The Packers opened the game calling back-to-back pass plays. Quarterback Juwan Brown connected with tight-end Chris Skukalek for a 30 yard gain to immediately set the tempo.Following a bad snap the Packers lost yardage and the drive ended with a 40 yard punt.
Largo quickly forced a turnover on the ensuing Pinellas Park drive. Derek Webb stripped Jeremi Powell on his first (and only) carry of the game and sophomore Cordell Hudson recovered it to set up Largo at the Patriots’ 33 yard line.
Powell would remain in the game for the next defensive series where he and Tyree Graves converged on a tackle for a loss. Powell would come up lame and never be a factor in the game again. He was walking up and down the sideline, periodically stretching, but it was clear he didn’t feel good.
“I think it was a hip flexor issue, but I’m not sure,” Head Coach Ken Crawford said.”We’ll see. We’ll get him evaluated quick.”
Powell’s presence was missed on the defensive side of the ball as the Packers compiled nearly 300 yards of offense.
Highly touted sophomore runningback Jarvis Stewart had another stellar game rushing for 125 yards and 3 touchdowns. He had heard all about Powell and Graves. He knows Powell is committed to the University of Florida, but none of that phased him.
“I’ve been hearing a lot about them coming into this game,” Stewart said, “but I wasn’t going to let them get into my head.”
Stewart in fact says that he has plenty of offers of his own.
“I got a lot of offers,” he said. “I got offers from North Carolina, Alabama, Texas, Miami, Florida, all of them.”
Another thing that makes Stewart’s performance so impressive is that it comes on the heals of a 25 carry, 165 yard performance in a loss to Southeast last week.
The Largo runningback had many impressive carries, but one sticks out more than any other. A 28 yard run along the sideline where he broke four tackles and was somehow able to keep his balance.
“I didn’t even think I was going to strike like that, like I did,” he explained. “When I got on the sideline I knew it was mine. I got facemasked and shook that off. I was going to cut back in, but then I just decided to stiff arm that guy.”
Largo Head Coach Rick Rodriguez expects these kinds of performances all season from Stewart.
“I think he is one of the best backs in the state,” he said. “He runs physical. He plays the game of football with passion.”
Cordell Hudson (a sophomore) was tasked with guarding the explosive WR/LB Iman Davis. He responded as well as anyone could have hoped. Davis was held in check. He recorded only two catches for 57 yards. Hudson fought off a downfield block and recovered a fumble. He intercepted a pass and returned it 50 yards into Largo territory.
“He had a great game, and he’s only a sophomore,” Largo coach Rodriguez said.
Senior Derek Webb: His number was by far the most seen on the Largo defense. He is undersized at 5-9 172 lbs, but he clearly has a nose for the ball. Webb was involved in over 10 tackles and you can just tell the middle linebacker has a fire. He may not be a DI prospect based on his size, but he is definitely fun to watch.
Sophomore Francisco Hernandez: If he isn’t on your 2014 watch list, add him. 6-0 180 lbs, and a rock coming from the outside lineback spot, he made ball carries pay. I counted two series where Hernandez made three-four consecutive solo tackles. He is very sure in space and has the strength to really make guys think about coming back to his area.
Junior Derrick Doss: Unfortunately for him he is playing behind Jarvis Stewart who is an absolute animal. Doss did however make use of his carries. He ran 5 times for 43 yards and scored a touchdown late in the fourth. He’s got decent speed and is listed at 5-9 190 lbs, but its doubtful he sees enough carries to really make a huge impact.
Senior Devin Porter: A 6-2 185 lb DE is extremely quick off the ball. he has length and uses his hands well. He recorded four sacks against Hames (matching his 2010 total) and I would expect him to receive atleast a few offers around midseason.
We all know Jeremi Powell, Iman Davis, and Tyree Graves. Two runningbacks you may not have heard as much about though are Garrett Nevitt and Marquis Samuel. Nevitt was the workhouse rushing 16 times for 64 yards, 48 of those yards coming in the first half.
In the second half Samuel was used as a virtual scat back. He is smaller than Nevitt, and quicker.
Largo will host Countryside next week and Pinellas Park will host Dixie Hollins.
SCORE BY QUARTER
1 2 3 4 Total
LARGO 7 7 0 12 26
PINELLAS PARK 0 0 0 0 0
TEAM STAT COMPARISSON LARGO PINELLAS PARK
1st Downs 10 12
Total Yards 277 139
Rushing Yards 170 102
Passing Yards 107 37
Turnovers 0 4
Fumbles Lost 0 3
Interceptions Thrown 0 1
LARGO OFFENSIVE STATS
Juwan Brown 6/9 107 yards
Jarvis Stewart 10/125 3 TD
Derrick Doss 5/43 TD
Lakief Daniels 2/40
Raheem Harvey 3/37
Chris Skukalek 1/30
PINELLAS PARK OFFENSIVE STATS
Brandon Hames 4/7 37 yards
Garrett Nevitt 16/64
Marquis Samuel 10/38
Brandon Hames 5/37
Iman Smith 2/27
Kyle Bennett can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Twitter: @KyleBennettUT