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Friday night recap

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Final scores

Bloomingdale 15, Armwood 14

Pinellas Park 31, Largo 14

Calvary Christian 16, Carrollwood Day 7

Final: Tampa Catholic 35, CCC 0

Jesuit 35, Clearwater 21

Gaither 34, Chamberlain 6

Sumner 21, Spoto 0

Tampa Bay Tech 34, Steinbrenner 10

Wesley Chapel 20, Sunlake 13

Robinson 46, Brandon 0

River Ridge 13, Fivay 0

Lakewood 42, Gibbs 0

East Bay 20, Sickles 14

Middleton 30, Blake 12

IRC 49, Bell Creek 0

Brentwood Academy 34, Clearwater Academy 18

Wharton 50, Freedom 0

Sarasota Riverview 40, East Lake 7

Newsome 13, Durant 10 (OT)

Cypress Creek 28, Osceola 17

St. Petersburg Catholic 42, Dunedin 26

Plant City 44, Riverview 7

Cambridge Christian 29, Northside Christian 28 (OT)

Lakeland Christian 23, Seffner Christian 0

Bishop McLaughlin 47, Keswick Christian 28

Lennard 29, Plant 22

Auburndale 33, Pasco 0

Wiregrass Ranch 50, St. Petersburg 10

Hudson 40, Anclote 23

Bradenton Christian 27, Zephyrhills Christian 26

Prime time teams

Bloomingdale: After giving Armwood all it could handle in a pair of losses last year, the Bulls were intent on reversing the outcome. They did it thanks to being opportunistic on special teams, twice rallying in the second to pull out a dramatic 15-14 victory over the three-time defending state semifinalist Hawks.

Tampa Catholic: The Crusaders snapped a five-game losing streak to bitter rival Clearwater Central Catholic with a 35-0 victory that ended up having a running clock in the fourth quarter due to the mercy rule.

Jesuit: Last season, the Tigers started 0-2. This year, they are undefeated after two games. Jesuit kept its streak going by rallying to beat Clearwater 35-21 to exact some revenge for last year’s loss.

Plant City: The Raiders, who went 5-5 last year, showed they are serious playoff contenders after jumping out to a 37-point halftime lead before easing off the gas in a commanding 44-7 win over Riverview.

Prime time performers

DB Philip Riley, Sr., Bloomingdale: The Notre Dame commit returned a kickoff 53 yards for a touchdown that proved to be the game winner in the win over Armwood.

WR Mario Williams, Sr., Plant City: The Oklahoma commit caught a pair of touchdown passes and threw for another in the win over Riverview.

QB Joe Pesansky, Sr., Jesuit: The transfer from Virginia threw for three touchdown passes, all to Carter French, and ran for another score in the win over Clearwater.

ATH AJ Williams, Jr., Tampa Catholic: The versatile playmaker showed off his explosiveness with a 72 yard touchdown reception and a 54 yard punt return for another score in the win over CCC.

WR Richie Ilarraza, Sr., Calvary Christian: The Howard recruit caught the go-ahead touchdown pass in the second half for what turned out to be the winning score in a 16-7 win over Carrollwood Day.

WR Jamari Gasset, Sr., Tampa Bay Tech: The Buffalo commit had a 50 yard touchdown reception and returned a punt 75 yards for another score in a 34-10 win over Steinbrenner.

Dazzling debuts

Sumner: The first-year high school won its inaugural varsity football game, beating Spoto 21-0.

Mike Williams, Wharton: The former Middleton coach could not have asked for a better start with the Wildcats, especially after a 50-0 rout over rival Freedom 50-0 in the opener.

John Courtney, Middleton: The first-year Tigers coach, who took over for Mike Williams, guided the team to a season-opening 30-12 win over rival Blake.

Ken Stills, Bishop McLaughlin: The former IMG running backs coach got off on the right track in his first game with the Hurricanes, who beat Keswick Christian 47-28.

Arkese Parks, Robinson: The freshman running back finished his varsity game with 60 yards and a touchdown in the win over Brandon.

Rod Gainey, Tampa Bay Tech: The freshman athlete ran for more than 100 yards, including a 60-yard score, in the win over Steinbrenner.

Fantastic finishes

Two games went into overtime. Cambridge Christian rallied to beat Northside Christian 29-28 to remain undefeated. Pate West scored the touchdown in overtime and Jaiden Bivens had winning two-point conversion.

Newsome came back to knock off rival Durant 13-10. Matt Wingo had the winning score in overtime.

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Flag Football

Sydney Stout reaches 100 touchdown passes — this season

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Robinson quarterback Sydney Stout reached an impressive milestone with her 100th touchdown pass on Monday.   

That is not a career mark.

Stout reached that total this season.

The senior already had shattered the flag football single-season state record of 79 touchdown passes and entered the Class 2A region final needing just three touchdowns to hit triple digits. 

No problem. 

Stout threw four touchdown passes — in the first half. 

She added another in the second half to give her 102, a number that will continue to grow. 

