Saturday, February 17, 2018
Sports

Tampa high school football schedule, highlights for Sept. 14

It's a South Tampa kind of night, with the four powers playing one another.

And yes, it's early. But there are some practical district must-wins to be played out.

Oh, and how often do you hear this: Both Armwood and Plant are looking to bounce back from losses.

Here's the schedule for tonight. Kickoffs 7:30 p.m. unless otherwise noted.

Tampa Catholic (2-0) at St. Petersburg Catholic (2-0), 7 p.m.

Last week: Tampa Catholic defeated Zephyrhills 20-9; St. Pete Catholic defeated Crescent City 23-21.

Why you should go: To see two teams that may find themselves in a troublesome hole should they lose. Both are 2-0, but this one really counts as the kickoff of District 3A-5 play. Despite losing star running back Ryan Green (a Florida State commit) for the season with a shoulder injury, the Barons are still strong, and they're riding high after last week's game-winning field goal by Garrett Vallerio. Tampa Catholic has some big-time players, led by RB/LB T.J. Harrell.

Robinson (2-0, 1-0 in 5A-8) at Jesuit (1-1, 1-0)

Last week: Robinson defeated Dunedin 29-0; Jesuit defeated Middleton 16-0.

Why you should go: The Knights will be gung-ho to avenge regular-season defeats the past two seasons, both of which paved the way for the Tigers to claim the district title. Robinson appears to have a major edge on offense, as Jesuit managed only one touchdown in its first seven quarters before a possible breakthrough 90-yard pass from Leland Saile to the sensational Travis Johnson last week.

Jefferson (1-1) at Plant (1-1)

Last week: Plant lost to John Curtis Christian (La.) 33-3; Jefferson defeated Newsome 39-37.

Why you should go: Jefferson had been bumped off the Panthers' schedule two years in a row so that Plant could face a national opponent. So we imagine the Dragons have extra incentive to win. Another reason: to see just how good John Curtis Christian High School really is, because the Louisiana team made Plant look bad. Should the Panthers come back this week and beat the Dragons, we vote John Curtis national champion.

Newsome (0-2) at Hillsborough (1-0)

Last week: Newsome lost to Jefferson 39-37; Hillsborough's game at Cocoa was canceled.

Why you should go: Because you like lots of points. Newsome hasn't shown the ability to stop anyone yet, and Hillsborough will be eager to roll after the team's cross-state trip to play Cocoa was a washout.

Armwood (1-1) at Tampa Bay Tech (2-0)

Last week: Armwood lost to Delray Beach American Heritage 36-28; Tampa Bay Tech defeated King 14-0

Why you should go: Because this could be THE year for the Titans, and proof will come not so much if they can beat the Hawks but have a chance to beat them. Armwood doesn't often get knocked back, but that's what happened against American Heritage. And an interesting subplot involves starting Hawks QB Darryl Richardson, who was in line to be the starter at TBT before transferring ahead of last season.

King (0-2) at Alonso (0-2)

Last week: King lost to Tampa Bay Tech 14-0; Alonso lost to Durant 29-0.

Why you should go: This could end up being one of those sneaky games that's off the radar and then turns out to be wildly entertaining. These two teams are both waiting/expecting to finally bust out on offense. Both are winless, but that's because of extremely tough opposition.

Lennard (0-1, 0-2 in 5A-8) at Middleton (0-1, 0-2)

Last week: Lennard lost to Gibbs 28-18; Middleton lost to Jesuit 16-0.

Why you should go: We predict Middleton will get its first points of the season. And both teams have the motivation of staying out of last place through two games of district play. Also, if you haven't seen the Longhorns' uniforms patterned after the University of Texas, well, they're pretty cool.

Blake (0-1, 1-1) at Dunedin (0-1, 0-2)

Last week: Blake lost to Lakewood 33-0; Dunedin lost to Robinson 29-0.

Why you should go: This one has a similar scenario to the Lennard-Middleton game, in that the loser will be tied for last place with another 0-2 team. But the one major difference for Blake fans thinking about making the trip is that Dunedin folks are known to sport kilts.

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