If at first you don't succeed …
That will be the theme for a pair of SouthShore and Brandon teams tonight when the playoffs continue. Both games are rematches of earlier season tilts, and a trip to next week's region final will be on the line.
To make it to tonight's second round of the playoffs, Newsome mauled Gaither and Durant breezed past Tampa Bay Tech. And Armwood? Well all the Hawks did was quiet the naysayers who predicted a Largo beat-down.
The previously undefeated Packers, with arguably their strongest team in school history, had a three-loss Armwood team in prime position at home.
But to borrow a boxing analogy, you can't pitter-patter around and expect to outpoint the champs. You have to go in and knock them out — something Largo couldn't do.
Now the Hawks look to avenge a mid-season loss to Hillsborough, while Newsome hopes it can produce a different result in its rematch with Durant.
Both games at 7:30 p.m.
Armwood (8-3) at Hillsborough (9-1)
Last week: Armwood defeated Largo 10-6; Hillsborough defeated Osceola 42-7.
The skinny: This is the second meeting of the year between the teams with Hillsborough having won the first matchup 3-0 on Oct. 18. … Hillsborough has found its groove offensively, topping the 40-point mark in two of the three games since the Terriers' and Hawks' first meeting. Sophomore quarterback Dwayne Lawson is a duel threat, throwing for 1,313 yards with 12 TDs and rushing for 378 yards and four more scores. Lawson was sensational in the win last week against Osceola, throwing for 174 and running for 106 more. ... The Terriers also have one of the top tailbacks in the County in Nigel Harris. Harris has run for 696 yards on the season and three TDs against Osceola. Curtis Thomas, with 28 catches on the season, serves as Lawson's top receiving target. Thomas grabbed six balls for 99 yards and a touchdown against the Warriors. Armwood used a stingy defense to slip by the Packers. The Hawks forced seven turnovers and two of those led to the Hawks' only points of the game. Linebacker Jordan Brown returned a fumble 22 yards for Armwood's only TD. The Hawks' offense continues to seek answers, having scored only 48 total points in their last four games despite having one of the state's premiere players in receiver/quarterback Alvin Bailey.
Newsome (7-4) at Durant (11-0)
Last week: Newsome defeated Gaither 52-7; Durant defeated Tampa Bay Tech 34-7.
The skinny: Newsome manhandled Gaither's front seven, rushing for 510 yards on just 46 carries. Will Worth (14 carries, 181 yards), John Hendricks (10 carries, 106 yards), Clint Carnell (10 carries, 89 yards) and Tyler Dufrene (five carries, 73 yards) all topped the 70-yard mark for Newsome. Worth was just 1-of-3, but his lone completion was a 21-yard TD pass to Matt Hines … The first time these two teams met during the regular season, Durant forced four turnovers to take a 38-28 win. … Newsome outgained Durant that game 371-281. … Durant led 31-7 in that game before a late Newsome rally. … Durant's one-two punch of Jamarlon Hamilton and Chris Atkins ran for 112 and 74 yards, respectively, against TBT. The Cougars also got a pair of rushing touchdowns from fullback Zach Hooper.