Monday, May 21, 2018
Sports

Teams still battling for playoff spots

Here's a look at tonight's prep football games featuring schools from the City Times area.

Kickoffs are at 7:30 p.m. unless otherwise noted.

Tampa Bay Tech (6-2, 3-1 in District 7A-7) at Sickles (7-1, 4-0)

Last week: TBT lost to Gaither 14-10; Sickles defeated Wiregrass Ranch 35-7.

Why you should go: The Titans need to win to be assured of having their playoff hopes extended, which is crazy for a team that defeated Plant. And having to beat Sickles can be problematic since the Gryphons are one of the best teams around.

Middleton (2-6, 0-1 in 5A-9) at Jesuit (5-3, 1-1)

Last week: Middleton lost to Spoto 24-0; Jesuit was idle.

Why you should go: Frankly, it seems like Jesuit has had this district title sewn up since the teams were announced, but Middleton can still win it. A stretch, sure, but Middleton can score some points, and so the Tigers (of Jesuit) still have to show up. Problem for Middleton is it didn't score any points last week in a shocking loss to previously winless Spoto. Maybe that Spoto team should have gotten a little more credit considering its schedule was strong. But whatever the case, the Tigers (of Middleton) now have to beat Jesuit just to have a chance at the playoffs. Should Middleton pull the upset, the district's three teams would convene at Jesuit Monday to decide the two playoff spots.

Plant (7-1-1, 4-0 in 8A-6) at Alonso (5-3, 2-2)

Last week: Plant defeated Wharton 46-13; Alonso defeated Riverview 42-13.

Why you should go: This could be interesting. Plant has locked up the district title, while Alonso is right now playing as well as any team in the group not named Plant. But a narrow loss to Bloomingdale three games ago has the Ravens on the outside of the playoff picture — unless they can stun the Panthers, and get help from Wharton beating Bloomingdale. That second part seems a little more likely as Wharton itself must win to get into a three-way tie for second. So for Plant, the playoff "feel" begins.

Robinson (4-5, 4-3 in 6A-8) at Hillsborough (5-3, 5-2)

Last week: Robinson defeated Blake 33-7; Hillsborough lost to Durant 32-30.

Why you should go: The winner will claim third place in the district, which is saying something. Actually it's saying something like, "we would be a playoff team in most other districts, especially in 6A." The Terriers will be ornery after a penalty-filled loss to Durant.

Jefferson (7-1, 6-1 in 6A-8)) at Blake (2-7, 2-5)

Last week: Jefferson defeated Chamberlain 28-24; Blake lost to Robinson 33-7.

Why you should go: The Dragons were the latest team to get a severe test from Chamberlain and narrowly beat the Chiefs. That victory locked up second place in the district and means the Dragons can start watching game tape on Largo, which looks sure to be the first-round playoff opponent — and already the marquee matchup in the bay area two Fridays from now.

Leto (0-7, 0-8 in 6A-8) at King (5-4, 2-4)

Last week: Leto lost to Lennard 68-0; King lost to Armwood 28-0.

Why you should go: It's the last chance to see the Lions, who look certain to wrap up a winning season. Last week's showing was about as close as anyone has played Armwood all year.

Bishop McLaughlin (1-7, 0-4 in 3A-4) at Tampa Catholic (7-1, 4-0) 7 p.m.

Last week: McLaughlin lost to Berkeley Prep 51-7; TC defeated Lakeland Christian 41-0.

Why you should go: To get a look at some of the Crusaders' bench players. Surely they'll get some time against an overmatched team from Pasco County.

Comments
Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Sunday’s Rays-Angels game

Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Sunday’s Rays-Angels game

* It's always interesting to think of how many amazing plays you see made in a game, then often a simple one — such as the fourth-inning comebacker to Rays RHP Matt Andriese — gets messed up and costs teams heavily, as that led to two run...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Rays journal: Pitching plan works, until Sergio Romo leaves in second inning

Rays journal: Pitching plan works, until Sergio Romo leaves in second inning

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Doubling down on their innovativeness and starting veteran reliever Sergio Romo for a second straight day worked out fine Sunday for the Rays.It was the less-effective pitchers who followed, plus the ineffectiveness of their h...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Expansion Vegas advances to Stanley Cup final

Expansion Vegas advances to Stanley Cup final

WINNIPEG — The Vegas Golden Knights are going to the Stanley Cup final — with a chip on their shoulder."Everybody on this team has something to prove," forward Ryan Reaves said. "We call ourselves 'The Golden Misfits' for a reason. We're ...
Updated: 3 hours ago
What a long, strange and winning road trip it was for Rays

What a long, strange and winning road trip it was for Rays

ANAHEIM, Calif. — The nearly Yanny-vs.-Laurel level national debate over their latest pitching strategy innovation of starting relievers isn't quite as entertaining today. The In-N-Out burgers in the clubhouse after the game weren't as tasty. T...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Taggart delivers a bolt to area

Taggart delivers a bolt to area

TAMPA — After spending four years as USF’s football coach, Willie Taggart knows what to expect this time of year in the area, so it’s no surprise how he began a chat with reporters Sunday before a booster stop at Armature Works."Go Lightning," he sai...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Willie Taggart: ‘Pretty cool’ to be back in Tampa as FSU coach

Willie Taggart: ‘Pretty cool’ to be back in Tampa as FSU coach

TAMPA – After spending four years as USF's football coach, Willie Taggart knows what to expect this time of year in the area, so it's no surprise how he began a chat with reporters Sunday before a booster stop at Armature Works."Go Lightning," ...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Romo not the reason, but Rays streak ends at 6 with 5-2 loss to Angels

Romo not the reason, but Rays streak ends at 6 with 5-2 loss to Angels

ANAHEIM, Calif.  – Doubling down on their innovativeness and starting veteran reliever Sergio Romo for a second straight day worked out fine for the Rays on Sunday.It was the less effective pitchers who followed, and the ineffectiveness of...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Lightning-Capitals: Familiar ground for Capitals as they face elimination

Lightning-Capitals: Familiar ground for Capitals as they face elimination

TAMPA – Capitals G Braden Holtby basically summed up playoff life for the Capitals after Saturday's Game 5 loss in the Eastern Conference final when he said the team never makes it easy for itself."No, we don't," coach Barry Trotz agreed Sunday...
Updated: 8 hours ago
For Bolts radio duo, being fans at heart is key to their success

For Bolts radio duo, being fans at heart is key to their success

As the last tension-filled seconds of a tight playoff game wind down, high above the Amalie Arena ice, the play-by-play man becomes increasingly animated.Dave Mishkin, eyes bulging, face purple, jumps from his seat, holding the headset with his left ...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Lightning-Capitals: In playoffs, Lightning and its town become one

Lightning-Capitals: In playoffs, Lightning and its town become one

TAMPA — The Lightning is a win away from a trip to the Stanley Cup final. Its Game 5 win Saturday, to take a 3-2 lead over the Washington Capitals, was another chapter of a story being written on the fly."Think about Game 1 in New Jersey,"...
Updated: 9 hours ago