1. Archive


Brandon at Plant City

Time and site: 7:30 p.m. at Raider Field, One Raider Place

Records: Brandon 2-3 (0-2 in Class 5A, District 7); Plant City 3-2 (1-1)

Analysis: East Hillsborough's oldest rivalry will be part of Plant City's Homecoming celebration. The Raiders have lost two straight to Lakeland and Chamberlain, while Brandon snapped a three-game losing streak by beating Leto last week. The Eagles' fading hopes of winning the district will be declared dead if they lose to the Raiders. The game will match two of the county's top passers in Alan Kicklighter (52 of 147, 944 yards) and Adam Brick (19 of 45, 374 yards). The running game could proved to be the difference. Brandon has Vernon Woodson (49 carries, 296 yards) while Plant City has Scooby Washington (59 carries, 373 yards), but Washington has been held under 50 yards rushing the last two games.

Hillsborough at Chamberlain

Time and site: 7:30 p.m. at Chamberlain Stadium, Boulevard and Busch

Records: Hillsborough 4-1 (1-1 in Class 5A, District 6); Chamberlain 3-2 (1-1).

Analysis: The loser of this game can kiss the district title goodbye. With King having a 2-0 district record and wins over Hillsborough and Armwood, the winner of 5A-7 won't have more than one loss. Chamberlain's defense has given up an average of nine points a game. Hillsborough's strength is its offense, led by the county's leading rusher, Corey Durant (89 carries, 594 yards). Terrier fullback Dexter Battle has 282 yards and is averaging 10.1 yards a carry. Look for Chamberlain to play ball-control offense, but they won't succeed unless Damion Butler (263 yards) and Avery Holt (236 yards) are successful.

Tampa Bay Tech at East Bay

Time and site: 7:30 p.m. at Simmons Field, 7710 Big Bend Road

Records: Tampa Bay Tech 0-5 (0-2 in Class 4A, District 11); East Bay 2-3 (0-2)

Analysis: This may be Tech's last legitimate shot at a victory this season. After tonight, the Titans will be favored to lose their last four games against Jesuit, Jefferson, Bradenton Southeast and Haines City. Quarterback Cori Curtis showed a lot of potential last year, but has struggled this season with five interceptions and only one touchdown pass. Tech's offense has produced only nine points. The Indians are young, but their wishbone offense has produced two high-scoring performances (33 points against Lakewood, 31 against Gaither). Running backs James Stephens (249 yards) and Rodney Bell (246 yards) lead.

Leto at Gaither

Time and site: 7:30 p.m. at Cowboy Stadium, 16200 N Dale Mabry Hwy.

Records: Leto 0-4 (0-1 in Class 5A, District 6); Gaither 1-4 (0-2).

Analysis: This will be a battle of wing-T offenses, but Gaither's ability to throw the ball may be the difference. Cowboys quarterback Buck Beisswanger (36 of 94, 436 yards) is third among county passers and Jamye Williams (14 receptions, 143 yards) is fifth among receivers. Gaither running back Jose Blair (43 carries, 338 yards) keeps defenses honest. Leto is still mired in its rebuilding year, but lost by only one point to Brandon last week. The Falcons rushed for 266 yards on 53 carries against the Eagles, but failed to complete a pass in four attempts. Bartow at King

Time and site: 7:30 p.m. at the Lions Den, 6815 56th St.

Records: Bartow 2-3; King 4-1

Analysis: King's on a four-game winning streak, but Bartow can't be underestimated. Darrell Hogan (170 yards, 22 carries) led the Yellow Jackets in their 28-27 upset of 5A Dr. Phillips last week. King's strength is a defense that hasn't allowed more than six points since the first game of the season. Nose guard B.J. Earley and linebackers Rosco Sneed and James Creal lead the unit. Offensively, the Lions' ball-control offense is led by running backs Larry Hunter (62 carries, 206 yards) and Lamarion Solomon (35 carries, 195 yards).