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Prime Time 10: Football rankings for Pinellas County

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Because of the abbreviated schedule, the midpoint of the season is fast approaching. By the end of this week, every Pinellas County team will have played at least one game. Starting sports have been sorted out. Mechanics are improving. And now it is time to start thinking about possible runs in the postseason. Here are the latest rankings. 

1. Lakewood (2-0)

Up next: at Braden River

Last week: No. 1

In the Spartans last eight games against Pinellas County teams, they have posted six shutouts and allowed a combined nine points. No county opponent has come within 30 points of beating Lakewood. The latest rout came last week when the Spartans dismantled Boca Ciega 40-6. The Spartans forced nine turnovers, two of which they returned for touchdowns. 

2. Clearwater (1-1)

Up next: vs. Plantation American Heritage 

Live stream: Fans can watch for free on Identity Tampa Bay as part of their Prime Time Friday Game of the Week

Last week: No. 2

As the finals ticked away, the Tornadoes started celebrating. Years of frustration were finally. Last week, Clearwater rallied to beat its archnemesis, Largo. It was the first the Tornadoes had beaten their neighboring rival since 2016. Clearwater quarterback Kamrhen Simpkins accounted for 200 yards and scored twice, the last coming on a short run in the fourth quarter that turned out to be the winning score. The tough early season schedule continues with a game against state powerhouse Plantation American Heritage. 

3. Calvary Christian (2-0)

Up next: at IMG White

Last week: No. 5

The Warriors showed their balance on offense in a 17-7 win over Seffner Christian. Brandon Marcsisin threw for 160 yards and two touchdowns. And running backs Makkah Jordan and Jordan Mouzon each rushed for more than 100 yards. So far, Calvary Christian has knocked off two of the area’s top playoff contenders in Class 2A. The perfect start should continue against IMG White this week. 

4.  Clearwater Academy (0-2)

Up next: at Jacksonville Sandalwood

Last week: No. 3

Sure, the Knights are winless but they have one of the toughest schedules of any county team. Last week, they traveled to play Lynn Haven Mosely and lost 31-28. It doesn’t get any easier. The traveling show continues this week with Clearwater Academy going to Jacksonville to take on Sandalwood. 

5. Boca Ciega (1-1)

Up next: at Seminole 

Last week: No. 4 

In their last two meetings against Lakewood, the Pirates have been outscored by a combined 75-6. It was supposed to be a more competitive game in last week’s true opener, especially considering all the skill players Boca Ciega had returning. But turnovers were costly. The Pirates will try to bounce back this week against undefeated Seminole. 

6. Clearwater Central Catholic (1-1)

Up next: vs. Sebring

Last week: No. 9

The Marauders defense is made up of four sophomores, four juniors, two seniors and a freshman. Many are new faces. Cohesiveness was going to take time. But CCC needed that unit to take a stand, they delivered. Carson Schiavello, a sophomore who had 14 tackles, made his biggest in the fourth quarter last week against Wiregrass Ranch, resulting in a turnover on downs. That gave the Marauders the momentum they needed as Lenwood Sapp scored on a 3-yard in the final minute for a much-needed win. 

7. East Lake (1-1)

Up next: at Tarpon Springs

Last week: No. 7

The defense was dominant in a 15-0 win over Sunlake. Rylan Bostick had 12 tackles, 1.5 sacks and a fumble recovery and Jonny Emerson had nine tackles and 2.5 sacks to lead the Eagles. The momentum should continue against Tarpon Springs, a rivalry East Lake has owned for the past decade. 

8. Countryside (2-0)

Up next: vs. Palm Harbor University (Thursday)

Last week: No. 8 

The offense found its groove, racking up more than 500 yards in a win over Osceola last week to remain undefeated. Gabe Olds threw for 187 yards, ran for 78 and accounted for four touchdowns (two passing, two running). Zyterius Watts took on the bulk of the work in the ground game, rushing for 155 yards on 20 carries. 

