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Tight muscles won't cramp Sickles' ground game

CITRUS PARK — Sickles running back Cary White is out to defend his county rushing title this season — and then some.

White may have eyes on 2,000 yards, but his biggest challenge to a repeat rushing title may not come from other teams' backs. It may come from his teammates.

White is off and running after the Gryphons' opening-night pounding of Gaither (a 38-7 win). White dashed to 121 yards on 22 carries and scored a touchdown before cramps limited him in the second half. It was White's ninth 100-plus performance in his past 12 contests.

Enter Brieann Dollard.

Also a senior tailback, Dollard ran for half of his 147 yards in the second half. Dollard scored two rushing touchdowns, a 51-yarder in the first quarter and a 9-yard scamper late in the game. He also caught three passes, including a 14-yarder that ended the Sickles scoring onslaught against the Cowboys.

"Those guys can be hard to stop," Sickles coach Brian Turner said of his two backs. "They were really able to do some things. (Cary) had the cramps a little, but he'll be fine. He and Brieann are both talented backs."

White, who had a Hillsborough County-best 1,594 yards rushing last season, and Dollard will look to ring up more yards tonight when the Gryphons travel to play Blake.

In other contests, Freedom and Jefferson look to continue their winning ways while Leto, Wharton, Gaither and Alonso all look to avoid 0-2 starts. Steinbrenner, playing its first full season of varsity ball, opens its season against Gaither.

All kickoffs are scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

Chamberlain (0-1) at Wharton (0-1)

Last week: Chamberlain lost to Durant, 14-0; Wharton lost to Spoto, 37-10.

Last year: Wharton defeated Chamberlain, 27-13.

The skinny: The Chiefs only managed 145 yards of offense, but played well defensively against Durant. The Wildcats had trouble putting anything together against Spoto.

The edge: This one may be closer than expected, but give the home-field advantage to Wharton.

King (1-0) at Freedom (1-0)

Last week: King defeated Middleton, 21-12; Freedom defeated Riverview, 20-6.

Last year: Did not play.

The skinny: King's defense turned back Middleton just enough. Freedom, meanwhile, got two Keith Lewis TD runs on offense and played lights-out defense (allowed 147 total yards) vs. Riverview.

The edge: Did anyone think this Week 2 game would have both teams coming off wins? Freedom's tough defense keeps the win streak going.

Alonso (0-1) at Spoto (1-0)

Last week: Alonso lost to Brandon, 27-7; Spoto defeated Wharton, 37-10.

Last year: Spoto defeated Alonso, 10-7.

The skinny: The Alonso defense gave up 268 yards on the ground in last week's loss. That's a bad sign as it prepares for Spoto's do-it-all quarterback Nick Addison, who accounted for 246 total yards and five TDs last week.

The edge: Alonso will see plenty of Addison tonight as Spoto rolls.

Gaither (0-1) at Steinbrenner (0-0)

Last week: Steinbrenner was off; Gaither lost to Sickles, 38-7.

Last year: Did not play.

The skinny: Steinbrenner begins its first full season at varsity trying to improve on defense, where it yielded an average of 39 points in a partial-varsity schedule last year. Gaither, with one victory in its last 14 games, is looking for a big win.

The edge: Gaither quarterback Shug Oyegunle's running and passing should be the difference in a Cowboys' win.

Jefferson (1-0) at Newsome (0-1)

Last week: Jefferson defeated Hillsborough, 30-14; Newsome lost to Armwood, 42-7.

Last year: Game called after three quarters due to inclement weather with Jefferson winning, 29-28.

The skinny: As impressive as Jefferson's offense is with QB Quentin Williams at the helm, it was the Dragons' defense that keyed the win last week. Newsome will try to unleash its rushing attack on that Jefferson defense.

The edge: Jefferson linebacker Ramik Wilson will see plenty of action his way tonight. Look for another Jefferson win.

Leto (0-1) at Lennard (1-0)

Last week: Leto lost to Robinson, 57-0; Lennard defeated Bloomingdale, 13-6.

Last year: Did not play.

The skinny: Leto's dismal 57-point loss was not a good sign. Lennard is no offensive juggernaut, but it may not matter.

The edge: The Falcons' defense won't yield 50-plus points tonight, but it will still struggle. Lennard wins.

Sickles (1-0) at Blake (0-1)

Last week: Sickles defeated Gaither, 38-7; Blake was off.

Last year: Sickles beat Blake, 35-12.

The skinny: Sickles' three-headed backfield of White, Dollard and quarterback John Melvin Hendrick rolled up 300-plus yards on the ground last week. Blake, opening its schedule tonight, has had trouble stopping the run in the past.

The edge: Look for another big night from the Sickles ground attack — and a victory.

Rod Gipson can be reached at hillsnews@sptimes.com.

Tight muscles won't cramp Sickles' ground game 09/09/10 [Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 4:30am]
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