The Prime Time football players of the week

Football General

Offense

Prime Time Prep’s pick

WR Mario Williams, Sr., Plant City

Something about the start of the season brings out the best in Mario Williams. 

Take last season’s opener. The Oklahoma commit had four catches for 169 yards and three touchdowns to help the Raiders stun host Jesuit. 

This past week, Williams got off to another fast start — in just about every way imaginable. He had two receptions for 115 yards, both going for touchdowns. He threw for another 65-yard score. What about 2-point conversions? He accounted for two of those, too. 

That’s not all. Williams also ran the ball once for 30 yards and had two kickoff returns totaling 107 yards. 

He did nearly all of that in the first quarter to help Plant City jump out to a big lead in a 44-7 rout over Riverview.   

The fans’ pick

RB Troy Holmes Jr., Sr., Largo

This was a back-and-forth voting battle between Troy Holmes Jr. and Dunedin quarterback Dylan Oester. Holmes ended up with the slight edge (37.57 to 37.12 percent of the vote by 5 p.m. Monday). 

Holmes Jr. emerged as the featured back the Packers needed with a breakthrough performance, rushing for 218 yards on 19 carries and scoring twice in a loss to Pinellas Park.  

Oester, a senior who is in his second full season as a starter, threw for a career-high 344 yards and three touchdowns in a loss to St. Petersburg Catholic. 

Defense

Prime Time Prep’s pick

LB Jamarion Neal, Sr., Bloomingdale

Last year, Jamarion Neal showed he had a knack for finding the ball, finishing with 117 tackles and 6.5 sacks en route to earning all-state honors. 

This past week, he also displayed a penchant for taking the ball away. 

In the season opener against Armwood, Neal was responsible for two critical turnovers, picking off a pass and pouncing on a fumble in the end zone. That second half score was the Bulls first and provided the spark they needed to pull out a 15-14 victory. 

The fans’ pick

DL Ethan Lyons, Sr., East Bay

Two years ago, Ethan Lyons was on the verge of big things. He was an all-Hillsborough County honorable mention selection in 2018 and went into last season intent of becoming even more of a force in the trenches. 

Then came the injury. 

Lyons tore his ACL, forcing him to miss his junior year. 

Undeterred, Lyons came back stronger, more focused and injury-free. This past week, he made up for the time he missed in a big way, creating havoc up front by registering six tackles to help the Indians beat Sickles in the opener.