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Friday night rewind

© St. Petersburg Times
published November 10, 2002


"I know coach says he wishes he could have six or seven wins, but I say if you can go, go! Have fun and enjoy it." -- TERRY VOYLES, Hudson coach, after Mitchell's 21-14 win Thursday night, on Mustangs coach Scott Schmitz's wish to get into the playoffs with a district title or runner-up berth, rather than wait for the at-large playoff bids to be announced today at 5 p.m.


That last-minute touchdown pass from Drew Weatherford to Logan Payne didn't just knock Wesley Chapel out of a share of the Sunshine Athletic Conference crown. The Gators may have knocked the Wildcats all the way to Bradenton.

Wesley Chapel's loss, combined with Bradenton Southeast's victory Friday night, means the Wildcats, despite just two losses, will likely open the playoffs on the road at Southeast.

How close are the two teams? Both finished with 8-2 records, and on strength of schedule, both teams' opponents combined for 46 wins. The next tiebreaker -- just ahead of a coin flip -- is total wins by opponents each team beat, and Southeast has a 31-27 advantage there.

We think.

The official word comes down from the Florida High School Activities Association at 5 p.m. today, and coaches, players and fans will flood to download brackets and see where they're going. We've crunched the numbers and followed the FHSAA's guidelines, and while the brackets can be reconfigured to avoid undue travel problems, etc., here's the games we have figured out for next week.

Land O'Lakes (10-0) is at home against Ocala Vanguard (6-4), and could get revenge for last year's first-round loss if Ocala Forest (9-1) comes in for the region semifinals. Zephyrhills (9-1) gets an easy draw at home against Bartow (4-6) and could have a second-round reunion at home against the Jesuit team that eliminated the Bulldogs in last year's playoff.

The other four playoff teams are on the road. The possible matchups are: Wesley Chapel (8-2) at Bradenton Southeast (8-2); Pasco (6-4) at Jesuit (8-1); Ridgewood (6-4) at Belleview (7-3) and Mitchell (4-6) at Melbourne Palm Bay (8-2).

Just to be sure, check tonight. Look for coverage and reaction to who's officially going where in Monday's editions of the Pasco Times.


A scoreless second half obscured the fact that Wesley Chapel scored more points in the first half Friday than Land O'Lakes had allowed in any game this season.

The Wildcats scored on all three of their first-half possessions, getting a 46-yard field goal by Gabriel Montelongo, a 1-yard run by Tyrone Tomlin and a 10-yard pass from Anthony Rawson to Kenny "Junior" Roberts.

Rawson played well in his second full game, going 5-for-5 for 60 yards in the first half and adding a 32-yard completion to Jon Muhammad in the second half. The rushing load was well-balanced for the Wildcats, who got 75 yards from Tomlin and 66 from Roberts.

Tomlin, who returned the opening kickoff 86 yards for a touchdown, finishes the regular season as the county's rushing leader for the second year in a row. Tomlin unofficially has 1,374 rushing yards and 22 total touchdowns, giving him 69 for his career.

His last chance at another score ended badly. After Land O'Lakes took a 27-23 lead with 51 seconds to go, Greg Harrison fielded the kickoff and, as he was being tackled, attempted a lateral to Tomlin which was picked off in the air by the Gators' Keith Elser. Tomlin looked to have injured his surgically repaired knee when he was clipped during Elser's runback, which was negated by the penalty.


Zephyrhills quarterback James Adamo, who threw for 182 yards and three touchdowns against River Ridge, became the county's fourth 1,000-yard passer this season. Adamo joins county leader Drew Weatherford, Pasco's Ben Alford and Gulf's Jeff Blanchette on the 1,000-yard list. Tony Smiley was Adamo's go-to receiver against River Ridge. Smiley had five receptions for 118 yards and two touchdowns. River Ridge's Jahmaal Osbourne picked off his fifth pass in the Zephyrhills game to take the county lead in 2002.

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