What we learned
1. Jesuit's offense has juice. While coach James Harrell's defense was succumbing to Robinson's big-play capability early on, offensive coordinator Chris Taylor was implementing a ball-control strategy. Taylor called RB Anthony Harrell's number repeatedly for sweeps and off-tackle runs, which set up the pass perfectly. QB Patton Chillura was successful on roll-out passes to the flat and was able to hit some huge downfield plays when it counted. In the 29-28 win, Harrell ran for 101 yards and Chillura threw for 228.
2. Believe in Brandon. The Eagles are 5-0 for the first time since 1985 after arguably their most complete performance of the season in a 29-9 victory over Sickles. Brandon's backfield presents a number of problems, with Darius Lee, Tyrell Garner and Shawn Council all capable of putting up big numbers. Its defense is allowing only 11.4 points per game this season. Brandon started off its 1985 season with seven straight wins, and these Eagles might be on track to top that feat this year.
3. Armwood has regained its swagger. Call it "The Wood" or "I-4 High" or whatever you called it in the glory days of 2003-05, but Armwood is back after handing county rival Plant its first shutout loss in nearly six years, 17-0. And that defense? The ball-Hawks held Plant to 9 yards rushing and intercepted Phillip Ely three times. Sophomore Leon McQuay, a high jump state qualifier last year, has a nose for the ball. And along with punishing Jermaine McKinney, the Hawks have a talented safety tandem holding the back line.
4. And then there were four. Six undefeated teams entered Friday night, and four made it out unbeaten. Robinson fell to 3-1, while Lennard picked up its first loss against previously winless Middleton. Armwood, Jefferson, Brandon and Jesuit are still perfect, and there's a chance all four could finish the regular season that way.
By the numbers
14-0 Record of Wharton's opponents in a current three-week stretch — Armwood (4-0), Jefferson (5-0) and Brandon (5-0)
37 Combined touchdown passes by Jefferson's Quentin Williams (21) and Spoto's Nick Addison (16) through five weeks. The Spartans and Dragons meet in two weeks.
74 Number of games since Plant last suffered a shutout loss until the Panthers' 17-0 loss to Armwood. The Hawks beat the Panthers 49-0 on Oct. 29, 2004.
This week's games to watch
Lakewood (3-2, 1-0) at Jefferson (5-0, 1-0): The Spartans, led by DE Dante "Manchild" Fowler, are one of the few teams that have the ability to knock off the Dragons in the regular season. But Class 3A-8 rival Jefferson beat Lakewood twice last season, including 20-15 in the region semifinals.
Lennard (4-1, 1-1) at Jesuit (5-0, 2-0): The Longhorns suffered their first loss of the season this week to Middleton, but Lennard has still come a long way. We'll really see what they're made of against high-flying Class 2A-5 rival Jesuit, which is coming off a 29-28 comeback victory over defending district champ Robinson.
Sickles (3-2, 0-1) at Boca Ciega (2-2, 1-0): In the four-team Class 4A-10, these two are more than likely playing for the final playoff spot. Largo is 4-1 and leads the district, and well, Leto has yet to score a point. Last season, the Gryphons won a thriller in overtime 31-28.
Robinson (3-1) at Newsome (3-2): Coming off a 29-28 loss to Jesuit, the Knights will be looking to avenge their 41-20 loss to the Wolves last year — their only defeat before falling to Plant in the final game of the regular season. Newsome FB Conner Powers ran for 179 yards and four touchdowns in that game, and it would be surprising if the Wolves didn't try to run right at Robinson again this year.
|S Leon McQuay, Armwood||The sophomore picked off Plant QB Phillip Ely three times, and the Hawks scored 10 points off those turnovers in a 17-0 win.|
|DBs Demetrius Payne and D'Andre Franklin, Brandon||With Sickles gaining momentum and driving into the red zone with less than four minutes remaining, the Eagles needed a big play on defense. Payne forced Gryphons WR Brad Donaho to fumble, and Franklin took it 91 yards for a TD, his second scoop-and-score of the season.|
|QB Patton Chillura, Jesuit||In his fifth career start, Chillura stood firm in the pocket and rolled out with equal proficiency, finishing 17-for-25 for 308 yards and one touchdown.|
|WR Travis Johnson, Jesuit||Held without a catch for the first three quarters, Johnson (four catches, 154 yards) compensated down the stretch. His one-handed snag of a Patton Chillura pass turned into an 80-yard touchdown. Then, he returned a kick 77 yards for another score before catching a 46-yard pass on the Tigers' winning drive.|
|QB Tanner Richardson, Seffner Christian||Richardson accounted for every single one of the Crusaders' 28 points in their 28-6 win over Windermere Prep, the first in program history. He rushed for three scores, threw for another and kicked all four extra points.|
|QB Greg Windham, King||The Lions junior totaled 180 total yards, completing 11 of 17 passes and scoring five total touchdowns — four passing and one rushing — in King's 68-0 thumping of Leto.|
|RB Daniel Padron, Strawberry Crest||Padron helped the Chargers to their biggest win in the school's two-year history, rushing for 205 yards on 23 carries in a 45-44 comeback win over St. Petersburg Catholic.|
"When you get young guys that have never played in games of this magnitude, early on they'll forget the fundamental things, such as tackling. So it wasn't a matter of schematically what (Robinson was) doing that concerned me. It was just our inability to execute what they're taught every day, and that's tackling and blocking."
James Harrell, Jesuit coach, whose team trailed Robinson 14-10 at halftime, but rallied to win 29-28
"It was important for us to get it done. If we came over and lost it would have been real tough. I think Plant's going to be a better football team because of this game, and I'm sure Armwood's going to be a better team because of it."
Sean Callahan, Armwood coach, after the Hawks' 17-0 win over Plant
"There's still some things this offense hasn't shown. We like where we are, but we have things to work on for districts (games). We just want to keep preparing and getting better."
Mike Fenton, Jefferson coach, after the Dragons' 49-7 win over Wharton
Jarvis Scott returned a kickoff 75 yards for Durant against East Bay. Another player was list in Saturday's editions.