Made for Hollywood: Who Will Play Hero or Villain Tonight?



Tampa Bay Tech (3-3, 2-0) at Steinbrenner (4-2, 1-1)

Warriors QB Curtis Fitch

The Plot: After weeks of back and forth pushing and pulling between Gaither, Tampa Bay Tech and Steinbrenner, one playoff spot will finally be decided for Class 7A District 7. The loser of this game? Better luck next year.

The Hero: Steinbrenner sophomore QB Curtis Fitch. In order for the Warriors to come out on top against the Titans, Fitch will have to make the key passes near the line and downfield if the running game can’t cover it against a strong Tech D-line. If Fitch plays like he did last week at Riverview, he and the team will have what it takes to rally third year Steinbrenner to its first ever postseason appearance.

The Villian: Tampa Bay Tech defense – The Titans have been here before and that is a huge confidence boost for them. However, the Warriors have a strong rushing attack that has made life miserible for defenses all season long. Tech’s line and secondary won’t be fooled, they might be ready for anything Steinbrenner throws their way.

The Solution: Steinbrenner must mix up their gameplan – If the Warriors want to punch their ticket to the postseason, using different plays to keep the Titans defense on their toes all night will be important. Too much running or too much passing may just fold the offense, surrendering momentum (and possibly the playoff spot) to Tech.


Alonso (5-1, 1-0) at Plant (6-0, 1-0)

The Plot: The District is at stake. Winner of this game (barring an unexpected collapse) will be district champions. No if’s, and’s, or but’s about it. Alonso has already beaten Bloomingdale and following this week only have Wharton left on their schedule. Plant already has beaten Wharton with only Bloomingdale left on its schedule so this game is it. If you can’t get up for this 8A-6 tilt, you must not be a fan of football.

The Hero: Alonso’s hero(s) will have to come from two places: the running game and the defensive backfield. The horses who have been carrying the rock all year are Ish Witter and Brandon Holloway (169 carries for 1,019 yards) and will each have to have the game of their lives. Plant will continue to do what it has done all year – throw for 200+ yards. James few is completing 60% of his passes and is nearing 1,000 yards passing on the year. They have 2 WR’s compiling over 200 yards receiving (Wesley Bullock and Austin Aikens) and two more over 100 yards (Dereck Mann & Alex Jackson).

The Villain: For Alonso it will have to be a joint effort from DB Jordan Davis (who holds offers from UMass, Youngstown State, South Alabama, & FIU) along with LB Marcus Neuman. The fiery man in the middle averages 12 tackles per game and has seven sacks. He has defended two passes and caused three fumbles. He MUST create havoc and get into Few’s face to force the quick pass. Defensively for Plant look at Mike Tate who is averaging 14 tackles per game.

The Solution: If you’re Alonso you have to come out with a lot of energy and try to take Plant out of its game. They must get to the QB and sustain long, methodical drives to keep Few and Bullock of the field (together they combine for 1,258 yards and 15 TDs). Plant DOES have other athletes. They have great players, but you can’t let the two most well known win a game of this magnitude. It’s a necessity to force someone else to beat you.


Durant (4-2, 1-1) at Newsome (3-3, 1-1)

The Plot: Durant has a chance to put the final nail in the Wolves playoff coffin with a win out in Lithia. A loss would be nearly impossible for Newsome to recover from since they still have to play at Plant City. A 34-0 defeat at the hands of Brandon 2 weeks ago combined with a BYE week has probably left a very sour taste in the mouths of the Newsome faithful and it’s going to be even more contentious if they are kept from the postseason by their East Hillsborough rivals.

Do or die for the Wolves against their rival Durant

The Hero: No secret here. For Newsome it’s going to have to be Keller Powers. For Durant it’s going to fall on Nick Fabrizio, but don’t be surprised if Jamarlon Hamilton steps up to be the Cougars “Boy Wonder”.

The Villain: Turnovers. Whoever makes the last mistake loses. The Newsome Wing-T has yet to really get to juggernaut status like last year. If it does, trying to stop that offense when running on all cylinders is a heroic feat unto itself.

The Solution: If you’re Newsome, protect the ball and pound the pigskin all night. This is a rivalry game. Not only that, it’s for the postseason. If you’re Durant, you force the Wolves into obvious passing situations and score early. As easy as the Wing-T can be a weapon, it can become a liability when trying to mount a substantial comeback.


Bloomingdale (4-3, 0-1) at Wharton (3-4, 0-1)

The Plot: The Bulls are enjoying a winning season and are primed to ruin the postseason dreams of the Wildcats. Bloomingdale has already lost to Alonso and Wharton has lost to Plant. The Wildcats have yet to play Alonso and Bloomingdale has a trip to Plant looming so it’s safe to say this is the postseason for both teams. Do or die time. If Wharton wins, that sets up a huge game vs. the Ravens for the runner-up spot and a trip to either Dr. Phillips or Freedom in Orlando on the 18th of November. That’s just a mirage for now. It’s all about tonight for Chase Litton and his crew coming off of a 28-7 thumping of New Tampa rivals Freedom last Friday.

Get Darius Page going early if you want to win.

The Hero: For Bloomingdale it’s going to be their DL and DB’s. Expect Wharton to go to the air early and test the Bulls. For Wharton it’s going to be none other than Vernon Hargreaves. The kid does it all. If Chase Litton played defense the two would be the Batman and Robin of Hillsborough County. Both players have the capability to take over games like this one.

The Villain:  Bloomingdale. Yes the whole team. If that scoreboard reads more points for the Bulls rather than the Wildcats, it’s going to be “Wait until next season” for Wharton and back to the drawing board. That’s not the feeling they want.

The Solution: For Bloomingdale get the OL to give some holes for Eugene Baker and a little of time for Cody Crouse to throw and the Bulls can beat Wharton. If the Wildcats want this to be a moot point, then Darius Page needs to be used in healthy doses to set up a well-timed Litton play-action.


Strawberry Crest (0-6, 0-3) at Leto (0-7, 0-3)

The Plot: There’s not much that hasn’t been made of this game since it became apparent how bad both of these teams are. Crest is getting beat by an average score of 51-3 and Leto by a 58-11 margin. It’s taken Leto 10 years to win just 20 games. The Chargers are only in their 3rd season of play, and are 5-17 playing 2 full seasons and one abbreviated. This game means as much to the programs as a game between Plant and Armwood and don’t think anything less. All signs point to this being the only legitimate shot at victory for either team this year and possibly next.

The Hero: Let’s be frank. Whoever wins the game will be the hero. No need to single anyone out. This game gets won and lost as a team from both sidelines.

Francisco Salcedo and the Falcons trying to get that elusive first win.

The Villain: Funny that someone’s hero is another’s villain, but you know what I mean. One sideline will be celebrating while the other will be deflated and if it just so happens to come down to a last-second kick or big stop on defense, the “real” villain could be pressure. Doubt either one of these teams have been in many situations where the game hangs in the balance because of a crucial 3rd or 4th Down conversion or FG’s that must be lined-up right and so on.

The Solution: The solution for either team doesn’t necessarily lie between the hashes, but rather what lies between the ears of each player and just beneath the left side of their chests. Can they handle knowing that one of them is going to win? It’s a strange feeling. Oh yeah, and execution on offense too. This one could be a shootout only adding to the suspense.