1. St. Petersburg (7-0): The Green Devils are zeroing in on the school's first undefeated regular season since 1984.
2. Countryside (8-0): Playing their most complete game of the year, the Cougars beat PHU 43-12.
3. East Lake (6-1): The Eagles get the week off to prepare for the big district showdown with Countryside this week.
4. Largo (6-1): A punishing running game and relentless pass rush helped the Packers clinch the district title, 28-26 over Bogie.
5. CC Catholic (5-2): With Fort Meade (3-0) and Berkeley Prep (2-1, with win over CCC) ahead of them in the district, the Marauders (2-1) are playing for a winning season.
6. Lakewood (4-3): The Spartans work on their rushing attack in a 54-7 rout over Osceola.
7. Admiral Farragut (7-0): The Blue Jackets recorded their third shutout of the season in a 19-0 victory over Cambridge.
Things we learned
1. This week is the biggest roadblock for the remaining undefeated teams. St. Petersburg, Countryside and Admiral Farragut all have perfect records. If they win out, it will be the first time the county has had that many teams finish the regular season unbeaten. Each will have arguably the toughest test on its remaining schedule this week. The Green Devils play Northeast in a rivalry and district game. The Vikings have the best record (5-3) among St. Petersburg's final three opponents. The Cougars host East Lake in a game that will all but decide the champion and runnerup in Class 5A, District 8. And the Blue Jackets host Lakeland Victory Christian in a showdown of undefeated teams in Class 1B-5.
2. Largo can get by with its running game. The loss of Juwan Brown nearly a month ago seemed to spell doom for the Packers, who relied on their elusive quarterback to give them balance. But Largo has used its abundance of running backs to its advantage, adding a new wrinkle with the single-wing. In a 28-26 victory over Boca Ciega that wrapped up the 4A-10 district title, the Packers attempted just one pass and ran for 388 yards on 42 carries. And Largo did this without Claxton Boykin, who was nursing an injury.
3. Admiral Farragut can play defense. The focus of the Blue Jackets has been on an offense that lights up a scoreboard. But Admiral Farragut is pretty good at keeping opponents off it, too. In seven games, the Blue Jackets have given up a combined 27 points, tops among all county teams. The unit is led by LB Chris Myrick, who is a tackling machine. This week, AFA's defense will have to be at its best to stop Victory Christian, which is averaging more than 40 points per game.
Offensive player of the week
RB Derrick Doss, Largo: The forgotten player in the Packers' talented backfield had a monster game in the 28-26 win over Boca Ciega, rushing for a season-best 206 yards on eight carries and scoring four times. Doss gained 194 of his yards on his four touchdown runs, all of which were 30 yards or longer.
Defensive player of the week
DL Adarius Rayner, Largo: It was good week for the Packers defensive lineman. First, he committed to Colorado State. Then he wreaked havoc against Boca Ciega, setting a school record with five sacks. In all, Largo sacked Pirates QB Shaquille Bradford 10 times.
|RB Byronton Jackson, Lakewood||Rushed for a team-best 155 yards and had two touchdowns in a 54-7 victory over Osceola.|
|WR Sean Culkin, Indian Rocks Christian||Had three receiving touchdowns in a 35-24 win over Lakeland Christian.|
|RBs James Goodwin, Brent O'Neal, Canterbury||Two backs combined to rush for 261 yards and five touchdowns in a 49-7 win over Lakeland Santa Fe Catholic.|
|RB Jayln Coleman, Keswick Christian||Rushed for 115 yards and scored three times to help the Crusaders beat Calvary Christian 50-26.|
|QB Jimmy Van Deilen, Northside Christian||Scored two rushing touchdowns, including the winner with 30 seconds left, in a 13-12 victory over Bell.|
This week's best games
East Lake (6-1, 2-0) at Countryside (8-0, 3-0): Barring a huge upset the following week, this game will determine the top two spots in 5A-8. The big matchup will be Eagles QB Pete DiNovo going up against an experienced Cougars secondary led by Alex Dixon.
Lakeland Victory Christian (8-0, 4-0) at Admiral Farragut (7-0, 5-0): This game between two unbeaten ranked teams in Class B will have bigger implications than deciding who is the champion and runnerup. It also will give the winner homefield advantage for a possible rematch in the Class B region final.
"We have some passes in the playbook, but the run was working so well we had to stick with it. My offensive line worked together real well. They were actually telling me where to run on each carry."
Derrick Doss, Largo running back, above
"We couldn't stop them on defense. No. 5 just killed us."
Stevie Thomas, Boca Ciega coach, referring to Doss