Published: 05/26/18
Updated: 05/27/18
Rays pitchers Ryne Stanek, Anthony Banda dominate in 5-1 win over Orioles

Rays pitchers Ryne Stanek, Anthony Banda dominate in 5-1 win over Orioles

THE BASEBALL LABORATORY IN ST. PETERSBURG — Up is down. Down is up. Hello is goodbye. Goodbye is hello. A reliever is a starter. A starter is a reliever.These are your 2018 Tampa Bay Rays.You never know what's going to happen. And just when you...
Published: 05/26/18
Updated: 05/27/18
Former Bucs QB Josh Freeman says he’s retiring from football

Former Bucs QB Josh Freeman says he’s retiring from football

Former Bucs quarterback Josh Freeman, who was trying to resurrect his career with the CFL's Montreal Alouettes, said Saturday that he is retiring from football.Freeman, 30, was a first-round draft pick of the Bucs in 2009 and was their starting ...
Published: 05/26/18
Thomas Bassinger’s takeaways from Saturday’s Rays-Orioles game

Thomas Bassinger’s takeaways from Saturday’s Rays-Orioles game

Interesting decision by the Rays to start RH reliever Ryne Stanek on Saturday. The Orioles' Nos. 1 through 5 hitters were righties, and Stanek came in allowing a 1.228 OPS against righties and a .592 OPS against lefties. It ended up working.How ...
Published: 05/26/18