tampabay.com

All things football

By KEITH NIEBUHR
Published August 31, 2005


FRIDAY NIGHT: FIVE THINGS TO WATCH

PASSING THE TIME

Like the forward pass? If so, you might want to attend the Middleton-Robinson game. A week ago, Middleton's Dominic Grooms threw for 263 yards and two touchdowns in a 28-20 loss to Jefferson. A few miles away, Robinson's Marcello Trigg was 11-of-16 for 180 yards and four scores to lead his team over King. Both players, it should be noted, have an excellent set of receivers.

THE REBOUND

After having its 29-game win streak (on the field) broken by Hillsborough last week (21-20), how will Armwood respond? The two-time defending Class 4A champion hosts Durant (0-1), which isn't exactly a pushover. The Hawks remain confident they have the talent to make a deep playoff run. But a second straight loss might be crushing to the squad's ego.

BIG "D" AT THE BAY

In a 35-0 win over Leto last week, East Bay held the Falcons to 64 total yards and two - yes, two - first downs. Now comes a tougher test against rival Riverview, which produced 393 yards in a 36-35 win over Newsome, including 262 on 54 carries from its vaunted rushing attack. The Sharks will be determined to end East Bay's four-game win streak in the series.

WATCH THE DEEP BALL

A year ago, Jefferson stunned Chamberlain when quarterback Stephen Garcia completed a 45-yard pass to Tertavian Ingram with no time on the clock for a 27-21 victory. Garcia and Ingram are back, but most of the Chiefs have graduated. Despite being relatively inexperienced, Chamberlain - surprise, surprise - is 1-0 after last week's victory over Brandon. Running back/defensive back Roderick Jenrette, who has scholarship offers from USF and Rutgers, is among the Chiefs' top players. Jenrette and the rest of the Chamberlain secondary will be tested early and often by Jefferson's talented receivers, specifically Ingram.

ONE-POINT WONDERS

Think Hillsborough's win over Armwood was tight? Blake's 7-6 victory against Tampa Bay Tech had similar dramatics, with the final margin coming courtesy of a blocked PAT. The win gave first-year coach Sean Washington career victory No. 1. Next up: Hillsborough's Earl Garcia, who has 117 wins with the Terriers. Blake rushed for only 798 yards last season, but had 185 against TBT. That's a good sign. But Hillsborough's defense, led by defensive tackle Leslie Stirrups, is in a different league.

REMEMBERING THE STREAK

A look back at Armwood football team's remarkable 29-game win streak on the field (Hawks forfeited 2004 victory over Middleton because of ineligible player). It ended with a 21-20 loss to Hillsborough on Friday.

Won by an average margin of 48-10; 44-9 in 2003, 52-12 in 2004.

Scored 30 or more points 24 times, 40 or more 18 times, 50 or more 13 times, 60 or more eight times.

Defense pitched nine shutouts; held six other teams to 10 or fewer points.

Outscored opponents by an average of 39-17 in 10 playoff games.

First team in state history to score more than 700 points in a season (725 in 2004).

Defense intercepted 52 passes.

On 680 attempts, 2003 squad rushed for 5,486 yards, believed to be a state record.

Scored a combined 148 points in two wins over King, both shutouts.

Only three opponents rushed for a net of 100 or more yards.

Had 22 defensive scores (20 touchdowns, two safeties).

The 2004 and '05 graduating classes produced 12 Division I-A signees.

THIS WEEK'S GAMES

FRIDAY (7:30 p.m.)

Belen Jesuit at Jesuit

Berkeley Prep at Shorecrest

Bloomingdale at Leto

Celebration at Temple Heights

Chamberlain at Jefferson

Durant at Armwood

East Bay at Riverview

Hillsborough at Blake

King at Gaither

Middleton at Robinson

Newsome at Brandon

Sickles at Freedom

Tampa Bay Tech at Alonso

Tampa Catholic at Clearwater Central Catholic

Wharton at Plant City

Winter Haven All Saints' at Tampa Baptist

SATURDAY

Providence Christian at Cambridge, 6 p.m.