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Gulf puts points on the board

A new offensive scheme results in a 39-20 score in the spring scrimmage.

By JAMAL THALJI, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published May 24, 2002


NEW PORT RICHEY -- It's been a long time since Keith Newton saw this: Bucs' players sprinting down the sidelines, scoring touchdown after touchdown.

In Wednesday night's 39-20 White victory over the Green at W.D. "Des" Little Stadium, Gulf displayed more firepower than the team has enjoyed the past few seasons.

"I was amazed to see how fast we scored," Newton said. "That's something we haven't seen in our offense in the past."

Added speed and depth at the skill positions isn't the only thing in the Bucs' favor. Gulf is also reaping the benefits of a switch from the Wing-T to a new three-receiver, I-formation scheme.

It's the same scheme the alumni teams used in their exhibition games, and volunteer coach Jim Watson, a 1989 graduate and standout lineman who went on to play at the University of Florida, was on hand to help smooth the transition.

The White jumped out to a 27-6 halftime lead, led by David Montanez's three touchdown receptions.

The 5-foot-8, 150-pound sophomore wideout finished with five touchdown catches and more than 150 receiving yards. Junior backup quarterback Sean Collins threw six touchdown passes for the White, including one to Andy Medina.

The Green's scores came on two TD passes from Jeff Blanchette to 6-7, 210-pound sophomore wideout Abram Warren and a rushing touchdown by 5-8, 170-pound sophomore Chris Whytsell.

"The tempo of the game really pleased me," Newton said. "There was a lot of intensity and we felt a lot of positives from that night."

NEED TO KNOW: Don't fret about Gulf's defense just yet. If it seemed like a mismatch, that's because it was -- by design.

"I wouldn't say the defenses are behind, because we didn't go as deep into that as we did with the offense because it's brand new," Newton said. "What happened was the offense took advantage of the basic defensive package we had out there."

PLAYER TO WATCH: Whytsell's development is a good example of Gulf's depth. Whytsell will be able to spell Tim Tracy or C.J. McCloud at fullback in the fall and help out Tracy at linebacker.

"He has been a real pleasant surprise for us," Newton said. "He is going to add some depth to that linebacker spot, which we were worried about. Now we have the opportunity to rotate these people when they play both ways, and not lose so much when one stays in too long."

TO BE CONTINUED: Newton is still concerned about the offensive line.

"We're still a little suspect there simply because we don't have a lot of depth," he said.

But don't expect a quarterback battle just because Collins threw six touchdown passes -- he had the starting receivers and a better line. At 5-11, 165-pounds, Collins is also more valuable as a starting wideout. At least Gulf knows it will have a steady backup.

NEXT UP: Gulf opens up with a preseason jamboree at Wesley Chapel. The six-team jamboree is Aug. 29 at 6:30 p.m. The two-quarter matchups are: Wesley Chapel vs. Springstead, Mitchell vs. Pasco and Gulf vs. River Ridge.

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