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Friday night football forecast

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Games to watch 

Wiregrass Ranch (2-2) at Mitchell (3-0), 7:30

Outlook: This is the most anticipated matchup of the year in Pasco County. The biggest dual is between the quarterbacks. Mitchell’s Ezra Brennan, the SAC’s Western Division player of the year last season, is off to another strong start. Wiregrass Ranch’s Rocco Becht already has several Div. I offers, including Iowa State, Toledo and Wake Forest. Two weeks ago, Becht tied a county record with six touchdown passes in a game. 

Pinkos’ pick: Mitchell by 10

Putnam’s prediction: Mitchell 21-20

Hernando (2-0) at Nature Coast (2-0), 7:30

Outlook: This one likely is for Hernando County supremacy. Both have been dominant to start the season. The Leopards have outscored their first two opponents by a combined 68-0. The Sharks won their first two by a combined 110-7. The key will be stopping the playmakers on either side. Hernando’s Contae Cason has rushed for 333 yards and has seven touchdowns. Nature Coast quarterback Ethan Fahey has completed all 10 of his passes for 192 yards and six touchdowns. 

Pinkos’ pick: Nature Coast by 9

Putnam’s prediction: Hernando 20-13

Clearwater Central Catholic (2-2)  at Jesuit (5-0), 7:30

Outlook: Throw out the records. After all, the Marauders are the one area team that has given the Tigers fits in recent years. CCC had won three straight in the series until Jesuit snapped that streak with a victory over its rival last season.  

Pinkos’ pick: Jesuit by 17

Putnam’s prediction: Jesuit 24-17

Plant City (1-2) at Tampa Bay Tech (2-2), 7:30

Outlook: Both teams need a win. The Raiders have lost two straight. The Titans snapped a two-game losing streak with last week’s win over East Bay. There should be plenty of points produced with a pair of high-octane offenses. 

Pinkos’ pick: Tampa Bay Tech by 7

Putnam’s prediction: Tampa Bay Tech 31-23

The remaining schedule

Lakeside Christian at Master’s Academy, 6 p.m.

Pinkos’ pick: N/A

Putnam’s prediction: Lakeside Christian 28-14 

Lakewood Ranch at Gulf, 6:30

Pinkos’ pick: Lakewood Ranch by 54

Putnam’s prediction: Lakewood Ranch 49-0

Foundation Academy at Northside Christian, 7

Pinkos’ pick: Foundation Academy by 31

Putnam’s prediction: Foundation Academy 35-21

Pinellas Park at Clearwater, 7

Pinkos’ pick: Clearwater by 10

Putnam’s prediction: Clearwater 21-19

St. Petersburg Catholic at Bradenton St. Stephen’s, 7

Pinkos’ pick: St. Stephen’s by 6 

Putnam’s prediction: St. Petersburg Catholic 28-26

River Ridge at East Lake, 7

Pinkos’ pick: N/A

Putnam’s prediction: River Ridge 14-13 

Indian Rocks Christian at Keswick Christian, 7

Pinkos’ pick: Keswick Christian by 4

Putnam’s prediction: Keswick Christian 24-20

Academy at the Lakes at Gainesville Oak Hall, 7

Pinkos’ pick: Oak Hall by 6

Putnam’s prediction: Academy at the Lakes 28-21

South Lake at Anclote, 7

Pinkos’ pick: South Lake by 18

Putnam’s prediction: South Lake 30-14

St. Petersburg at Tarpon Springs, 7

Pinkos’ pick: St. Petersburg by 14

Putnam’s prediction: St. Petersburg 20-6

Merritt Island Christian at Shorecrest, 7

Pinkos’ pick: Shorecrest by 1

Putnam’s prediction: Shorecrest 21-20

Dade Christian at Calvary Christian, 7

Pinkos’ pick: Calvary Christian by 16

Putnam’s prediction: Calvary Christian 31-17

Lakeland Victory Christian at Berkeley Prep, 7

Pinkos’ pick: Berkeley Prep by 4

Putnam’s prediction: Berkeley Prep 14-10

Lakeland Christian at Carrollwood Day, 7

Pinkos’ pick: Lakeland Christian by 21

Putnam’s prediction: Lakeland Christian 28-24

Seffner Christian at Cambridge Christian, 7

Pinkos’ pick: Cambridge Christian by 3 

Putnam’s prediction: Cambridge Christian 20-16

Steinbrenner at Gainesville Buchholz, 7

Pinkos’ pick: N/A

Putnam’s prediction: Steinbrenner 35-28

Dunedin at Northeast, 7

Pinkos’ pick: Northeast by 19

Putnam’s prediction: Northeast 35-21

Bishop McLaughlin at Lakeland Santa Fe, 7

Pinkos’ pick: Bishop McLaughlin by 15

Putnam’s prediction: Bishop McLaughlin 28-14

Newsome at Lennard, 7:30

Pinkos’ pick: Newsome by 10

Putnam’s prediction: Newsome 14-13

Fivay at Wesley Chapel, 7:30

Pinkos’ pick: Fivay by 6

Putnam’s prediction: Wesley Chapel 21-14

Riverview at East Bay, 7:30

Pinkos’ pick: East Bay by 6 

Putnam’s prediction: East Bay 21-20

Zephyrhills at Cypress Creek, 7:30

Pinkos’ pick: N/A

Putnam’s prediction: Zephyrhills 26-21 

Chamberlain at Gaither, 7:30

Pinkos’ pick: Gaither by 21

Putnam’s prediction: Gaither 30-6

Blake at Spoto, 7:30

Pinkos’ pick: Blake by 10

Putnam’s prediction: Blake 20-14

Freedom at Alonso, 7:30

Pinkos’ pick: Alonso by 27

Putnam’s prediction: Alonso 28-6

Pasco at Land O’ Lakes, 7:30

Pinkos’ pick: Pasco by 18

Putnam’s prediction: Pasco 27-14

Durant at Bloomingdale, 7:30

Pinkos’ pick: Bloomingdale by 31

Putnam’s prediction: Bloomingdale 35-7

Sumner at Leto, 7:30

Pinkos’ pick: Sumner by 31

Putnam’s prediction: Sumner 28-6

Zephyrhills Christian at Hudson, 7:30

Pinkos’ pick: Zephyrhills Christian by 23

Putnam’s prediction: Zephyrhills Christian 31-16

Weeki Wachee at Springstead, 7:30

Pinkos’ pick: Springstead by 21

Putnam’s prediction: Springstead 16-14

Citrus at Central, 7:30

Pinkos’ pick: Citrus by 24

Putnam’s prediction: Citrus 28-7

Brandon at Hillsborough, 7:30

Pinkos’ pick: Hillsborough by 52

Putnam’s prediction: Hillsborough 56-7

Jefferson at King, 7:30

Pinkos’ pick: Jefferson by 16

Putnam’s prediction: Jefferson 30-14

Wharton at Middleton, 7:30

Pinkos’ pick: Middleton by 6

Putnam’s prediction: Wharton 14-7

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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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