SEFFNER — Armwood has been no stranger to the state final four during the past decade, and usually, the defense has gotten the Hawks there. But as the team kneeled before Sean Callahan in the end zone after Armwood's 40-20 Class 6A region final win against Gainesville on Friday, the veteran coach couldn't help but acknowledge the new unit reigning supreme at Lyle Flagg Field.
"In the past the defense has been the heart of our team," quarterback Darrian McNeal said. "But this year, we have heart on the offense, too."...
GREEN COVE SPRINGS — For 12 games leading up to Friday night's Class 5A region final against Clay, Nature Coast's DeShawn Smith was the best player on the field. In most cases, it wasn't even close.
But on this night, Blue Devils' running back Bilal Ally stole the spotlight.
Ally rushed for 322 yards on 52 carries and scored three touchdowns to lead Clay to a 40-28 win. Smith, on the other hand, was "held" to 116 yards on 18 carries and three touchdowns (two rushing, one receiving). It was his lowest rushing total in a game this season....
DELRAY BEACH — Few people in South Florida thought Clearwater Central Catholic could beat Delray Beach American Heritage in the Class 3A state semifinals.
The Stallions, after all, won last year's meeting 63-13 and were defending state finalists. American Heritage was supposed to be too fast, those on social media sites predicted. Too explosive. Too much.
But the Marauders insisted this was a different team. Last year, they were missing seven key starters, including CJ Cotman. They were more balanced and not dealing with serious injuries this time....
11/27/15 TV and Radio
Autos F1: Abu Dhabi Grand Prix qualifying 8 a.m. CNBC Boxing Super Welterweights: Charlo vs. Campfort 3 p.m. Ch. 8 Heavyweights: Klitschko vs. Fury 4:30 p.m. HBO Middleweights: DeGale vs. Bute 11 p.m. Showtime College basketball Bryant at Georgetown noon FS2 Souther Ill.-Edwardsville at Butler 5 p.m. FS2 Emerald Coast Classic, final: Virginia Tech or Iowa State vs. UAB or Illinois 7 p.m. CBSSN Georgia at Seton Hall 7:30 p.m. FS1 Cleveland State at Maryland 7:30 p.m. Big Ten Western Illinois at Creighton 8 p.m. FS2 Great Alaska Shootout, final: Toledo or Loyola-Chicago vs. Middle Tenn. or NC-Asheville 12:30 a.m. CBSSN College football Ohio State at Michigan noon Ch. 28; 620-AM Clemson at South Carolina noon ESPN Georgia at Georgia Tech noon ESPN2 Louisville at Kentucky noon SEC Virginia Tech at Virginia noon ESPNU SMU at Memphis noon ESPNews Iowa State at West Virginia noon FS1 Florida Atlantic at Old Dominion noon Ch. 38 Southern Miss at Louisiana Tech noon FSF Cincinnati at East Carolina noon CBSSN Indiana at Purdue noon Big Ten Duke at Wake Forest 12:30 Ch. 44 Boston College at Syracuse 12:30 Fox Sun Alabama at Auburn 3:30 Ch. 10; 1040-AM North Carolina at N.C. State 3:30 Ch. 28 Penn State at Michigan State 3:30 ESPN UCLA at USC 3:30 ESPN2 Northwestern at Illinois 3:30 ESPNU UTEP at North Texas 3:30 FSF BYU at Utah State 3:30 CBSSN Wisconsin at Minnesota 3:30 Big Ten Vanderbilt at Tennessee 4 SEC Kansas State at Kansas 4 FS1 Southern at Grambling State 6 NBCSN Connecticut at Temple 7 ESPNU Mississippi at Mississippi State 7:15 ESPN2 Florida State at Florida 7:30 ESPN; 620-AM; 1010-AM Notre Dame at Stanford 7:30 Ch. 13 Texas A&M at LSU 7:30 SEC; 1250-AM Oklahoma at Oklahoma State 8 Ch. 28 Colorado State at Fresno State 9 CBSSN Arizona State at Cal 10 FS1 Air Force at New Mexico 10:15 ESPNU Nevada at San Diego State 10:45 ESPN2 College volleyball, conference final Big East: Villanova vs. Creighton 2 p.m. FS2 Golf PGA Europe: Dunhill Links Championship 5:30 a.m. Golf PGA Australia: Australian Open 8 p.m. Golf NBA Nuggets at Mavericks 8:30 p.m. NBA NHL Islanders at Lightning 7 p.m. Fox Sun; 970-AM Capitols at Maple Leafs 7 p.m. NBCSN Skiing Aspen Winternational 3:30 p.m. NBSN Soccer German: Hetha Berlin at Bayern Munich 9:30 a.m. FS1 German: Borussia Monchengladbach at Hoffenheim 9:30 a.m. FS2 EPL: Southampton at Manchester City 10 a.m. NBCSN EPL: Manchester United at Leicester City 12:30 p.m. Ch. 8 Mexican: Tigres at Chiapas 6:45 p.m. Univision
Times staff photographer Jim Damaske got a sneak peek on Monday at the Florida Botanical Gardens holiday lights display, which opens to the public starting today. Here are some photos of what you can expect to see.
