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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.
By KEITH NIEBUHR, Times Staff Writer
Published September 28, 2007
To help break down each week's biggest game, the Times will poll two opposing players from around the county. This week, for Saturday's Blake-Middleton matchup, we asked Chamberlain senior safety Justin Bell to offer analysis on the Tigers offense, and Plant City junior quarterback Clint Stearns to dish on the Yellow Jackets.
Bell, a 5-foot-10, 170-pound safety, is the glue to one of the county's most physical defensive backfields. The hard-hitting Bell, who runs a 4.49 40, has received offers from Eastern Kentucky, Air Force, Tulane and Illinois State.
On Middleton (three things to watch)
1 Quarterback DeAndre Presley is Michael Vick-like. "You've got to contain him (in the pocket). If he gets free, he can beat you with his feet. The hardest part is staying with your receiver while also stopping him from scrambling."
2 You need to jam their receivers. "All their receivers are quick off the ball. If you press them, sometimes they'll get stopped by the physical play. But they'll watch your feet, and if you mess up, they'll beat you deep."
3 Running back Carlton Jones is a load. "You've gotta gang tackle with everyone. But if you hit him real hard, he'll leave the ball out and you can strip him."
Jr., Plant City
The 6-foot-1, 180-pound quarterback has been quite the field general for the Raiders. In eight career games as the starter, he's 7-1. For that success, he shares the credit. "It's the people around me making plays," Stearns said.
On Blake (three things to watch)
1 The Yellow Jackets are incredibly athletic. "(On film) I didn't think they were that big, fast or strong. But on the field, it was a totally different scenario."
2 Their speed is an asset - and a liability. "So far, they're the fastest team we've played. Their ends are so quick. And they fill the gaps so fast. But you can catch them off guard a little bit with a quick pass behind the linebackers or with an inside draw."
3 They feed on emotion. "My advice is to jump on them early. If they get the offense going that gives the defense confidence and they play even better. They're pretty dangerous when they do that. But they kind of get down if you start scoring."