Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Ram-turned-Buc Golden is a moving target in another backfield

NEW PORT RICHEY — The 2008 renewal of what may be west Pasco's most intense football rivalry is glittered with a Golden subplot. Or so it seems.

When Gulf buses 6.2 miles to face Ridgewood on Friday night, the undefeated Bucs will bring along the kid projected to be the Rams' top tailback this season.

Junior Adrian "Bubba" Golden flourished for Ridgewood in the spring, then in seven-on-seven action, before moving to his grandmother's house in Holiday and transferring to Gulf. For a kid who has tallied 664 yards in four games, it was his shiftiest move to date.

He never told Rams coach Chris Taylor he was moving. "I didn't want to hurt him; I just didn't know (what to say)," Golden said Monday. "I was just at a loss for words."

Now Golden is set for his return to Rams Booster Stadium, albeit in black and green. The tense undercurrent accompanying his arrival will reek of black and blue. Golden is the second prominent back in as many years to transfer from Ridgewood to Gulf.

David Williams, who ran for more than 2,000 yards as a Buc last fall, is the other.

"I had never met (Golden) before (he came to Gulf). Ever," Bucs coach Jay Fulmer said.

Fulmer's insistence notwithstanding, many believe the Rams will step onto their field Friday harboring a vendetta larger than the federal deficit. Bash Bubba is the presumed game-week mantra for Ridgewood. But any such Golden story line may be proverbial pyrite.

Do the Rams want to shut down their ex-teammate? Of course.

Do they want to shut him down for the rest of the season? Of course not. Even Sterling Ross, who replaced Golden as the Rams' primary ball carrier and admits to an "up-and-down" relationship with Golden, acknowledges Bubba has a bunch of close friends on the Rams roster.

"They can't get his name out of their mouths," Ross said.

"Ah, man, I can give you a list," Golden said when asked about his buddies at Ridgewood, which he attended for only one year.

"(Two-way sophomore) Austin Jackson, (lineman) Jake Smith. I met a new friend, (backup quarterback) Scotty Kujak; he's real cool. And me and (quarterback) Jimmy Mattos are real tight, and (linebacker) Tim (Rearden). You can ask them. I text them. We talk all the time.

"Nothing changed, just the school."

Nonetheless, Golden, which will be without complementary back Tevin Gamble (leg), will be a focal point Friday.

Though Gulf (4-0) has shown balance in its first four games — junior Madison Burr has passed for 641 yards and five touchdowns — the Rams (2-1) must contain Golden (11 touchdowns) to keep Gulf from controlling the ball for long stretches.

"He's a good back. I believe he's one of the best in the county," Taylor said. "He'll make you pay if you miss tackles on him and don't do your assignments correctly. We have to rally to the football, and we can't worry about just stopping him because they have other weapons."

In the grand, Golden scheme, that's the real key on Friday: holding Bubba in check instead of holding a grudge.

"He was a good kid," Taylor said. "He was in the role like I had with (Byronell) Arline; I cared about him and tried to do anything possible for him. That was just a rough scenario."

Ram-turned-Buc Golden is a moving target in another backfield 09/30/08 [Last modified: Monday, October 6, 2008 1:03pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Storm routs Cleveland


    TAMPA — Alvin Ray Jackson intercepted two passes, returning one for a touchdown, and recovered two fumbles as the Storm routed Cleveland 57-27 Saturday night in its home regular-season finale at Amalie Arena.

  2. Miscue sends Rays to another stinging loss to Rangers (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays gave away DJ Kitty onesies Saturday night. Then they gave away the game.

    Rays centerfielder Mallex Smith misses a drive hit by Adrian Beltre with two outs in the sixth, allowing the tying runs to score. Beltre puts Texas ahead 4-3 when he scores after two wild pitches.
  3. Rowdies shut out Charleston


    ST. PETERSBURG — The Rowdies know a thing or two about stalemates, with five of their past 10 games ending in a draw.

    Rowdies in the first half during the game between Tampa Bay Rowdies and the Charleston Battery at Al Lang Field in St. Petersburg, Fla., on Saturday, Jul 22, 2017.
  4. Rays journal: Former closer Sergio Romo acquired from Dodgers

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays made a move to help the bullpen Saturday night when they acquired RHP Sergio Romo, who had been designated for assignment last week by the Dodgers.

    Reliever Sergio Romo has 84 career saves, including 38 in 2013, but has struggled this season with the Dodgers, posting a 6.12 ERA in 25 innings before being designated for assignment.
  5. Dale Earnhardt Jr. backs wife's "not worth risk'' opinion on Daytona

    Auto racing

    INDIANAPOLIS — Dale Earnhardt Jr. on Saturday defended his wife's Twitter post — and blamed himself for putting her in a position where she believed she had to speak out and upset some of his fans.

    Amy Earnhardt worries about Dale Jr.’s concussions.