The Blake Yellow Jackets spoiled Sickles' first homecoming game at the Gryphons Lair. In the third quarter, Yellow Jacket coach Clarence Higdon changed quarterbacks, inserting Anthony Lester for Joey Shaughnessy. Lester tossed two touchdowns to wide receiver Antonio Welch of 37 and 38 yards to put the Yellow Jackets up 14-13 early in the fourth quarter. Later, running back Frank Arroyo ripped through the Gryphon defense for a 37-yard scoring run that buried Sickles.
PLAY OF THE GAME: Receiver Antonio Welch got behind the Gryphon secondary and hauled in a 38-yard touchdown toss from Lester. That put Blake up 14-13 early in the fourth quarter.
PLAYERS OF THE GAME: Lester sparked a stagnant Blake offense. He was 4 of 8 for 94 yards passing and the two TDs in the second half. Kareem Hardy of Sickles returned an interception 17 yards for a touchdown.
KEY STATISTIC: Blake had 151 yards passing to 34 for Sickles.
THEY SAID IT: "Lester has the stronger arm," Higdon said. "Shaughnessy isn't as developed. We like to spread the ball around. We don't like to be lop-sided. We teach that and try to work that into the game. I'm really pleased with the way the kids played today. They played all-around football and this is what we teach them."
_ ELI JOHNSON
Osceola 39, Wharton 6
TAMPA _ Osceola used first-half touchdown runs of 69, 56, 58 and 52 yards to overcome five turnovers and costly penalties in a Class 4A, District 12 win.
Osceola (3-6, 3-2) controlled the line of scrimmage with 444 yards rushing, while holding Wharton to 14 net yards. Wharton (1-7, 1-4) had the edge in time of possession, turnover ratio and field position throughout much of the game, but allowed the Warriors to break off big runs at inopportune times. Wharton did earn a measure of respect late in the game, scoring just its second offensive touchdown of the season, a 10-yard run by Marshall Anglin.
PLAY OF THE GAME: After being pinned deep in its own territory through much of the first quarter, Osceola running back Derrick Pettis broke through the Wharton line and outran the secondary for a 69-yard touchdown run.
PLAYERS OF THE GAME: Pettis rushed for a career-high 149 yards and two touchdowns. Teammate Tarik Jones added 114 yards rushing, including a 56-yard touchdown run. Yarkee Miffin helped the Warriors on both sides of the ball, snaring an interception in the first quarter scoring on a 34-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.
KEY STATISTIC: Wharton forced four fumbles and had an interception, while also benefitting from 11 Osceola penalties. But the Wildcats managed just one touchdown with their advantageous field position.
THEY SAID IT: "I thought we played one of our better games of the year," Wharton coach Dan Acosta said. "It was just some missed tackles and mental mistakes that hurt us. Young personnel are going to make those kinds of mistakes."
_ JOHN WING
Plant City 21,
Bradenton Manatee 14
BRADENTON _ Visiting Plant City spoiled Manatee's homecoming with an important Class 6A, District 6 victory at Hawkins Stadium. The Raiders improved to 6-2 overall and 3-2 in the district, while the Hurricanes dropped to the same record.
Manatee must beat Riverview next week in order to force a tiebreaker among the teams.
PLAY OF THE GAME: Plant City took the lead for good on quarterback Earl Robinson's score with 49 seconds remaining in the second period. The drive was four plays for 85 yards, including runs of 41 yards by George Chase and 31 yards by Chad Scott.
PLAYERS OF THE GAME: Chase had seven carries for 84 yards and a 21-yard touchdown.
KEY STATISTIC: The winners used a devasting power running attack to run up 278 yards on 48 carries to off-set a game in which the Raiders failled to complete a pass in four attempts.
THEY SAID IT: "We felt like we had a good chance to run the ball tonight because that's what we do best," Plant City coach Todd Long said. "We held on to the football, took time off the clock and kept their offense off the field."
_ BRIAN MCGEE
Sarasota Riverview 45,
SARASOTA _ Sarasota Riverview rushed for a season-high 511 yards and scored the first five times it had possession in a Class 6A, District 6 rout.
PLAY OF THE GAME: Bloomingdale's Chris Wade was dismissed from the team Friday.
PLAYERS OF THE GAME: Riverview's Courtney Watson rushed four times for 157 yards, including touchdowns of 65 and 66 yards.
KEY STATISTIC: Bloomingdale countered Riverview's rushing with only 115 yards. Neither team completed a pass.
THEY SAID IT: Bloomingdale coach Kelly Scott on the Rams: "It's really an honor to play some good competition like this. I've been in the state eight years and everybody wants their program to be like Riverview's or Southeast's."
_ ROB MARINO