NEW PORT RICHEY - St. Petersburg Catholic overwhelmed River Ridge on Friday night, speeding to a 22-0 halftime lead. Barons quarterback Billy Tapp was 11-for-14 with 191 yards passing in less than three quarters.
PLAY OF THE GAME: On tailback Jock Sanders' second touchdown, he took a Tapp handoff to the left. He appeared to be stuffed for a 1-yard gain, but he burst free, spun around a linebacker and raced down the sideline 29 yards to score.
PLAYERS OF THE GAME: Barons defensive end Joey Yanchunis created havoc in the River Ridge backfield. He finished with five sacks, and his tackles ended several drives.
KEY STATISTIC: Even with some late yardage, River Ridge was outgained 405-78. Part of that was because quarterback Mike Gregory was sacked nine times.
THEY SAID IT: "Once Jesuit beat us, our team decided that we were not going to lose focus in any more ballgames. We didn't tonight." - Dan Mancuso, Barons coach
- MIKE TOMPKINS, Times correspondent
Seminole 25, Clearwater 19
CLEARWATER - After trailing 13-3 after three quarters, Seminole rallied for 22 fourth-quarter points in a 25-19 victory over Clearwater at Jack White Stadium.
Clearwater (4-3) held a 7-3 halftime lead behind a Jason Harris 59-yard touchdown run with 6:18 left in the second quarter. The Seminole offense was held to 82 yards total offense in the first half compared to Clearwater's 189 total yards. The Tornadoes had a chance to extend their first half lead, but quarterback Brice Lawrence was stopped at the 1-yard line with no time remaining in the half.
Clearwater then put together a 13-play, 66-yard drive, capped by a Harris 2-yard touchdown run, that ate up 9 minutes of the third quarter, giving the Tornadoes a 10-point lead.
On the next drive, a 50-yard pass from Seminole quarterback Devin Collins to Colby Erskin set up a Lyndon Rowells 18-yard scamper into the end zone. After a Harris 18-yard touchdown run upped the Clearwater lead to 19-10, Seminole answered right back 2:06 later with a 57-yard touchdown by Rowells. The Warhawks (3-4) would then go on an 8-play, 48-yard drive, culminating in Rowells' third touchdown run of the night, this time from 15 yards with 1:29 left in regulation, sealing the 25-19 victory.
PLAY OF THE GAME: Quarterback Devin Collins' electrifying 24-yard run shifted the momentum to Seminole, and set up Rowells' 57-yard burst into the end zone.
PLAYERS OF THE GAME: After mustering only 4 yards rushing in the first half, Rowells torched the Tornadoes defense for 134 yards rushing and three touchdowns. Harris had 153 yards rushing and three touchdowns for Clearwater, but was held to only 29 yards in the second half by Seminole's much maligned defense.
KEY STATISTIC: Both teams combined for 609 total yards of offense. Seminole had 229 of their 311 total yards in the second half.
THEY SAID IT: "This is a scrappy bunch of kids, and they do not know what the word quit means." - Seminole coach Sam Roper on his team's second half performance.
- CARMINO IMONDI, Times correspondent
CC Catholic 38, Palm Harbor U. 7
CLEARWATER - The Marauders' defense had four forced fumbles, three interceptions and had two touchdowns in front of a sellout homecoming crowd.
PLAY OF THE GAME: At the end of the first quarter, Clearwater Central Catholic sophomore quarterback Andrew Nowels threw a high pass that appeared to be out of reach of Colin McCarthy. But the receiver jumped up, tipped the ball to himself and went 39 yards for a touchdown, giving the Marauders a 7-0 lead.
PLAYER OF THE GAME: McCarthy seemed to be everywhere. On offense, he had 44 yards receiving and one touchdown. On defense, McCarthy made several big tackles, recovered a fumble and intercepted two passes, one of which he returned 35 yards for a score.
KEY STATISTIC: Paul Raven scored 19 of his team's 38 points. Raven had a 1-yard touchdown run, a 34-yard return for a score on a fumble forced by Eric Falla, a 22-yard field goal and four extra points.
