Ferrell McGee isn't the the biggest wide receiver in Pinellas County, but last week he proved to be the biggest-play receiver.
With just under two minutes left McGee leaped high and pulled down the biggest upset of the season, his touchdown catch sealing St. Petersburg's 14-10 win over Dunedin.
In the grand scheme of things, the win will not get the Green Devils into the playoffs, nor has it transformed them into a county or state power. But McGee has helped provide a more precious commodity for a team trying to prove it belongs _ confidence.
"We now think we can play with anybody," McGee said.
Last year, McGee backed up Donald Bowens and Jerrold Robinson. Bowens is back, and McGee has stepped in for Robinson and produced solid numbers. In three games, he has over 200 yards receiving, and has scored touchdowns in consecutive weeks.
"Last year, he came on strong at end of the year," coach Todd St. Louis said. "He was one of those kids that was just a bit small, but who matured at end of year. Now he's playing great football. With Donald Bowens on the other side, its hard to cover both of the kids."
McGee, a 6-foot, 165-pounder, finished with four catches for 55 yards, but caught two other passes _ both thrown by Dunedin quarterback Theo Wilson.
With Dunedin on the Green Devil 20, Wilson rolled right and tried to throw back across his body, but McGee was ready.
The second interception was even bigger, as McGee outjumped the bigger Ricky Rouse in the end zone to steal away a Falcon score.
McGee, who runs 4.5 seconds in the 40-yard dash, is often brought in to cover speedy receivers like Rouse, and his jumping ability is an added plus.
Praised by St. Louis for his hands and precise routes, McGee also showed smarts against Dunedin. His winning touchdown was supposed to be a simple 3-yard route.
But with Jared Paletti flushed from the pocket, McGee stopped and went, raced to the end zone and signaled to the quarterback.
With an improving resume, McGee has arrived as one of the Green Devils' go-to guys.
"I hope so," McGee said. "This is my senior year and I just wanted to come out and make key plays. I like the pressure. I like the spotlight."
_ JOHN C. COTEY