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Beleaguered Bloomingdale has suddenly come to life

Was there any bigger win last week than Bloomingdale's 24-14 upset of Lakeland?

Bloomingdale outrushed Lakeland 246 to 190, had three solid scoring drives and played opportunistic defense. The score didn't reveal how decisive the Bulls' win really was.

This is the same Bloomingdale team that went 1-19 from 2001 to 2002. The same program that has never had a winning season. And the same Bloomingdale that has won three games the last four seasons.

Not that the Bulls haven't shown signs of their past this year. There was the 55-8 loss to Durant and a 42-0 setback against Riverview. But around those games, there have been positive performances _ wins against Freedom (expected), Plant City (not really expected) and last week Lakeland (never expected in a million years).

And the Bulls (3-4 and 2-3 in the 5A-7 district) did so on the road. With solid decisionmaking from quarterback Tony Thomas and a great defensive effort, the Bulls pulled off the win. They face Brandon tonight and first-year Newsome next week. Victories could put Bloomingdale within reach of the previously unthinkable _ a winning season.

In other games, Armwood is playing at Plant, Riverview is hosting Durant in a game that has lost a little of its luster, East Bay hosts Tampa Bay Tech and Newsome is on the road again.

All kickoffs are scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

ARMWOOD (8-0, 4-0 in Class 4A, District 10) at PLANT (1-7, 1-3 in 4A-10)

Last Week: Armwood defeated Middleton 66-7; Plant lost to Alonso 15-13.

Last Year: Armwood over Plant 20-19.

The Skinny: The offense-minded No. 1 ranked Hawks clinched the 4A-10 district crown last week.

The Edge: Another Armwood game, another Armwood win.

BRANDON (3-5, 1-4 in 5A-7) at BLOOMINGDALE (3-4, 2-3 in 5A-7)

Last Week: Brandon over East Bay 22-16; Bloomingdale defeated Lakeland 24-14.

Last Year: Brandon over Bloomingdale 43-6.

The Skinny: Both teams surprised last week. Brandon thumped East Bay while Bloomingdale shocked everyone except themselves with a win against Lakeland.

The Edge: Nothing special a few weeks ago, this game has turned into an interesting late-season matchup. Bloomingdale has been impressive in winning two of the last three, and will continue, topping the Eagles.

DURANT (7-1, 4-1 in 5A-7) at RIVERVIEW (4-4, 3-2 in 5A-7)

Last Week: Durant defeated Plant City 20-10; Riverview lost to Sarasota Riverview 27-19.

Last Year: Durant over Riverview 19-12.

The Skinny: A Durant win equals a district crown. The Sharks are coming off a rough loss to Sarasota Riverview but still have an outside shot at the playoffs.

The Edge: Durant needs this one more.

TAMPA BAY TECH ( 2-6, 1-3 in 3A-10) at EAST BAY (4-4, 3-3 in 5A-7)

Last Week: Tampa Bay Tech lost to Jefferson 45-7; East Bay lost to Brandon 22-16.

Last Year: Didn't play.

The Skinny: East Bay's loss last week ended any playoff hopes. Tech's were ended weeks ago.

The Edge: It'll be a good time in Gibsonton tonight as East Bay gets back in the win column.

NEWSOME (1-7) at WINTER PARK TRINITY PREP (3-5, 1-2 in 2B-4)

Last Week: Newsome lost to Robinson 63-7; Trinity Park defeated Crescent City 23-18.

Last Year: First meeting.

The Skinny: Newsome has been competitive in several games this year. Trinity Prep has heated up after five straight losses to start the season.

The Edge: A tough road trip, Trinity Prep will maintain an advantage.