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Pinellas football: midweek report

By Times staff writer

© St. Petersburg Times,
published September 5, 2001

Game of the Week

Northeast at Dixie Hollins

AT STAKE: A chance to take a 2-0 record into district play -- something neither team did last year. The matchup also marks the first time since the mid-1990s that both teams are strong and playing a meaningful game.

OFFENSE: Last week, the Rebels amassed 262 rushing yards; the Vikings 205. Both also start junior quarterbacks who are not asked to win games with their arms. EDGE: Even

DEFENSE: Dixie fielded one of the county's better units in 2000, allowing just 228 yards and 16.6 points per game. It beat both figures in its shutout of Pinellas Park. EDGE: Dixie

SPECIAL TEAMS: Anthony Washington is a dangerous return man for Northeast, but Dixie has a kicker who can make a difference. Sophomore soccer player Vince Iacopelli connected on a 37-yard field goal last week. EDGE: Dixie.

INTANGIBLES: Dixie is at home and hopes to be on a more even keel after a difficult time last week with a captain's illness and two players coping with family deaths. But Northeast has more tangible incentive, having lost 27-13 to the Rebels at home last year. EDGE: Northeast

The Pinellas Top 10

1. Seminole (1-0) -- Look for offense (41 total yards, nine punts) to wake up at Palm Harbor U.

2. Tarpon Springs (1-0) -- Late defensive stand saves the day, but passing game sputters.

3. Countryside (1-0) -- Four takeaways spur easy win; East Lake will be much tougher test.

4. CC Catholic (1-0) -- Get used to it: Rushing yards outnumbered passing yards 2-to-1.

5. Lakewood (0-1) -- Might have grabbed No. 1 if long snapper did not go down in first quarter.

6. Northeast (1-0) -- Vikings fire early salvo to county: Forget about last season.

7. Gibbs (0-1) -- Gutsy fourth-and-inches call from own 31-yard line backfires.

8. East Lake (0-1) -- Wore down Northeast in second half but couldn't hold onto the ball.

9. Largo (1-0) -- Could get to 2-0 for first time since '91 with win Thursday at St. Petersburg.

10. Dixie Hollins (1-0) -- Held Patriots to four first downs and 94 total yards in shutout.

Five to watch

ISAIAH GWYN, Countryside: In his first varsity game, the sophomore rushed for 108 yards on eight carries with two touchdowns and had an interception.

DAN GALE, East Lake: Slated to start the season at quarterback, he sat out last week with a sprained ankle and could only watch as his replacement fumbled three times. He'll need to protect the ball better against Countryside.

CURTIS CHANCE, Dixie Hollins: The 6-foot-3, 280-pound offensive lineman opened big holes as the Rebels had 282 rushing yards last week against Pinellas Park.

ERNIE SIMS, North Florida Christian: A linebacker and running back for the two-time Class A state champions, he ran for 81 yards on nine carries with a 48-yard touchdown last week in a 35-19 loss to 4A Tallahassee Lincoln.

AARON FRYER, Jesuit: The running back led the Tigers in rushing as a sophomore and scored two touchdowns last week in Jesuit's win over Sebastian River.

Players of the week

Week 1

OFFENSE: Jason Teague -- Down 14-10 with 1:59 left, the Osceola senior broke three tackles on a 19-yard run to get to the Dunedin 11 then scored two plays later. He had 177 yards in all.

DEFENSE: Brian Reliford -- The St. Petersburg defensive lineman scored a touchdown on a fumble recovery and played a key role in his team's shutout of PHU.

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