Warhawk, Cougar shine early

By Times Staff
Published August 23, 2005

The high school football season begins this week. Leading to Friday's games, the Times will answer 10 pressing questions facing Pinellas schools?

No. 5: Which player stood out in last week's preseason contests?

Bob Putnam says:

Lyndon Rowells

After a handoff, Rowells is liable to abuse defenders with his multiple skills.

The senior from Seminole has the ability to make the first tackler miss, whether it's with his elusiveness or balance or a feel for where the soft spot is in the defense. He also has the power to break a tackle and downfield speed.

In Friday's jamboree against Clearwater, the deceptively powerful, breathtakingly fast runner moved the pile and outran defensive backs - on the same play.

On his second carry, Rowells encountered a roadblock before darting around the left corner and sprinting for a 60-yard touchdown run. That was just one of many highlights Rowells had as the Tornadoes hopelessly gave chase to him all night.

Rowells finished with 115 yards on three carries and scored three touchdowns.

The emergence of the 5-foot-11, 190 pound runner comes just at the right time. Colby Erskin and Anthony Siano both graduated and the Warhawks need someone to take their place as the bread-and-butter to give their running game something to brag about.

John C. Cotey says:

L.D. Crow

After all the pub he received last year, all the college offers, all the acclaim, Harrison Beck was about as irreplaceable a player as their was in Pinellas County.

Or so we thought.

In his first taste of significant varsity action, and with the spotlight on him, L.D. Crow threw for 140 yards and two touchdowns.

Oh, and his first incompletion?

Hasn't happened yet.

Crow completed all nine of passes, to seven different receivers, as Countryside won 28-7 on Friday over Tarpon Springs.

Playing in a John Davis offense always seems to bring out the best in quarterbacks. Crow was no exception.

He wasn't the only preseason standout. Gibbs' Jerrel Young looked mighty good as well.

Just minutes before boarding a bus to Friday's game with Bradenton Lakewood Ranch, Gibbs offensive coordinator Anthony Givins said his goal was to get Young, wide receiver Kevin Williams and quarterback Brandon Shorter one touchdown before bringing in the reserves.

Young flashed a sly smile when Givins wasn't looking, and flashed two fingers while pointing to himself.

Sure enough, Young scored twice, running back the opening kickoff and scoring on a 7-yard run as Gibbs lost 43-27.