It’s hard to believe that it’s been six weeks since we’ve started this high school football season, and like always, we’ve got a lot to talk about for this Friday. We’re changing things up a little bit with some new dishes for you to sample.
Will Turner’s Top Four Games this week:
1. Plant City (3-1, 2-0) at Tampa Bay Tech (4-0, 2-0):
This game is going to determine who will be the Class 7A-District 9 champion at the end of the year. We’ve been waiting for this matchup since last year’s final whistle, and it will be a real test to see exactly where Tampa Bay Tech’s offense is. TBT WR Daquon Green was just named an Under Armour All-American, but will he play like an All-American on Friday? I can certainly see the Raiders give Tech a hard time, especially if Treshaun Ward gets the ball early and often. Ward already has 736 rushing yards and nine touchdowns in four games for PC. However, the Titans aren’t ranked 16th in the state by Joe Pinkos and eight in Class 7A by The Associated Press for nothing, and they’ll prove they deserve that ranking against Plant City on Friday night.
2. Bartow (3-1, 0-0) at Lakeland (4-1, 0-0):
Lakeland seems to have gotten back to playing like themselves after they blanked Haines City 65-0 last week. They’ve shaken their loss to Carol City off and they’ve been back to playing dominant football, and they’re going to need to be dominant to beat a Bartow team that defeated the Dreadnaughts last season. Bartow comes into this one at 3-1, after surprising Ft. Meade at home, winning 42-11. Just like Lakeland, they’ve shaken off their loss and they’ve looked really, really good. It’ll be a battle of the running backs in AJ Davis (Lakeland) and Timothy Jordan (Bartow), and whoever has the better night, may be the one who gets the victory.
3. Springstead (2-1, 1-0) at Sunlake (4-1, 0-0):
It’s a battle of the birds on Bright House Sports Network’s Game of the Week as the Eagles come off of a 33-7 rout against Mitchell. This game is going to be very important in Class 6A-District 6, as both teams have a chance to make the playoffs. Springstead’s win over Mitchell last week was impressive, but they’re going to have to play at the level they did last week, and have a little luck, if they’re going to beat Sunlake at home. Sunlake QB Justin Hall already has 768 passing yards on the year, and the Seahawks as a whole have 941 rushing yards. The Springstead defense will have to be able to defend both if they want to win, but I see Sunlake taking this one, and with it, taking that 6A-6 Championship.
4. Seffner Christian (4-0, 1-0) at Cambridge Christian (5-0, 0-0):
Two private schools with two perfect records. Who’s going to fall? Cambridge Christian is at 5-0 (4-0 depending on what source you’re looking at) after their 21-7 lead against Melborne Holy Trinity Episcopal was called during halftime. This Lancer team is hot, and this may turn out to be another “name your score” kind of game, even though Seffner Christian is 4-0. They haven’t been able to produce the same amount of offensive production since when they hung 57 on St. Petersburg Catholic in Week One, but they’ve been able to get wins, which is what matters. If Jaylin Jackson, Andrew Cunningham, Derrick Powell, and the rest of the “Bridge Boys” get going, watch out for this one to get ugly fast at Skyway.
Three Big Performances From Last Friday:
Tim Dallaire, 2018 QB, Anclote:
The junior quarterback had a huge game against Ridgewood in their 62-60 shootout loss. Dallaire had 422 total yards and seven touchdowns for the Sharks, including five through the air. He had 357 yards passing, in a truly spectacular display. What does this mean for Anclote? It means that the Sharks have a quarterback that they can rely on to be a consistent starting quarterback. Anclote fans have a lot of reasons to be excited, and Dallaire is certainly one of them.
Alex Kostogiannes, 2017 UTL, River Ridge:
River Ridge showed just how dominant they could be in their 39 point victory over Hudson last Friday. Kostogiannes helped on both sides of the ball with 165 receiving yards and a touchdown, while accounting for a couple of tackles defensively. He also got into disrupting the Cobras’ passing game, knocking down a pass. Kostogiannes had seven interceptions last season for the Royal Knights, and he’s certainly going to be a factor in the Ridgewood game plan this week.
De’Vonta Smith, 2017 RB, Brooksville Central:
Smith destroyed Weeki Wachee’s defense with 491 rushing yards on Friday night. That’s right, he ran the football for close to the length of five football fields. He had seven rushing touchdowns on the evening, and he added another one on a punt return. He was a big part in their win against the Hornets, and he’s going to continue to be for the rest of the season. Watch for Central to ride Smith as long as they can,and to possibly be a dark horse in Class 5A-District 7.
Two Teams That Need a Win:
Pasco (0-4, 0-0):
The Pirates are still learning how to get along without Michael Penix Jr.. However, they need to figure it out soon, because they really need a win, especially going into district play. Pasco’s non-district schedule against Victory Christian, North Marion, Jesuit, and Wesley Chapel certainly haven’t helped, but they need to be competitive against Mitchell. Their schedule consists of Mitchel, Sunlake, Land O’Lakes, Springstead, and Zephyrhills as the next five weeks, and if they don’t get a win soon, they may not get a win at all.
Alonso (0-4, 0-2):
Again, another team that’s been troubled by transfers this offseason, the Ravens really need to get a victory. They couldn’t do it last week in their Homecoming game against Newsome, and they probably won’t get a victory against Palm Harbor University. However, with two games against Robinson and Riverview upcoming, the Ravens may be able to steal one away before the end of the season. The Ravens are going to need to get everything together, or else they may really be in trouble.
One Coach That Deserves to be Fired Up:
Anthony Egan, Wesley Chapel:
The Wildcats are 4-0 so far in 2016, doubling their win total from 2015, and they’ve had some fairly impressive wins. They dismantled Gulf last week, and they really may not get a test until they play Zephyrhills on October 21 at Bulldog Stadium. But for right now, Egan can celebrate scoring 42 points per game over the last three games as they come into their contest with Hudson very hot.