THEY SAID IT: "I usually play linebacker, but we got to play some cover two tonight so Riley (Cooper) and I each had half the field. The ball just seemed to come my way." - Colin McCarthy, CCC linebacker/receiver.
- CHAD GOEBERT, Times correspondent
East Lake 35, Largo 22
EAST LAKE - The Eagles dominated from the start, as the Packers looked helpless without star running back Dexter McCluster, who missed the game with a concussion. East Lake displayed a balanced offensive attack, and a defensive scheme that kept Largo on its toes throughout the game. With the victory, the Eagles have won three of their past four.
PLAY OF THE GAME: With 11:35 remaining in the game, East Lake receiver Chris Toye made an outstanding catch on a jump ball from quarterback Derek Tate. The touchdown put the Eagles up 35-14.
PLAYERS OF THE GAME: The East Lake defensive shut down Largo. With constant pressure from their front seven, the Eagles forced four interceptions by Packers quarterbacks Mike Helm and Nathan Smith.
KEY STATISTIC: Using several backs to wear down Largo's defense, East Lake finished with 229 yards rushing. THEY SAID IT: "Our guy played very well tonight, very physical. We were able to get a good game out of everyone on the team, which hasn't happened much this year." - Bob Hudson, East Lake coach.
- BRIAN WILLS, Times correspondent
Osceola 21, Pinellas Park 0
PINELLAS PARK - On homecoming night at Pinellas Park, the Warriors improved their record to 5-2 with the victory over the Patriots, who dropped to 0-7.
The Patriots appeared to gain some momentum in the first as the defense recovered an Osceola fumble in Warrior territory on the first play. The Patriots missed a golden opportunity to take the lead as they couldn't convert on a field goal attempt.
The Patriots defense contained the Warriors' Ryan Thompson effectively in the first half, holding him to 18 yards on four carries. But Thompson's interception of Dominic Bell led to the Warriors' first score, a 1-yard-run by Thompson and gave the Warriors a 6-0 advantage.
The Patriots had another chance to score late in the first half after David Potts intercepted Sergio Allen with 47 seconds left. The Warriors defense held and sacked Adam Cheesebrew on the last play of the half.
PLAY OF THE GAME: On first-and-10 from their 33-yard line, Thompson received a handoff and coasted for a 55-yard run, the game's longest play.
PLAYERS OF THE GAME: For the Warriors, Thompson had 10 carries for 114 yards and two scores and Justin Hart had 8 carries for 68 yards with one score. For the Patriots, Matt Hitchens had 14 carries for 44 yards and Cheesebrew had two receptions and 15 yards receiving.
KEY STATISTIC: The Warriors offense proved to be too much for the Patriots defense and outrushed the Patriots 217-110.
THEY SAID IT: "I'm not sure what team it was in the first half, but it was our team in the second half. We can't afford not to play well. We have to play well to beat somebody." - Osceola coach George Palmer.
- AARON THOMAS, Times staff writer
Palmetto 21, Lakewood 0
PALMETTO - The Palmetto Tigers greatly enhanced their playoff hopes Friday night at Harllee Stadium with a dominating 21-0 victory over Class 3A-District 11 rival St. Petersburg Lakewood.
The win puts Palmetto at 5-2 overall and 3-1 in district play. If crosstown nemesis Southeast defeats Seminole Osceola next Friday, the Tigers would earn a runnerup playoff spot.
Palmetto's defense has taken care of business all season long. On Friday, they got some help from the offense with a 21-point explosion in the second quarter.
Senior quarterback Jessie Bundrage found Bubba Raymond in the corner of the end zone for a 31-yard score early in the second quarter. An interception by Shedrick Haynes set up Bundrage's 1-yard score on a quarterback sneak.
A 15-yard touchdown pass from Bundrage to junior tight end Quenton Benton with 16 seconds remaining in the first half was the last score of the night.
The Tigers outgained the Spartans 249-40 in total yards in the first half. Plametto had 10 first downs compared to just one for Lakewood.
