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For their own good
Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
In his quest to neutralize Middleton tailback Carlton "Superman" Jones, second-year Blake coach Sean Washington is pulling out all the stops - including the psychological ones.
Washington said the Yellow Jackets' black and gold uniforms will be complemented by a kryptonite-colored accessory - strips of green hand towels - when they take the field at Raymond James Stadium for Saturday's annual showdown with the Tigers (2-2).
"I took green towels and cut'em all up and divided them, and I told my defense (Monday), 'Listen, how do you stop Superman?' And the kids said, 'Kryptonite.' I said, 'Well, this is our kryptonite.'
'Kryptonite's green, and it's some form of rock. Well, we don't have a rock, so we're going to take these green towels and we're going to go out there and that will let you know we have to stop (Jones).' "
On Saturday, gang tackling may be far more effective than a green garment. Jones has nearly 600 rushing yards in four games.
FALCON FLYING UNDER RADAR
Leto senior running back Rudontae Ashley may be a prime example of how easily one can get overlooked in a 28-team county.
In last week's 32-14 loss to Alonso, the burly senior slipped not only through the proverbial cracks, but quite a few gaps in the Ravens defense, finishing with 182 yards on 19 carries.
"Rudontae's about 217 pounds and probably about 6-foot-2, and with this (offensive set), you get a lot of blockers at the point of attack," said first-year Falcons coach Hugh Dehnert, who is employing a double-tight end, double-wing formation.
"With his big body, he's hard to bring down."
Ashley, it appears, isn't the lone beneficiary of Leto's ball-control philosophy. According to Dehnert, his defense has been on the field for no more than 41 plays in a game this season.
COUNTY SUPREMACY AT STAKE
Cambridge will try to preserve county dominance when it travels Friday to Bishop McLaughlin in Spring Hill - on the Pasco County side - for a 4:30 p.m. game. So far this season, Hillsborough County is a collective 3-0 against Pasco foes, outscoring them by a combined 87-20.
FROM CUPCAKE TO CONTENDER?
Improbable as it might have seemed only a month ago, it now appears the road to a Class 5A playoff berth could run down Sligh Avenue.
A year after going winless, King (2-2) appears poised to challenge for one of the two playoff spots in Class 5A, District 6, which includes Chamberlain (1-3), Alonso (2-1) and Sickles (0-4).
Conventional thought suggests the Lions' Sept. 29 home game against Alonso could determine the district runnerup. Chamberlain, which remains the favorite, has played a brutal schedule to this point. Sickles, meantime, has scored only 13 points all season.
"We still don't have a lot of numbers but we're doing good," said Lions coach Joe Severino, whose team hosts unbeaten Wharton on Friday. "We've got a tough game this week, but you never know, we may surprise somebody."
They've already emerged as an area surprise. Two weeks after snapping an 18-game losing streak with a 15-11 upset of Gaither, the Lions scored a 21-14 win against a pass-happy Brandon team that was missing standout tailback Mike Brown.
"We're going to keep working at it. It's a long season," said Severino, who is carrying only about 35 players. "You've got to be smart when you don't have a lot of people. ...But we're pretty pleased."
GARCIA, TURNER SET FOR INDUCTION
Chamberlain coach Billy Turner and Hillsborough High counterpart Earl Garcia are among the four newest members of the Hillsborough High School Football Hall of Fame. The pair will be formally inducted - with former Terriers and University of Florida lineman Wade D. Entzminger and longtime Hillsborough booster Art Manor - at a private dinner Thursday night at the school.
Turner, the winningest coach in county history (229 victories), served as Terriers coach in the late 1960s before returning for another stint in the late '70s. Garcia, the county's third-winningest coach (162), has led Hillsborough to the state playoffs 12 times in the past 13 seasons, including a trip to the Class 6A title game in 1996.