Friday, January 19, 2018
Sports

Rain forces quick turnaround for some prep football squads

With rain pushing some of last week's games to this past Monday, Friday is a bit of a whirlwind for several local high school football teams. But there's no room for a misstep as many teams are kicking off district play.

For others, such as Hillsborough and King, the district schedule is well under way — and for the Terriers, in a real bad way. They are winless and, unfortunately, in a big hole already when it comes to hoping for a playoff trip.

All games at 7:30 p.m. unless otherwise noted.

Fort Meade (3-0) at Tampa Catholic (2-1), 7 p.m.

Last game: Fort Meade defeated Avon Park 48-0; TC defeated Tarpon Springs 27-3.

Why you should go: This could up being an enormous game. It's been a wonderful couple of weeks for the Crusaders, who stunned Clearwater Central Catholic and then humbled what had been a high-powered offense in Tarpon Springs. But look at District 3A-4's trio of really tough Polk County squads, and toss in Berkeley Prep for good measure. What it all means is though Tampa Catholic can start having state title aspirations, it's no sure thing that they'll even get into the playoffs. Remember the Hardee team that Jesuit lost to by 18 points? Fort Meade went to Hardee the next week and won 18-6, and those are the only points the Miners have allowed.

Chamberlain (2-1, 2-0 in 6A-8) at King (3-0, 1-0)

Last game: Chamberlain defeated Lennard 28-14; King defeated Middleton 26-20

Why you should go: To see two teams on a high after Monday victories, with both seeing the possibility of staying at the top of the district standings. King had a tough win over Middleton, with Otis Williams scoring on two long runs, and now averaging around 20 yards per carry as a result. This could be a similar tight one against a Chiefs team that likes to feed Daishaun Roberts (151 yards, three TD in the win against Lennard). King goes to 4-0 with a win.

Robinson (0-3, 0-1 in 6A-8)) at Armwood (3-0, 2-0)

Last game: Robinson lost to Jefferson 39-22; Arwmood defeated Hillsborough 37-2.

Why you should go: To see a team that's playing at state-championship caliber. Just ask Hillsborough what kind of effort it takes to get past the speedy Hawks. Armwood rolled up nearly 400 yards of offense Monday. Everyone knew that Robinson's schedule was front-loaded, and sadly for the Knights, it has played out to expectations. The Knights competed pretty well against Jefferson, but simply could not keep up.

Bloomingdale (2-0) at Plant (2-0-1)

Last game: Bloomingdale was idle; Plant defeated Gaither 41-8.

Why you should go: Because this is the earliest Plant has entered district play in nine years. The Panthers have been grouped into four-team districts, where teams play the entire first half of their schedule without getting to the meat of it. Now, in a six-team, all-Hillsborough 8A-6, the Panthers are still expected to come out on top, but there are more potential pitfalls. All but one of the teams has a winning record, including the Bulls, who in their last game were very impressive in shutting out Brandon 21-0.

Wiregrass Ranch (2-1) at Tampa Bay Tech (1-1)

Last game: Wiregrass Ranch lost to River Ridge 21-14; Tampa Bay Tech defeated Durant 31-10.

Why you should go: To see another group of Bulls not to overlook. With a foe like Sickles having such a phenomenal start, and the likely team that TBT will battle for district supremacy, it would be easy to overlook this one. Especially when Wiregrass Ranch is coming off back-to-back 0-10 records. But this year's Wiregrass bunch is completely different, with a new head coach in Mike Lawrence and a dangerous spread offense led by quarterback Shane Bucenell. Both teams have big-time athletes promising for one of the more attractive matchups of the week. It's the 7A-7 opener for both.

Blake (1-2, 1-1 in 6A-8) at Lennard (0-3, 0-2)

Last game: Blake defeated Leto 54-0; Lennard lost to Chamberlain 28-14.

Why you should go: Because the atmosphere in Ruskin is special as the Longhorns usually draw big crowds. Lennard is winless, but has been very competitive the past two weeks. Meanwhile, Blake has a bounce after Monday's rout. Corey Bennett ran for nearly 200 yards and four touchdowns.

Hillsborough (0-2, 0-2 in 6A-A) at Leto (0-2, 0-2)

Last game: Hillsborough lost to Armwood 37-2; Leto lost to Blake 54-0.

