But East Bay and Hillsborough still have wild-card hopes.
By SCOTT PURKS, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times, published November 3, 2002
TAMPA -- After Riverview upset Durant 19-12, Jefferson quarterback Andre Caldwell was ejected and Chamberlain defeated Hillsborough for the third consecutive time, Week 9 ended and the playoff picture became more clear.
Here's how it looks with one week to go:
Bloomingdale, the lone Hillsborough County team in the district, can only hope for a victory next week to avoid a winless season. Venice (5-4, 3-0) advances to the playoffs as the district champion and Sarasota Riverview (7-2, 2-1) moves on as the runner-up.
Durant's loss to Riverview on Friday didn't hurt anything, except its pride. The Cougars (8-1, 4-1) won the district after beating Lakeland (8-1, 4-1) and East Bay (7-2, 3-2) earlier this season.
Lakeland advances as the runner-up and East Bay can lock up a wild-card spot with a victory next week over Blake.
Chamberlain (8-1, 6-0) is the champion and Wharton (8-1, 5-1) is in the playoffs for the first time in the school's six-year history as the runner-up.
Hillsborough (7-2, 4-2) can earn a wild-card berth as the region's eighth and final playoff team with a victory next week over Jefferson. If Hillsborough loses, it must hope Kissimmee Osceola loses as well. If Hillsborough loses and Osceola wins, then the only place the Terriers are going is to the annual banquet.
Armwood (7-2, 4-1) is the district champion for the first time in the school's 18-year history. Jefferson (8-1, 4-1) is the runner-up, but the Dragons must hope Caldwell, one of the nation's top recruits, can win an appeal following his ejection from Friday night's victory at Brandon. If Caldwell loses the appeal, he will miss the Dragons' first-round playoff game.
Jesuit (7-1, 5-0) is the champion and Bradenton Southeast (7-2, 4-1) is the runner-up. No one else in the district has a shot at a wild-card spot.
Clearwater Central Catholic (5-4, 3-0) and St. Petersburg Catholic (5-4, 2-1) are in. Tampa Catholic and Berkeley Prep must wait for next year.