9. Pinellas Park (1-1)

Up next: vs. Leto

Last week: No. 6

After winning wild against Mitchell a year ago, the Patriots were not able to have the same success on the ground in last week’s rematch. Pinellas Park fell behind in the first half and could not catch up in a 42-12 loss. But the Patriots should have no trouble rebounding against winless Leto this week.    

10. Seminole (2-0)

Up next: vs. Boca Ciega

Last week: Unranked

The Warhawks are 2-0 for the first time since 2002 thanks to a stingy defense that has allowed a combined 12 points. Jonathan Brown picked off two passes and had four tackles in last week’s win over Dunedin. 

On the bubble

Largo (0-2), Hollins (0-1) 

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Football: Friday night rewind

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Scoreboard

Thursday (Oct. 14)

Seffner Christian 49, St. Petersburg Catholic 0

Gibbs 38, Tarpon Springs 7

Clearwater 61, Anclote 6

Pinellas Park 49, Hollins 6

Friday (Oct. 15)

Lakewood 56, Hardee 21

Dunedin 32, Gulf 31

Zephyrhills Christian 52, North Florida Educational Institute 12

Boca Ciega 21, Northeast 13

Geneva Classical 50, Hernando Christian 31

Lakeside Christian 64, World of Knowledge 6

Shorecrest 61, Academy at the Lakes 7

Alonso 46, Palm Harbor University 39

Steinbrenner 24, East Lake 14

Indian Rocks Christian 35, Sarasota Out-of-Door 21

Northside Christian 56, Keswick Christian 7

Oasis 21, Bishop McLaughlin 18

Sarasota Cardinal Mooney 27, Cambridge Christian 7

River Ridge 57, Fivay 14

Plant 35, Riverview 16

Tampa Bay Tech 34, Wiregrass Ranch 12

Chamberlain 42, Robinson 14

Berkeley Prep 30, Lakeland Victory Christian 0

Armwood 19, Bloomingdale 8

Sumner 64, Brandon 0

Braden River 32, Clearwater Central Catholic 29

Jesuit 24, Jefferson 0

Seminole 24, St. Petersburg 21

Wharton 42, Strawberry Crest 6

Gaither 37, Sickles 0

Largo 35, Mitchell 28

Tampa Catholic 58, Land O’ Lakes 21

Springstead 48, Central 0

Bradenton Manatee 34, Lennard 26

Durant 29, Plant City 6

Zephyrhills 44, Cypress Creek 3

Hillsborough 78, Blake 0

Belleview 58, Pasco 6

Palmetto 19, East Bay 13

Sunlake 44, Freedom 26

Nature Coast 64, Hudson 57

Wesley Chapel 35, Weeki Wachee 0

Middleton 44, King 7

Bradenton Southeast 39, Spoto 0

Lakeland Kathleen 24, Hernando 0

Prime time performers

LB/TE Justin Anderson, Sr., Hillsborough: Had three tackles for loss, a sack, a forced fumble and a recovered fumble on defense and scored once on offense in a win over Blake.

QB Jake Bechtel, Jr., East Lake: Threw for 243 yards and a touchdown in a loss to Steinbrenner. 

CB Michael Boone, Sr., Tampa Bay Tech: Returned the opening kickoff of the second half 75 yards for a touchdown in a win over Wiregrass Ranch. 

DL Keyon Clark, Sr., Tampa Bay Tech: Recorded two sacks in a win over Wiregrass Ranch. 

QB Anthony Colandrea, Sr., Lakewood: Threw for 430 yards and six touchdowns in a win over Hardee. 

DB Jayden Cornelius, Fr., Durant: Picked off two passes in a win over Plant City. 

RB Christian Cromer, So., Nature Coast: Ran for 379 yards and four touchdowns on 24 carries in a win over Hudson.

QB Ethan Fahey, Sr., Nature Coast: Ran for 200 yards and three touchdowns on 20 carries and threw for 100 and another score in a win over Hudson.

LB Niko Ferrero, So., Mitchell: Recorded seven tackles and had a sack and a fumble recovery in a loss to Largo.

ATH Chris Ferrini, Sr., Mitchell: Ran for 62 yards and two touchdowns on offense and had nine tackles on defense in a loss to Largo.