All games 7:30 p.m. Friday. Admission $9
• Cantonment Tate at Armwood
• Orlando Bishop Moore at Jesuit
At the Citrus Bowl, Orlando. Admission $12; parking $10
• Cambridge Christian vs. Jacksonville University Christian, 1:07 p.m. Friday...
11/27/15 Lightning Strikes
WASHINGTON — The frustrating season for C Tyler Johnson continues.
Johnson left the Lightning's 4-2 loss to the Capitals on Friday for undisclosed reasons after playing one shift, the opening 48 seconds. Johnson had just returned to the lineup Wednesday against the Kings after missing three games with an upper-body injury.
"That's tough," coach Jon Cooper said, "to get 48 seconds out of him."...
The Thanksgiving weekend got off to a deadly start for pedestrians in Pinellas County.
Two people were killed in unrelated crashes, one on Thanksgiving Day, the other early Friday. The second crash resulted in the arrest of a woman who authorities say left the scene.
In the first incident, Paul Richard Miller, 58, of Madeira Beach was walking home about 7 p.m. Thursday after spending Thanksgiving with family when he was struck by a Jeep Liberty in the 134th block of Gulf Boulevard. ...
The pope got a taste of Kenyan slum life on Friday, writes Jeffrey Gettleman for the New York Times:
He stepped out of his car on a muddy street and walked slowly past hundreds of poor children who live in shanties. He heard stories of gangs preying on women, of people dying from homemade alcohol and of sinister plots by businessmen to flood children out of their schools and steal land....
11/27/15 Lightning Strikes
WASHINGTON — The Lightning was feeling good about itself, having won three straight heading into Friday's game in the nation's capital.
Maybe too good.
In a measuring-stick game against one of the Eastern Conference's top teams, the Lightning got stuffed like Thanksgiving turkeys in an admittedly embarrassing 4-2 loss to the Capitals at the Verizon Center.
"We (laid) an egg," center Brian Boyle said....
TAMPA — DE George Johnson and S Keith Tandy were ruled out for the Bucs' game Sunday in Indianapolis, and TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins still hasn't been cleared for contact, making it unlikely he will play.
Johnson will miss a second straight game with a calf injury. Tandy has a concussion.
"We're in good shape," coach Lovie Smith said Friday. "We have (only) a couple of guys out. This time of year, that's a good thing."...
11/27/15 The Heater
ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays aren't sure where they will wrap up spring training, given the potential for a late-March trip to Cuba, but they will start exhibition play March 2 in Port Charlotte against new manager Dusty Baker's Nationals.
The Rays on Friday released their 29-game spring schedule that, subject to change, includes 15 games at the Charlotte Sports Park and three road games in the Tampa Bay area — at Dunedin (Blue Jays, March 13, split squad); Clearwater (Phillies, March 17); and Tampa (Yankees, March 24)....
11/27/15 Lightning Strikes
Lightning vs. Islanders
When/where: 7 p.m., Amalie Arena
TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 970-AM
Key stats: As is the Lightning, the Islanders are playing the back end of back-to-back games, following a game against the Panthers on Friday in Sunrise. … New York entered Friday having lost two of its past three, both to the Canadiens. … The Islanders are led by C John Tavares, who had 10 goals and 10 assists entering Friday. … New York's power play ranked 24th at 15 percent. … Lightning G Ben Bishop, expected to start, has won his past three starts, allowing two goals. He has a 1.30 goals-against average since Nov. 4, which was the best in the league. … Tampa Bay is 0-1-1 in second games of back-to-backs this season. … The Lightning lost two of three meetings between the teams last season, winning the game at home Nov. 15, 2014....
TAMPA — When Bucs tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins injured a shoulder in Week 2 against the Saints, the player who is best filling the void left by his extended absence was in street clothes on the other sideline.
Harvard graduate Cameron Brate spent much of his rookie year on the Bucs' practice squad last season, catching a single pass for 17 yards. This year he again missed Tampa Bay's final cuts out of training camp, and a week later, he was released from the practice squad and signed to the same role by New Orleans....
11/27/15 Local Government
CLEARWATER — He sounded like just another tourist calling to rent a waterfront vacation home.
But really, this was good old fashioned detective work.
Constantine Janus, private investigator, had been surveilling this three-bedroom house in Island Estates for days. He had crept by twice already to snap photos of the out-of-state cars in the driveway.
Now with a phone call posing as potential customer, he was about to help his client — the city of Clearwater — crack down on one of the area's most problematic black markets....