Why you should go: To most likely see a Terriers' victory. You have to feel awful for them, having played Jefferson to such a close game before losing the opener, then running into the buzz saw that is the Hawks. Now, the only way Hillsborough makes the playoffs is if someone else can knock off one of those two teams — and if the Terriers run the table. And don't be shocked if Hillsborough indeed goes 8-2.

Largo (2-1) at Jesuit (1-2)

Last game: Largo defeated Gibbs 32-13; Jesuit lost to CCC 21-3.

Why you should go: The incredibly tough predistrict slate continues with Jesuit hosting another Pinellas power. The Tigers will be plenty prepped for district play, and let's face it, the 5A-9 schedule of two games is just a formality, Jesuit will make the playoffs. The point is, the games they're playing now will only help the Tigers when they get there.

Idle: Jefferson (3-0) and Middleton (0-3).

Comments
Your way-too-early 2018 college football schedule viewing guide

Your way-too-early 2018 college football schedule viewing guide

Although we still don't know the full 2018 college football schedule, we do know the full slates for Florida, Florida State and Miami, after the ACC announced its games Wednesday.Let's look ahead:Best date: Oct. 6. LSU-Florida and FSU-Miami are on th...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Lightning falls to Golden Knights

Lightning falls to Golden Knights

TAMPA — The door to the Lightning dressing room remained closed a little longer than usual Thursday night, and that wasn’t surprising.After the kind of performance displayed in its 4-1 loss to the expansion Golden Knights, this had players-only meeti...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Lightning journal: Cory Conacher ready to take advantage of J.T. Brown’s departure

Lightning journal: Cory Conacher ready to take advantage of J.T. Brown’s departure

TAMPA — The loss of wing J.T. Brown to Anaheim will be a gain for some Lightning forwards in terms of ice time. Whether those players are currently with the team or still at AHL Syracuse has yet to be determined.For now, C Cory Conacher will try to t...
Updated: 6 hours ago

Friday’s sports on TV/radio

TODAYAutosNASCAR Hall of Fame induction ceremony8 p.m.NBCSNCollege basketballBuffalo at Western Michigan7 p.m.ESPNUSt. Bonaventure at Davidson7 p.m.ESPN2Canisius at Manhattan9 p.m.ESPNUIllinois at Wisconsin9 p.m.FS1College gymnasticsFlorida at Kentuc...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Strong ties: USF vs. Louisville

Strong ties: USF vs. Louisville

TAMPA — USF has scheduled a three-game football series with Louisville — coach Charlie Strong’s former team — starting in 2022, giving his Bulls nine games against Power Five teams over the next seven years.USF visits Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium on ...
Updated: 7 hours ago

High school scoreboard for Jan. 18

Thursday’s scoreboardGirls basketballNortheast 64, Largo 24Boys soccerIndian Rocks Chr. 3, Berkeley Prep 2Palm Harbor U. 7, Tarpon Springs 0Girls soccerCountryside 5, Pinellas Park 0Palm Harbor U. 5, Tarpon Springs 1...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Djokovic wins in rising heat

Djokovic wins in rising heat

MELBOURNE, Australia — On a day when shade was a valuable commodity in the searing heat at Melbourne Park, Roger Federer played it cool at the Australian Open. Six-time champion Novak Djokovic, however, complained about the brutal conditions during h...
Updated: 8 hours ago

Sports in brief

GymnasticsUSA gymnastics Ends deal with KAROLYI ranch tainted by SEX abuse allegationsINDIANAPOLIS — The long relationship between USA Gymnastics and the Karolyi Ranch is over. The organization announced Thursday that it has terminated its agreement ...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Star battle: Team LeBron versus Team Stephen

Star battle: Team LeBron versus Team Stephen

Team LeBron against Team Stephen is the NBA’s new All-Star matchup. Cleveland’s LeBron James and Golden State’s Stephen Curry will go head-to-head again, this time as captains who pick teams for the revamped All-Star Game. James and Curry received th...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Bruins continue climb up Atlantic Division

Bruins continue climb up Atlantic Division

NEW YORK — Patrice Bergeron scored three goals to lead Boston to a 5-2 victory over the Islanders on Thursday night, giving the Bruins at least a point for the 15th consecutive game. Brad Marchand had a goal and two assists as Boston improved to 11-0...
Updated: 8 hours ago