DL/LB MJ Harrell, Sr., Boca Ciega: Returned an interception for a touchdown in the second half that gave the Pirates the cushion they needed to beat previously undefeated Northeast. 

QB Gavin Henley, Sr., Lennard: Threw for 212 yards and three touchdowns and ran for another 79 and a score in a loss to Bradenton Manatee.

WR/CB Michael Jelks, So., Dunedin: Had four catches for 172 yards and two touchdowns in a win over Gulf. 

ATH Nate Johnson, Jr., Clearwater Central Catholic: Had two long touchdown runs in a loss to Braden River. 

QB Luke Knight, So., Jesuit: Threw for two touchdowns in a win over Jefferson. 

QB Jack Lennon, Sr., Plant: Threw for 146 yards and two touchdowns and ran for another 55 in a win over Riverview.

WR Colin MacLean, Sr., East Lake: Hauled in a 64 yard pass for a touchdown in a loss to Steinbrenner. 

QB Aidan MacLean, Sr., Clearwater: Completed all six of his passes for 156 yards and five touchdowns in a win over Anclote. 

RB Mario Mayo, Jr., Tampa Catholic: Ran for 215 yards and two touchdowns on 16 carries in a win over Land O’ Lakes. 

RB Lance Miller, Sr., Dunedin: Ran for 149 yards on 19 carries in a win over Gulf. 

WR Ha’Keem Monoe, Sr., Lennard: Had five catches for 57 yards and two touchdowns in a loss to Bradenton Manatee.

RB Markese Norfleet, Jr., Northeast: Ran for more than 100 yards and a touchdown in a loss to Boca Ciega. 

QB Rickeem Parks, Sr., Wharton: Ran for two touchdowns and threw for another in a win over Strawberry Crest. 

RB Chris Perkins, Sr., Plant: Ran for 91 yards and three touchdowns on 15 carries in a win over Riverview.

DE/RB Deondre Randall, Sr., Largo: Recorded three sacks, forced two fumbles and recovered one that was returned for a touchdown on defense and scored two rushing touchdowns on offense in a win over Mitchell. 

QB Brady Shaffer, So., Palm Harbor University: Threw for 152 yards and two touchdowns in a loss to Alonso.

QB Parker Stirnkorb, Jr., Dunedin: Threw for 260 yards and three touchdowns in a win over Gulf. 

DB RJ Stroud, Jr., Armwood: Returned an interception for a touchdown that helped clinch a win over Bloomingdale. 

RB Jaylin Thomas, Sr., Zephyrhills: Ran for 145 yards and three touchdowns on 11 carries added another score on a reception, all in the first quarter, of a win over Cypress Creek.

P Griffin Wiltse, Sr., Steinbrenner: Averaged 47 yards on his three punts in a win over East Lake.

RB Luke Yoder, Jr., Palm Harbor University: Ran for 151 yards and two touchdowns on 27 carries in a loss to Alonso.

QB Hunter Young, Sr., Hudson: Accounted for eight touchdowns (five passing, three rushing), as well as a 2-point conversion, in a loss to Nature Coast.

Up next

Thursday (Oct. 21)

Springstead at Lecanto, 7

Friday (Oct. 22)

