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PTP 15: Football rankings for Hillsborough County



1. Gaither (2-0)

Up next: at Fivay

Last spot: No. 1 

After beating Tampa Bay Tech by 20 points two weeks, the Cowboys started to get some national exposure. They are ranked No. 35 in the nation and No. 6 overall in the state by MaxPreps. Against the Titans, Kiael Kelly accounted for three touchdowns (two passing, one rushing) and Ricky Parks added two scores on the ground. The defense applied the pressure with five sacks, including two by Mario Eugenio and Willie Jackson Jr. Gaither, which was idle this past week, has a great shot to be undefeated when it faces Armwood on Oct. 23. After all, the Cowboys’ next four opponents are a combined 2-4. 

2. Bloomingdale (2-0)

Up next: at Plant City

Last spot: No. 2 

The Bulls did not just knock off two of the area’s top teams, Armwood and Tampa Bay Tech, to start the season. They did it with a flair for the dramatic. Against the Hawks in the season opener, Bloomingdale’s Philip Riley returned a kickoff in the fourth quarter to cap off the rally in a 15-14 victory. That was nothing compared to this past week. Down 22-0 in the third quarter to TBT, the Bulls mounted a furious comeback that ended when Tre Simmons lofted a 33-yard touchdown to Agiye Hall on the final play of regulation for a wild 25-22 win. Hall, an Alabama commit, got into position before outleaping three other defenders for the game-ending catch. 

3. Armwood (2-1)

Up next: at Wiregrass Ranch 

Last spot: No. 3 

Week by week, the Hawks keep getting better. After a frustrating one-point loss to Bloomingdale in the season opener, Armwood has won its past two by a combined 101-17. The latest rout (56-10) came against Hillsborough. Cam’Ron Ransom threw for two touchdowns and ran for two more. The special teams and defense also contributed with scores. 

4. Jesuit (4-0)

Up next: vs. Chamberlain

Last spot: No. 4 

Sure, the Tigers won by double digits to remain undefeated. But the 25-14 victory over Berkeley Prep was a struggle. Jesuit had to overcome four turnovers and rally from a 14-0 second quarter deficit. Joe Pesansky showed his resolve, throwing for 205 yards. So did the running game, which grinded out 183 yards, including 112 and two scores from Joquez Smith. 

5. Tampa Catholic (3-0)

Up next: vs. Berkeley Prep 

Last spot: No. 7

The Crusaders have been dominant, winning their first three games by a combined 113-14. Last week, the offense showed some balance in a 35-7 victory over Zephyrhills. Xavione Washington threw for 201 and three touchdowns, all to AJ Williams. Tampa Catholic also ran for 341. Raphael Ekechi had the biggest night with 160 yards and a touchdown on the ground.  

6. Plant City (1-1)

Up next: vs. Bloomingdale

Last spot: No. 6

The Raiders were idle last week, giving them more time to prepare for one of their toughest tests of the season. Plant City’s offense, which is averaging 35 points per game, will go up against a Bloomingdale secondary that ranks among the area’s best. The game also is matchup between two of the best receivers in the country, the Raiders Mario Williams (an Oklahoma commit) and the Bulls’ Agiye Hall (Alabama). 

7. Tampa Bay Tech 1-2)

Up next: at East Bay: 

Last spot: No. 5

For just more than a half, everything went right for the Titans against Bloomingdale. David Wright threw a pair of touchdown passes. Rod Gainey returned a kickoff for a score. The defense was stifling. The result was a 22-point lead. Then things began to unravel. A once insurmountable lead started to slip away until eventually it was gone after a desperation heave on the final play resulted in Bulls touchdown. Though Tampa Bay Tech lost 25-22, it can take consolation in knowing it stayed with one of the area’s best teams until the end. 

8. Berkeley Prep (0-1)

Up next: at Tampa Catholic

Last spot: No. 8 

It would be tough to drop the Buccaneers. They played their first game this past week and gave unbeaten Jesuit everything it could handle before wearing down in the second half of a 25-14 loss. Gavin Rupp threw for two touchdown passes and an opportunistic defense picked off four passes. The schedule does not get any easier with Berkeley Prep with another undefeated rival, Tampa Catholic, on Friday. 

9. Newsome (1-0)

Up next: vs. Riverview

Last spot: No. 9

COVID-related issues forced the Wolves to remain idle for the last two weeks. They return this week to face Riverview. The running game, which averaged 5.2 yards per carry in a season-opening win over Durant, could have continued success against a Riverview team that gave up more than 500 yards on offense to Plant City in the opener.

10. Chamberlain (1-1)

Up next: at Jesuit

Last spot: No. 10

The Chiefs, who were idle last week, return to face one of their biggest nemesis. Last year, Chamberlain lost twice by double digits to Jesuit, including the Class 5A region final. To reverse the outcome, the Chiefs likely rely on the running of Antony Guzman, who more than 100 yards and three touchdowns in a win over Bradenton Bayshore two weeks ago.  

11. Steinbrenner (1-1)

Up next: vs. Plant (Oct. 9)

Last spot: No. 11

The Warriors’ game against Newsome was cancelled two weeks ago and they are on bye weeks, giving them plenty of time to prepare for a pivotal showdown with Plant. Last season’s win in the series was a historic one for Steinbrenner. Not only was it the first the program had ever beaten the Panthers but it also marked the first time Plant had lost a district game in 14 years.  

12. Jefferson (2-0)

Up next: vs. Hillsborough

Last spot: No. 13 

The defense reached the end zone almost as many times as the offense in last week’s 53-0 win over Spoto. Eric Felder returned interceptions for touchdowns and CJ Lewis added two more defensive scores. Jefferson is adept at keeping opponents out of the end zone, too. The Dragons have shut out their first two opponents, though that streak will be tough to maintain this week against Hillsborough. 

13. Hillsborough (0-1)

Up next: at Jefferson

Last spot: No. 12

After spending two weeks in quarantine, the Terriers opened their season by playing defending state semifinalist Armwood. The rust showed in a 56-10 loss. Hillsborough will try to regroup against Jefferson, a team the Terriers have beaten in each of the past seasons. 

14. Robinson (3-0)

Up next: vs. Sarasota Booker

Last spot: No. 14

The Knights have already equaled last year’s win total. Myron Thomas threw for three touchdowns and Arkese Parks had 118 yards of offense (62 rushing, 56 receiving) and added three more scores in a win over Freedom that helped Robinson stay perfect on the season. 

15. Lennard (2-0)

Up next: at Sarasota Riverview

Last spot: No. 15

Gavin Henley threw for 171 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Longhorns in a 21-3 win over Alonso last week. Lennard’s perfect start will be tested this week with a matchup against Sarasota Riverview. 

On the bubble

Carrollwood Day (2-1), Wharton (2-0), Sumner (3-0), Durant (2-1), Cambridge Christian (3-0). 

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Flag Football

Sydney Stout reaches 100 touchdown passes — this season



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



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



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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