Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Alonso sophomore QB faces tough first test against Jefferson


If Alonso High School coach Brian Emanuel is concerned about having a sophomore quarterback lead his offense, he isn't letting on.

But Friday (Aug. 30), when the Ravens line up in their season-opener against visiting Jefferson, the 6-foot, 165-pound Chris Oladokun will be charged with leading his offense, and Alonso, back into playoff contention.

"Chris is a puppy, but we'll have help for him. It won't be all on his shoulders," Emanuel said.

Among the playmakers surrounding Oladokun are senior running back Ish Witter, senior wide receiver Marcus Mosley and senior wide receiver Brandon Robinson, who caught a touchdown pass from Oladokun in last week's preseason loss to King.

The Ravens should know where they stand pretty quickly against a solid Jefferson defense.

"We've got six offensive linemen back, we've got improved special teams and we've got great leadership," Emanuel said.

In other opening-night matchups, Chamberlain hosts Gaither, Sickles plays at Robinson and Carrollwood Day School hosts defending Class 2A state champion Jacksonville University Christian. Leto is off.

All kickoffs are scheduled for 7:30 p.m., unless noted.

Jefferson at Alonso

Last week: Jefferson defeated Plant City 48-26; Alonso lost to King 20-18.

Why you should go: Besides watching the Ravens' offense, fans will also get to see how Alonso's defense handles the Jefferson offensive machine. Jefferson quarterback Deiondre Porter threw for 250 yards and four touchdowns in last week's exhibition game.

Gaither at Chamberlain

Last week: Gaither defeated Wharton 21-9; Chamberlain lost to East Bay 46-20.

Why you should go: To see if Gaither QB Alex McGough is as good as advertised. The Florida International University commit threw for three touchdowns against a solid Wharton defense last week. Chamberlain will rely on the backfield tandem of Dakarai Highsmith and Nick McNeal while trying to establish some continuity under new coach Cam Jones, the team's offensive coordinator last season.

King at Freedom

Last week: King defeated Alonso 20-18; Freedom lost to Bloomingdale 30-14.

Why you should go: Because King and Freedom may be better than you think. The Lions moved the ball up and down the field last week in their preseason win against Alonso. King running back Greg Thompson may be in for a big night against Freedom's defense. On offense, the Patriots can run the ball as well, churning up 200-plus yards on the ground last week.

Middleton at Berkeley Prep

Last week: Berkeley Prep defeated Gulf 23-7; Middleton lost to Strawberry Crest 33-0.

Why you should go: To see which unit of Berkeley coach Dominick Ciao's team is better — offense or defense. Buccaneers quarterback Brad Mayes tossed two scoring passes last week while Berkeley Prep's defense was stingy.

Plant City at Steinbrenner

Last week: Plant City lost to Jefferson 48-26; Steinbrenner lost to Sunlake 8-6.

Why you should go: Just when the thinking surrounding Plant City was all defense, senior quarterback Landon Galloway goes out and throws for 235 yards and two touchdowns and runs for another 85 against a good Jefferson defense. The Steinbrenner defense will need to be up to the challenge to avoid a long night.

Sickles at Robinson

Last week: Sickles defeated Tampa Catholic 34-20; Robinson defeated Osceola 51-6.

Why you should go: If you like offense, this is where you want to be tonight. For Sickles, Ray Ray McCloud does it all. He ran for 200-plus yards and three touchdowns and added a punt return and a kickoff return for scores to account for all of the Gryphons' touchdowns in a 34-20 win against Tampa Catholic. Robinson, meanwhile, counters with a pair of quarterbacks: Darius Autry and Travis Forehand. The duo rotated to combine for 176 yards passing and three touchdowns in warmup play.

Spoto at Wharton

Last week: Wharton lost to Gaither 21-9; Spoto did not play due to weather.

Why you should go: To see Wharton QB Chase Litton with the reins off. Litton, who has offers from LSU, Florida Atlantic, FIU, Massachusetts and Toledo, completed just six passes for 36 yards last week while playing only one half. The 6-foot-5, 200-pounder likely will improve on those numbers Friday against a unit that gave up an average of 27 points a game last season.

Cambridge Christian at Bell

Last week: Cambridge was off; Bell defeated St. Francis Catholic 60-21.

Why you should go: To find out exactly where Bell is. It's 42 miles west of Gainesville and a little more than two hours by car from the Cambridge campus. When you get there, you can watch Bell running back Austin Ritchey, who ran for 312 yards and five touchdowns in the Bulldogs' tuneup game last week.

Jacksonville University Christian at Carrollwood Day School, 4 p.m.

Last week: CDS defeated Imagine School 23-8; University Christian lost to Highlands 47-17.

Why you should go: To get a look at defending Class 2A state champion University Christian. The Christians are coming off a 47-17 loss at Highlands, the third-ranked preseason team in the state of Kentucky. For CDS, meanwhile, coming off its first-ever playoff appearance, it's a chance to get an up-close look at a perennial small-school playoff program.

Alonso sophomore QB faces tough first test against Jefferson 08/28/13 [Last modified: Wednesday, August 28, 2013 2:33pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Justin Timberlake in Super Bowl halftime show for first time since 'wardrobe malfunction'


    Justin Timberlake has finally been invited back to the Super Bowl halftime show, 14 years after the "wardrobe malfunction" with Janet Jackson caused a national controversy.

    Singer Janet Jackson covers her breast as Justin Timberlake holds part of her costume after her outfit came undone during the halftime show of Super Bowl XXXVIII in Houston in 2004. The NFL announced Sunday, Oct. 22, 2017, that Timberlake will headline the Super Bowl halftime show Feb. 4 in Minnesota, 14 years after the "wardrobe malfunction" with Janet Jackson cause a national controversy. [Associated Press]
  2. No more looking at Jim Harbaugh, but should we look at Notre Dame?


    STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — Overheard Sunday morning in a hotel elevator, among two Penn State fans: "Did you see Coach Harbaugh's interview? He looked shellshocked. One of those coaches with his job on the line."

    Jim Harbaugh and Michigan are falling out of the national conversation; Sunday they fell out of the AP rankings after a blowout loss to Penn State. [Detroit Free Press/TNS]
  3. NFL Week 7: What we learned


    Are the Purple People Eaters back in Minnesota? The Vikings sacked Joe Flacco five times and held the Ravens to 208 total yards in a 24-16 home victory, their third straight win. QB Case Keenum looked ordinary with a 67.7 passer rating after completing 20-of-31 for 188 yards and an interception. Kai Forbath …

    Trainers, top, check Cleveland Browns tackle Joe Thomas after Thomas was hurt in the second half of an NFL football game against the Tennessee Titans, Sunday, Oct. 22, 2017, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane) OHTD122
  4. Bills' comeback against Bucs a win for the process


    ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — It hasn't taken Sean McDermott long to understand how to play to his base. Asked if the Bills had "gotten away with one" Sunday, the first-year coach gushed about his team reflecting the character of the town.

    Under first-year coach Sean McDermott, the Bills are 3-0 at home for the first time in six years. “I love playing here,” he says.
  5. No. 18 UCF closes in on USF, which drops to No. 17


    USF remained ahead of UCF in the Associated Press Top 25 poll released Sunday — just barely.