By Times staff writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published October 23, 2002
"We've been pretty good at keeping people in the seats." -- TOM BOSTIC, Clearwater coach after a 28-21 home win over East Lake. The Tornadoes have won three straight after an 0-4 start.
Seminole (7-0) at Northeast (6-1)
AT STAKE: The Class 5A, District 8 title. If the Vikings win, they're the champs and Seminole the runner-up. If Seminole wins, Northeast might need an at-large berth to reach the postseason.
OFFENSE: The best all-around against the best on the ground. Northeast (198 points scored this season) runs with Sherman Clemons and Ernest Fields, and quarterback Josh Harris has more than 1,000 yards passing. Seminole (190 points) throws no more than a handful of times each game, instead relying on the tough running of Joey Fabrizio. EDGE: Even
DEFENSE: Northeast's stats are gaudier, though its competition has not been as tough as Seminole's. The Warhawks have given up more points in seven games (85) than they did during the 2001 regular season (68), but that's nit-picking. They are the best until beaten. EDGE: Seminole
SPECIAL TEAMS: Seminole's Morgan Riley regularly hits the end zone on kickoffs and coach Sam Roper won't hesitate to use him for long field goals. EDGE: Seminole
INTANGIBLES: There's plenty of incentive for both teams, but the Vikings playing at home and coming off two years of being shut out by Seminole? That's motivation. EDGE: Northeast
With last week's ranking in parenthesis
1. (1) Seminole (7-0) -- Blowout win over Osceola its first easy game in a month, but make no mistake, it is the Warhawks and then everyone else.
2. (4) Northeast (6-1) -- Last win over Seminole: 7-6 in 1999. Would love to give home crowd a better show than last time, when Boca Ciega came in and won Oct. 4.
3. (6) Lakewood (5-2) -- Won 56-16 and 42-7 in games after losses. If Spartans lose to Gibbs in Week 10, could the anger last through a few rounds of the playoffs?
4. (5) Pinellas Park (3-4) -- No letdown after huge win at Lakewood. But schedule not kind with Thursday night visit to good Daytona Beach Seabreeze.
5. (2) Dunedin (6-1) -- No need to jump off bandwagon because of loss at Lakewood, though another loss Friday to depleted Tarpon Springs might be reason to look for a rest area.
6. (NR) Countryside (4-3) -- Shutout against Dixie Hollins put Cougars in a tie with Falcons in 4A-9 race. Better to play Spartans this week after they win.
7. (10) Largo (4-3) -- Probably needs to win out to entertain postseason hopes. Schedule (at Dixie Hollins, at Dunedin, vs. Osceola) is not prohibitive.
8. (3) Boca Ciega (3-4) -- St. Petersburg? Pirates are improved, but not to the point of overlooking anyone.
9. (NR) Clearwater Central Catholic (3-4) -- Tip of the hat to first-year coach Mike Jalazo. Beats No. 1 rival and seals up district title all in one night.
10. (NR) Clearwater (3-4) -- Call September "practice." Tornadoes are 3-0 this month with two district wins and now control playoff destiny.
Fred Marshall, Largo: Bad ankle and all, the quarterback still managed to run for the winning overtime touchdown against Tarpon Springs. The Packers need him to continue gutting it out on road at Dixie this week.
Pat Carter, Lakewood: Senior quarterback made alumni happy on homecoming with two touchdown passes and a 44-yard scoring run; plays final regular-season home game Friday against Countryside.
Bobby Floyd and LeRue Rumph, CCC: Each scored and rushed for more than 100 yards against SPC, securing a home playoff game for the Marauders.
Jason Harris, Clearwater: Sophomore running back has 100-plus yards in each of Tornadoes' three wins, including career-high 147 against East Lake.
Muja Aziz, St. Petersburg: Defensive back picked Bogie quarterback Jim Connors and returned it 22 yards for a touchdown; should get more opportunities against Gibbs.
OFFENSE: Marshall Hampton, Admiral Farragut -- The quarterback and the rest of the Blue Jackets were unfazed in facing their first real test in several weeks. Hampton threw for three touchdowns and ran for a 33-yard score in 42-7 pasting of Shorecrest.
DEFENSE: Nick Capogna, CCC -- Senior linebacker made most of last shot at SPC with three sacks, a fumble recovery and an interception while leading defense to biggest win of the year.
-- Compiled by John Schwarb.
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