After all, the Knights beat Lecanto 34-0 in the region final. Robinson, which has won state titles in five of the past six seasons (the 2020 season was canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic), advances to the state semifinals on Friday. Stout could end up playing in two more games if the Knights keep their state title streak intact. 

And there’s a good chance of that happening considering Robinson has outscored foes by a combined 816-50 this year.  

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College Football

Former PHU/UCF star Jacob Harris goes to Rams in 4th round

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Jacob Harris, a former star at Palm Harbor University and Central Florida, was taken in the fourth round by the Los Angeles Rams.

Harris, a former soccer standout who did not start playing organized football until senior year at Palm Harbor University, has gone through a meteoric rise to become a sleeper pick in this year’s draft.

He started off as a walk-on at Western Kentucky before transferring to UCF. For the past two seasons, Harris was a dependable receiver for the Knights. As a senior, he had 30 catches for 539 yards and eight touchdowns.

Harris’ most memorable game came against USF this past season when he had five catches for 110 yards and three touchdowns.

With the Rams, Harris will join former East Lake star Tyler Higbee in a group of tight ends that features plenty of locals.  

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College Football

The local list of potential NFL picks

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The NFL Draft concludes Saturday. Plenty of locals have the potential to be picked. Below is the list of former area stars who could hear their name called. All were either on mock drafts or were selected to an all-star game or NFL Combine. 

Photos courtesy of UCF Athletics

TE Jacob Harris, Palm Harbor University/UCF

Harris, a former soccer standout who did not start playing organized football until senior year at Palm Harbor University, has gone through a meteoric rise to become a sleeper pick in this year’s draft. He started off as a walk-on at Western Kentucky before transferring to UCF. For the past two seasons, Harris was a dependable receiver for the Knights. As a senior, he had 30 catches for 539 yards and eight touchdowns. Harris’ most memorable game came against USF this past season when he had five catches for 110 yards and three touchdowns. 

OL Shane McGough, Gaither/Florida International

The younger brother of former Gaither and FIU quarterback Alex McGough redshirted as a freshman before becoming a consistent starter on the Panthers’ offensive line. He was an all-Conference USA honorable mention selection in 2018 and 2020. This past season, McGough started in four of FIU’s five games as a center.  

WR Antonio Nunn, Jefferson/Buffalo

Nunn, a dynamic deep threat at Jefferson, redshirted his first season at Buffalo before rocketing up the depth chart. He started every game the past two seasons, finishing with a combined 86 catches for 1,271 yards and eight touchdowns. Nunn was a third-team all-MAC selection in 2019 and second-team selection this past season. 

Photo courtesy of Indiana University Athletics

WR Whop Philyor, Plant/Indiana

A first-team, all-state selection at Plant, Philyor became Indiana’s most dependable receiving target during his college career. He finished with 2,316 all-purpose yards (2,067 receiving, 134 rushing, 66 kick return, 49 punt return) in 38 games (22 starts).Philyor also is the Hoosiers’ s all-time leader in double-digit catch games (7), ranks fourth in receptions (180), fourth in 100-yard games (7), ninth in yardage (2,067) and is tied for 16th in touchdowns (12). He capped off his career by setting a Big Ten bowl and Outback Bowl record with 18 receptions for 81 yards. 

DL Justus Reed, CCC/Virginia Tech

A first-team, all-state selection, Reed led Clearwater Central Catholic to its only state final appearance as a senior in 2013. He started out at Florida before spending three seasons at Youngstown State. This past season, Reed transferred to Virginia Tech as a graduate student. He started in 10 of the Hokies’ 11 games, finishing with 28 tackles and 6.5 sacks.  

Photo courtesy of USF Athletics

DB K.J. Sails, East Bay/USF

A highly touted high school recruit, Sails spent his first three years in college at North Carolina before transferring to USF. As a junior, he led the Bulls in interceptions with three and recorded 22 tackles this past season. Sails gained notoriety this past summer when he organized a unity walk during the social justice movement that was attended by about 400 teammates, coaches, administrators and community members.  

Oregon's Jordon Scott/Photo credit: Oregon Athletics
Photo courtesy of Oregon Athletics

DL Jordon Scott, Pinellas Park/Oregon

The three-star high school prospect originally committed to Florida before signing with Oregon. He immediately became a force on the Ducks’ defensive line, earning FWAA freshman all-America honors in 2017. Scott opted to return to Oregon as a senior rather than turn pro and helped the Ducks reach the Pac-12 title game for the second straight season. 

Photo courtesy of TCU Athletics Communications

TE Pro Wells, Hollins/Texas Christian

As a senior at Hollins, Wells had a breakout season, finishing with 31 catches for 952 yards and five touchdowns. He played at Milford Academy and Northwest Mississippi Community College, where he became the No. 4 JUCO tight end in the nation. After redshirting in 2018 at Texas Christian, Wells turned a reliable red-zone target and led the team in touchdown receptions each of the past two seasons. 

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