1. Archive


Published Oct. 8, 2005

(All games begin at 7 tonight except as noted)

Clearwater (6-1) at Dixie Hollins (6-1)

The makings of a tough, tough game here. Even though both teams are coming off big wins in their respective districts, Clearwater and Dixie seem to step it up against each other. Dixie has won the last two meetings, both in overtime. The Rebels' best chance is to put pressure on Clearwater quarterback Tondrick Robinson (237 passing yards last week). Dixie will counter with the Ricardo Williams/Joe Pierce running show. Times' pick: Dixie Hollins by 3, in overtime.

Temple Heights (6-0) at Shorecrest (7-0), 7:30

This is the top district game in the county. Shorecrest will be tested, and if the Chargers aren't careful, could be upset. But Phil Hayford's teams rarely are unprepared, which is why he is gunning for his 100th victory tonight. Look for a ground war. Shorecrest will have to stop not one running back, but two _ Nate Dorsey, who leads Temple Heights with 957 yards and 14 touchdowns, and Willie Peavy, who has seven touchdowns on 625 yards. The Eagles will have to stop three backs, though _ Nathan Hallet, Fred Meinke and Matt Thomas who have combined for 2,223 yards rushing and helped the Chargers average 34 points a game. Times' pick: Shorecrest by 9.

St. Petersburg (3-4) at Dunedin (1-6)

The Green Devils got a much-needed win last week over Pinellas Park, but won't have as easy a time with Dunedin. The Falcons are better than their record indicates, having lost another tough game last Friday to Springstead. Dunedin running back Paul Mack has rushed for 659 yards and four touchdowns, while St. Petersburg two backs _ Hubert Fuller and Sermetrious Dennis have combined for just 723 yards rushing. The Green Devils are streaky. Times' pick: Dunedin by 1.

Pinellas Park (0-7) at Osceola (7-0)

Reversable records means double trouble for the Patriots. Osceola has won a couple of close games to preserve its undefeated mark, but this game should be a blowout. The Warriors have the talent. Hassan Lang is the county's third-best rusher with 845 yards and nine touchdowns. Quarterback Bryan Freese is tough, too. Times' pick: Osceola by 17.

Boca Ciega (3-4) at Countryside (2-6)

The Cougars have given up an average of 28 points per game and can't afford to do that against Boca Ciega. Deon Jackson is the Pirates' main offensive threat. He has gained 558 yards and scored four touchdowns this season. Boca Ciega can shut down Countryside with its dangerous defense, led by linebacker Darren Howard. Times' pick: Boca Ciega by 6.

Seminole (3-4) at Tarpon Springs (5-2)

Seminole is playing very good football and Tarpon could be down after its loss to Clearwater. The Spongers' pass defense has been a weakness and Seminole quarterback Greg Jones has thrown for 1,106 yards. Still, Tarpon's ground game keeps going. Watch Henry Murray go. Times' pick: Tarpon Springs by 7.

East Lake (4-3) at Lakewood (3-4)

Lakewood has scored 13 points in its past two games and now comes up against the best defense it will face this year. With their bruising offensive line, and tailback Roy Manns, the Eagles will eat up the clock. Lakewood's best chance is to force turnovers and make big plays. Times' pick: East Lake by 10.

Northeast (6-1) at Largo (3-4)

Coming off its impressive win over Sarasota, the Vikings are looking toward a 9-1 record and a bowl bid. Largo continues to impress on the ground with Lakenji Cooper (708 yards) leading the attack. But Northeast's defense is strong and fast. Times' pick: Northeast by 14.

Northside Christian (5-2) at

Indian Rocks Christian (1-6), 3:30 p.m.

The Mustangs were surprisingly shut out last week by Temple Heights and now their playoff hopes are in jeopardy. Indian Rocks lost 72-0 last week to Jacksonville Trinity Christian, a team Northside beat this year. Times' pick: Northside Christian by 21.

CC Catholic (0-7) at Lecanto (1-6), 7:30 p.m.

Both teams like to pass, with Lecanto quarterback Todd Bandhauer (75-of-169, 1,039 yards) and his counterpart at CCC, Chris Defant (71-155, 945). But the Panthers put a few more points on the board (averaging 10 a game, to CCC's five). Lecanto's lone win was 3-0 over a second-year school, Kissimmee Poinciana. Times' pick: Lecanto by 9.

Saturday's Games

Zion Lutheran (1-6) at Adm. Farragut (2-5), 1:30

Zion Lutheran just won its first game last week, scoring two of its five touchdowns for the season. After graduating practically the whole team, it will have its first losing season since it was established four years ago. Admiral Farragut has the edge. Anthony Rintala has run for 423 yards and Ryan Leasure has passed for 526, helping the Blue Jackets score 65 points this season. Times' pick: Admiral Farragut by 8.

SP Catholic (3-4) at Lakeland Santa Fe (4-3), 7:30

This will be a tough one for the Barons. The Crimson Hawks have been averaging 29 points a game, thanks mostly to quarterback Scott Wiggs who has passed for 954 yards and rushed for 142 yards. Credit also running backs Aaron Walker (473 yards) and John Dakaney (442 yards). St. Petersburg Catholic counters with running back Dennis Fowler (511 yards, seven touchdowns) and quarterback David Condron, who has passed for 350 yards. Times' pick: Santa Fe by 10.