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Friday night rewind

By GREG AUMAN, STEVE LEE, JAMAL THALJI, PETE YOUNG and DAVE WALTERS
© St. Petersburg Times
published September 8, 2002


Two weeks and two days before Friday night's season opener, Tyrone Tomlin was at his doctor's office, trying to convince him to clear him to play.

The doctor asked Tomlin to test his surgically repaired knee by hopping up and down on his bad leg, but Tomlin could not. One week later, he was able to complete the exercises his doctor needed to see to clear him to play.

That medical green light was the only thing keeping Tomlin out of the end zone. The senior fullback scored three touchdowns in the first 13 minutes of Wesley Chapel's 43-0 victory against Lake Placid.

Tomlin finished with five carries for 21 yards, but he also had a 35-yard touchdown called back because of his own illegal motion penalty for shifting in the backfield.

RUNNING IT UP

Mitchell coach Scott Schmitz wore a scowl when he shook hands with Zephyrhills coach Tom Fisher after the Mustangs' 24-3 loss Friday. He wasn't as disappointed in the loss as he was with Fisher's decision to go to the air with a 14-point lead and 1:04 left to play. Schmitz walked away with a few choice words.

Bulldogs quarterback James Adamo was just 5-for-14 for 45 yards and no touchdowns prior to connecting with Tony Smiley for a 24-yard score in the game's waning seconds. Fisher said he made the call to work on the Bulldogs' passing game. Adamo agreed, but he also saw the pass as the knockout punch.

"We had to put them away," Adamo said. "That's not a safe lead."

FASTER NOW

River Ridge's new athleticism was on display in the receiving corps, defensive secondary and special teams Friday night.

Strong safety David Onorato got deep quick to make two big interceptions, as the 6-foot Onorato outjumped 6-4 Pasco wideout Johnny Peyton. Alex Wilson, the 6-7 wide receiver, got behind the opposing secondary to haul in a 46-yard pass, dragging Pasco defenders an extra 10 yards downfield to set up the Knights' second field goal. And Jahmaal Osbourne got it all started with a 98-yard opening kickoff return for a touchdown.

NOW YOU SEE HIM ...

Gulf quarterback Jeff Blanchette scored on mirror-image runs of 40 and 33 yards in the first quarter against Land O'Lakes. Blanchette faked to the fullback on each, then sprinted down the right sideline on the 40-yarder, the left sideline on the 33-yarder.

"He fooled me tonight on his two touchdowns," Bucs coach Keith Newton said. "I was looking at the fullback."

Blanchette went 8-of-20 for 119 yards with one touchdown, and he rushed 10 times for 81 yards and two scores.

SACK-MAN

After the graduation of former Wesley Chapel nose guard Jason Boyd and his 34 career sacks, the county needs a new sack-master.

Look no further than Pasco defensive end Tom Brunk.

The Pirates relentlessly blitzed River Ridge quarterback Ryan Mistal late to hold onto a 1-point victory, but no defender wrecked as much havoc as Brunk, a 6-foot-1, 225-pound junior. He finished with 31/2 sacks -- all in the second half -- and brought down Mistal twice in the closing minutes to stifle the Royal Knights' comeback attempt.

HE'LL GET OVER IT

Land O'Lakes' Drew Weatherford and wideout Logan Payne would have had even bigger numbers had a 79-yard first-quarter touchdown pass not been brought back due to a clipping penalty well behind the play. It became merely a 32-yard completion, and Land O'Lakes was forced to punt -- it's only punt of the game.

Two of Weatherford's three incompletions were drops, and the third appeared to be a catch but was ruled incomplete. Payne finished with nine catches for 177 yards and three touchdowns. Land O'Lakes had 456 yards of total offense (238 passing, 218 rushing).

"I thought I did well," Weatherford said. "I just hope I keep it up. I hope my linemen keep on doing a good job like they did tonight."

ALL IN THE FAMILY

The Moise brothers, Reggie the senior and Ricky the sophomore, combined for 107 yards on 27 carries for Mitchell. Reggie was the workhorse, rushing 19 times for 85 yards. Ricky was at negative yardage until his final two runs late in the fourth quarter. Sophomore Spencer Brown, the other back in the Wing-T, carried seven times for 42 yards.

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