In the second half, nearly every other play was whistled dead on penalties. The Tigers were penalized 16 times for 140 yards. The Spartans (1-6, 0-3) were flagged nine times for 65 yards.
Palmetto's defense forced seven Lakewood turnovers, four fumble recoveries and three interceptions.
- BRADENTON HERALD
Cambridge 44, Calvary Christian 8
TAMPA - Behind a solid defense that picked off five passes, Cambridge improved to 5-3 as it easily turned back Calvary Christian.
"Our defense came up big time," Lancers coach Jim Kennedy said. "When you couple a potent offense with good ball hawking like we did, you are going to win a lot of games."
Junior Chris Widel led the Cambridge attack by piling up 170 yards on 23 carries and scoring on runs of 45 and 36 yards. David Valdez added to the scoring with an 8-yard run while Anthony Halmon tallied on a 13-yard scamper to the end zone.
Cambridge quarterback Korey Simms was 7 of 12 for 131 yards, with five of those completions going to receiver Jason Genninger for 93 yards.
"Both lines stepped up for us," Kennedy said. "We are very proud of the way the boys played."
- JIM REESE, Times correspondent
Berkeley Prep 31, Keswick Chr. 0
ST. PETERSBURG - Berkeley Prep used a strong rushing attack led by running back Ryan Zirkle and quarterback Derek Hatcher to defeat its Class A, District 8 rival from Keswick.
The Buccaneers (7-0) set the tone when they took the opening kickoff and scored on an 11-play, 70-yard drive that ended with a 2-yard touchdown by Zirkle. A Keswick turnover deep in Berkeley territory led to the Bucs' next score. This time, they drove 85 yards on 14 plays, with Zirkle scoring on a 3-yard touchdown run.
PLAY OF THE GAME: On Michael Young's first punt of the evening, Hatcher fielded at his own 45-yard line and returned it for a touchdown that put Berkeley up 21-0.
PLAYERS OF THE GAME: Hatcher ran the ball 11 times for 86 yards, and Zirkle had 115 yards on 17 carries. For Keswick, Young caught five passes for 79 yards.
KEY STATISTIC: The Bucs controlled the game by rushing for 310 yards while holding the Crusaders to 198 yards of total offense.
THEY SAID IT: "Our whole team came through. I'm just looking to get better every week." - Hatcher, Berkeley quarterback
- ANTHONY SALVEGGI, Times correspondent
Admiral Farragut 13, Indian Rocks Chr. 0
LARGO - Admiral Farragut got its first win of the season and did it with a shutout. Indian Rocks Christian topped the Blue Jackets in every category except for two, including the one that matters the most, the score.
PLAY OF THE GAME: AFA running back Tai Herrera-Clark scored a touchdown on a 14-yard run that gave the Jackets one of their two touchdowns.
PLAYERS OF THE GAME: Herrera-Clark had 13 carries for 74 yards.
KEY STATISTIC: AFA outrushed IRC 220-113.
THEY SAID IT: "It feels great, feels great to see my kids having fun. If I was going to get my first win, I wish it would have been earlier but no better team than this one, where I used to be." - AFA coach Chris Ah Leong.
- MIKE BALLENGER, Times correspondent
Jesuit 28, Freedom 14
TAMPA - Jesuit improved to 6-1 with a solid victory over Freedom. The Patriots had many opportunities but could not overcome four costly turnovers. Late in the game, the Tigers defense stopped the Patriots on four tries from the 5-yard line, squashing any hopes for a comeback.
PLAY OF THE GAME: Freedom's kick returner Gary Williams bobbled the ball on the 2-yard line and avoided an oncoming defense to blaze down the field for a 98-yard touchdown return.
PLAYERS OF THE GAME: Jesuit wide receiver Adam Wolf came up with four, big catches for 71 yards and a score. Running back Josh Monroe added 77 yards on 14 carries.
KEY STATISTIC: Freedom turned the ball over four times, while Jesuit only had one turnover.
THEY SAID IT: "Our defense played very good, even though we let the game get interesting. On offense, we made plays when we had to. Now we have to concentrate on Jefferson next week." - Bill Schmitz, Jesuit coach