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"They played good defense. They played man-to-man, and it was good. They won this one fair and square."

_ THEO WILSON, Dunedin's quarterback, who had one of his worst games, throwing three interceptions and failing to complete a pass until seven minutes left in the game. Wilson still rushed for two scores and threw for two others in a 44-42 loss to Largo.

GAME BALLS

SHROME HARGROVE, DUNEDIN: The senior free safety had two interceptions, giving him five on the season. But last week's Times Player of the Week also subbed in at quarterback when Theo Wilson needed a breather. He completed both of his passes, ran for 12 yards and caught a touchdown.

HARRISON BECK, COUNTRYSIDE: The senior QB completed 11-of-14 passes for 172 yards, two touchdowns and an interception, completing nine straight passes at one point. Sorry Nebraska fans. He isn't yours just yet.

JIMMY DAVIS, INDIAN ROCKS CHRISTIAN: The senior halfback ran 13 times for 162 yards and two touchdowns and caught three passes for 25 yards. He rolled up 187 of IRC's 194 total yards. Is that all?

JOCK SANDERS, ST. PETERSBURG CATHOLIC: The sophomore left Avon Park in the dust, amassing 274 total yards. He had 83 rushing yards and a touchdown, 93 receiving yards and threw for 98.

DEXTER MCCLUSTER, LARGO: Almost a year to the date of his breakout game against Northeast, he was unstoppable against Dunedin. He rushed for 223 yards and three touchdowns, including an 80-yard back-breaking run, and caught a pass for another score McCluster had 167 yards rushing in the second half.

A RARITY: BOGIE 2-0

For the first time in Jean Gordon's tenure as coach and the first time since 1992, Boca Ciega is 2-0.

The Pirates defense rose to the occasion against St. Petersburg, returning two interceptions for touchdowns in a 34-8 win.

In 1992, under Jon Bolen, the Pirates gave up 59 points in 11 games behind Times All-Suncoast defenders Kojara Ransom and Henry Grant, and won a district title (their most recent). They lost in the playoffs when some guy named Ray Lewis scored in Lakeland Kathleen's 6-0 win.

The Pirates started that year with 44-0 and 33-0 wins over Lakewood and St. Petersburg. This year, they have outscored opponents 87-8.

ODDS AND ENDS

+ Give Dixie credit for erasing a 14-0 deficit. But the Rebels should get plenty of blame for an awful start, too. Countryside linebacker Bobby Floyd took the ball from Dixie quarterback Mike Martin's hands on the first play and ran it back 23 yards for a touchdown. The Rebels' second drive started with a false start, a 4-yard run, then an interception thrown to the Cougars' Chris Harriel, which led to another Countryside score. Dixie's third drive? It ended with a 10-yard punt.

+ Here's why coaches often settle for running out the clock at the end of a half: trailing 21-20, Dunedin had the ball on their 35 with 30 seconds left. Two long passes failed and a third was picked off and returned 80 yards for a score, a devastating turn of events for the Falcons.

JUST AN OBSERVATION

+ We knew Dexter McCluster was good. We didn't know he was this good.

_ JOHN C. COTEY and JAMAL THALJI

Times staff writers

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