What we learned
1. Plant City might still be a year away. We didn't fully realize the Raiders' youth until we scrutinized the roster. In Friday's thrilling 27-24 win at Durant, the leading rusher (Dazmond Patterson) and passer (Bennie Coney) are sophomores, as is the player who registered the game-ending sack (Joseph Benton). Coach Jason Strunk said he had 15 10th-graders in Friday's starting lineup.
2. Jesuit can win on the ground. Tigers quarterback Bobby Eveld is a gifted passer, indeed, but give it up for the ground game, which was led by workhorse Robby Garcia. The senior ran for a game-high 151 yards on 25 carries and Jesuit ran for 255 as a team in a win over Middleton. Garcia was the lone ball carrier on a 13-play, 59-yard drive that gave the Tigers a 14-10 halftime lead.
3. The county's biggest disappointment has to be Leto. The Falcons have one of the county's top players in Jeremy Deering and it appeared the team was turning the corner, but it can't play competitively with anyone these days. The Falcons haven't scored in nine quarters and have been outscored 125-12 in their past four games.
This week's games to watch
1. Durant (6-2, 2-1) at Newsome (5-2, 3-0). The Cougars have, oh, five minutes to mourn their Plant City loss. Win this game, and Class 5A, District 6 ends in a three-way tie among them, the Wolves and Plant City. If Newsome wins, the Wolves are district champs and the Raiders runnersup.
2. Lakewood (6-2, 3-1) at Spoto (7-2, 3-1). The winner earns the second playoff spot in Class 3A, District 8. The loser embarks on its offseason conditioning program.
3. St. Petersburg Catholic (5-3, 3-2) at Jesuit (7-1, 4-1). The Tigers control their path to the playoffs. A win over the Barons seals the runnerup spot in Class 2A, District 5. A loss and we're looking at one of those nasty Monday night three-team tiebreakers between Jesuit, SPC and Middleton.
Numbers of the day
0 Times Durant has defeated Newsome in varsity play in its history
22 Touchdowns thrown by Jefferson quarterback Quentin Williams, most in the bay area
|QB Aaron Mills, Sr., East Bay||Ran for two scores and threw for another against East Bay. He totaled 129 rushing yards on just six carries and threw a 40-yard touchdown pass.|
|RB Chris Brown, Sr., Cambridge||Outgained Winter Haven All Saints' — by himself — 259-90. He ran for 259 yards and four scores, from 1, 15, 1 and 36 yards.|
|RB Cary White, Jr., Sickles||Ran for 188 yards and four TDs on 20 carries in win against Alonso.|
|Mike DePue, Robinson coach||In the school's 50th anniversary season, DePue — a veritable institution at the Port Tampa program — leads the Knights to their first district title since 1977.|
|Newsome defense||On a night when finding the end zone was tough against Riverview, the Wolves defense forced five turnovers and recorded a safety.|
|RB Dazmond Patterson, So., Plant City||Ran for 227 yards — 193 in the first half — on 26 carries against Durant.|