Lakeside Christian at Foundation Christian, 4

Osceola at St. Petersburg, 7

Keswick Christian at Mount Dora Christian, 7

Clearwater Central Catholic at Kissimmee Gateway, 7

Pinellas Park at Palm Harbor University, 7

Sunlake at Countryside, 7

St. Petersburg Catholic at Bishop McLaughlin, 7

Tarpon Springs at Clearwater, 7

Academy at the Lakes at Ocala St. John Lutheran, 7

Legacy Charter at Indian Rocks Christian, 7

Seffner Christian at St. Joseph Academy, 7

Calvary Chapel Academy at Canterbury, 7

Cambridge Christian at Carrollwood Day, 7

Seminole at Boca Ciega, 7

Hollins at Northeast, 7

Lakeland Christian at Calvary Christian, 7

Winter Haven at Tampa Catholic, 7

Lennard at Jefferson, 7:30

Blake at Jesuit, 7:30

Middleton at Durant, 7:30

Sickles at Largo, 7:30

Hillsborough at King, 7:30

Gulf at Gibbs, 7:30

Dunedin at Anclote, 7:30

Hudson at Wesley Chapel, 7:30

Wiregrass Ranch at Armwood, 7:30

Gaither at Leto, 7:30

Zephyrhills Christian at Bradenton Christian, 7:30

Land O’ Lakes at Pasco, 7:30

Riverview at Newsome, 7:30

Chamberlain at Steinbrenner, 7:30

Gainesville Christian Community at Hernando Christian, 7:30

Tampa Bay Tech at Wharton, 7:30

Plant at Plant City, 7:30

East Bay at Bradenton Manatee, 7:30

Sumner at Braden River, 7:30

Brandon at Spoto, 7:30

Freedom at Fivay, 7:30

Cypress Creek at Weeki Wachee, 7:30

Zephyrhills at Nature Coast, 7:30

Robinson at Alonso, 7:30

Palmetto at Bloomingdale, 7:30

Berkeley Prep at New Orleans Newman, 7

Clearwater Academy at McCallie (Tenn.), 7:30

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Friday night scoreboard

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Final Lakewood 56, Hardee 21

Final Dunedin 32, Gulf 31

Final Zephyrhills Christian 52, North Florida Educational Institute 12

Final Boca Ciega 21, Northeast 13

Final Alonso 46, Palm Harbor University 39

Final Steinbrenner 24, East Lake 14

Final Indian Rocks Christian 35, Sarasota Out-of-Door 21

Final Sarasota Cardinal Mooney 27, Cambridge Christian 7

Final River Ridge 57, Fivay 14

Final Plant 35, Riverview 16

Final Tampa Bay Tech 34, Wiregrass Ranch 12

Final Chamberlain 42, Robinson 14

Final Berkeley Prep 30, Lakeland Victory Christian 0

Final Armwood 19, Bloomingdale 8

Final Sumner 64, Brandon 0

Final Braden River 32, Clearwater Central Catholic 29

Final Jesuit 24, Jefferson 0

Final Seminole 24, St. Petersburg 21

Final Wharton 42, Strawberry Crest 6

Final Gaither 37, Sickles 0

Final Largo 35, Mitchell 28

Final Tampa Catholic 58, Land O’ Lakes 21

Final Bradenton Manatee 34, Lennard 26

Final Durant 29, Plant City 6

Final Zephyrhills 44, Cypress Creek 3

Final Hillsborough 78, Blake 0

Final Belleview 58, Pasco 6

Final Palmetto 19, East Bay 13

Final Sunlake 44, Freedom 26

Final Nature Coast 64, Hudson 57

Final Wesley Chapel 35, Weeki Wachee 0

Final Middleton 44, King 7

Final Bradenton Southeast 39, Spoto 0

Final Lakeland Kathleen 24, Hernando 0

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Friday night football forecast

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Must-see matchups

Northeast (6-0) at Boca Ciega (4-2), 7

A win would all but clinch the Class 6A, District 11 title for the Vikings. That could be tough considering Northeast is dealing with some injuries. 

Putnam’s prediction: Boca Ciega 21-20

Steinbrenner (3-4) at East Lake (2-5), 7

The winner becomes the overwhelming favorite to take the Class 8A, District 11 title. 

Putnam’s prediction: Steinbrenner 17-13

Armwood (4-2) at Bloomingdale (3-3), 7:30

The Hawks won both meetings in 2019. The Bulls won both meetings last season. The stakes are not as high this time around with neither team in the same district but still a riveting rivalry. 

Putnam’s prediction: Armwood 27-21

Nature Coast (4-2) at Hudson (5-1), 7:30

The Sharks already have a loss in Class 5A, District 9 play and cannot afford another if they want to stay within striking distance of the Cobras and Zephyrhills at the top of the standings. 

Putnam’s prediction: Nature Coast 24-21

Largo (2-4) at Mitchell (6-1), 7:30

This is a must-win for the Packers to have any shot at the Class 7A, District 9 title.

Putnam’s prediction: Mitchell 20-14

Tampa Bay Tech (6-0) at Wiregrass Ranch (4-1), 7:30

A Titans win would set up a showdown with Wharton next week to decide the Class 7A, District 10 title. This matchups features two differing styles on offense with Tampa Bay Tech’s ground attack going up against the Bulls’ aerial assault.  

Putnam’s prediction: Tampa Bay Tech 28-21

Plant City (4-2) at Durant (6-1), 7:30

The host Cougars already have a loss in Class 8A, District 10 and cannot afford another one to keep their title hopes alive. 

Putnam’s prediction: Durant 17-16

Tampa Catholic (3-2) at Land O’ Lakes (6-0), 7:30

This is the Gators’ toughest test so far this season, one that could end up derailing their perfect regular season. 

Putnam’s prediction: Tampa Catholic 34-28

East Bay (5-1) at Palmetto (2-3), 7:30

A pivotal Class 7A, District 11 matchup the visiting Indians need to keep their district title hopes alive. 

Putnam’s prediction: Palmetto 14-13 

Braden River (5-0) at Clearwater Central Catholic (4-2), 7:30

The tough schedule continues for the Marauders who face the undefeated the Pirates. 

Putnam’s prediction: Clearwater Central Catholic 21-16

The remaining schedule

Bishop McLaughlin at Oasis, 7

Putnam’s prediction: Bishop McLaughlin 21-19

Cambridge Christian at Sarasota Cardinal Mooney, 7

Putnam’s prediction: Sarasota Cardinal Mooney 38-20

Berkeley Prep at Lakeland Victory Christian, 7

Putnam’s prediction: Berkeley Prep 34-7

Indian Rocks Christian at Sarasota Out-of-Door, 7

Putnam’s prediction: Indian Rocks Christian 21-14

Alonso at Palm Harbor University, 7

Putnam’s prediction: Palm Harbor University 16-14

Keswick Christian at Northside Christian, 7

Putnam’s prediction: Northside Christian 37-31

St. Petersburg at Seminole, 7

Putnam’s prediction: Seminole 28-7

Academy at the Lakes at Shorecrest, 7

Putnam’s prediction: Shorecrest 35-21

Zephyrhills Christian at North Florida Educational Institute, 7

Putnam’s prediction: Zephyrhills Christian 42-21

Hardee at Lakewood, 7

Putnam’s prediction: Lakewood 24-6

Central at Springstead, 7:30

Putnam’s prediction: Springstead 35-0

Bradenton Manatee at Lennard, 7:30

Putnam’s prediction: Lennard 35-21

Wharton at Strawberry Crest, 7:30

Putnam’s prediction: Wharton 35-0

Spoto at Bradenton Southeast, 7:30

Putnam’s prediction: Bradenton Southeast 20-14

Brandon at Sumner, 7:30

Putnam’s prediction: Sumner 41-7

Zephyrhills at Cypress Creek, 7:30

Putnam’s prediction: Zephyrhills 27-16

King at Middleton, 7:30

Putnam’s prediction: King 28-20

Blake at Hillsborough, 7:30

Putnam’s prediction: Hillsborough 34-6

Plant at Riverview, 7:30

Putnam’s prediction: Plant 35-14

Robinson at Chamberlain, 7:30

Putnam’s prediction: Chamberlain 27-14

Gulf, at Dunedin 7

Putnam’s prediction: Dunedin 21-12

Jesuit at Jefferson, 7:30

Putnam’s prediction: Jesuit 31-7

Freedom at Sunlake, 7:30

Putnam’s prediction: Sunlake 21-6

Sickles at Gaither, 7:30

Putnam’s prediction: Gaither 28-27

Pasco at Belleview, 7:30

Putnam’s prediction: Belleview 35-0

Fivay at River Ridge, 7:30

Putnam’s prediction: River Ridge 41-14

Wesley Chapel at Weeki Wachee, 7:30

Putnam’s prediction: Wesley Chapel 28-0

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