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Football: Region semifinal preview (Classes 8A-5A)

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All games start at 7:30

Class 8A

Steinbrenner (4-2) at Newsome (6-2)

Stat leaders: Steinbrenner: RB Deon Silas, Sr. (160.0 rushing, 62.8 receiving yards per game); QB Bryce Lowe, Jr. (160.2 passing yards per game); LB Austin Brannen, Sr., (11.7 tackles per game); DB Matt Durrance, Sr. (0.5 interceptions per game). Newsome: RB Jason Albritton, Jr. (73.4 rushing yards per game); ATH Kamarii Austin, Sr., (81.6 passing yards per game); LB Caden Huffman (8.8 tackles per game); DB Kevin Osborne, Sr. (0.3 interceptions per game) 

Outlook: This is a rematch from last year’s region quarterfinals that Steinbrenner won 49-20 en route to reaching the state semifinals for the first time. Both teams can pile on the points but so in differing styles. The Warriors use a more balanced approach, led by versatile running back Deon Silas, an Iowa State commit who gained more than 300 yards rushing and scored five touchdowns on the ground in last week’s win over Ridge Community. The Wolves are all about the running game, relying on Jason Albritton (587 yards, 10 touchdowns this season) and J.C. Roque (528 yards, five touchdowns) to move the chains. 

Pinkos’ pick: Newsome by 4

Putnam’s prediction: Steinbrenner 28-20

Class 7A

Armwood (5-3) at Bloomingdale (10-0)

Stat leaders: Armwood: QB Cam’Ron Ransom, Sr. (198.8 passing yards per game); ATH Charles Montgomery, Sr. (73.8 receiving yards per game); WR Jamal Jones, Sr. (57.5 receiving yards per game); DL Desmond Watson, Sr. (4.8 tackles per game); DL Chris Davis, Sr. (1.8 sacks per game); DB Kye Stokes, Jr. (0.5 interceptions per game); DB Demarion Hopkins, Sr. (0.5 interceptions per game). Bloomingdale: QB Tre Simmons (197.3 passing yards per game); WR Agiye Hall, Sr. (93.8 receiving yards per game); LB Wa’myron Howard, Sr. (6.7 tackles per game); DL Malik Simmons, Sr., (0.9 sacks per game); DB Britton Pascoe, Jr. (0.7 interceptions per game).   

Outlook: One of the most anticipated matchups in the region semifinals. The rivals square off again in a rematch from the season opener the Bulls won 15-14. That helped Bloomingdale, ranked 11th overall in the state and 42nd nationally by MaxPreps, go undefeated in the regular season for the first time. Though the Hawks enter with three losses, they have all been by a combined nine points. Special teams were costly in the first meeting with the Bulls. Armwood had a snap sail over the punter’s head that was recovered for a touchdown and allowed a kickoff return for the other score. 

Pinkos’ pick: Bloomingdale by 7

Putnam’s prediction: Bloomingdale 14-13

Lakeland (6-3) at Tampa Bay Tech (7-3)

Stat leaders: Lakeland: QB Mason Martin, Jr. (104.3 passing yards per game); RB Reggie Kellum, Sr. (100.1 rushing yards per game). Tampa Bay Tech: QB David Wright, Sr. (243.2 passing yards per game); RB Rod Gainey, Fr. (64.5 rushing yards per game); WR Jamari Gassett, Sr. (90.1 yards receiving per game); DL/LB Keyon Clark, Jr. (5.5 tackles per game, 1.0 sacks per game); DB Steven Parker, Sr. (0.4 interceptions per game). 

Outlook: This is the game the Titans have been waiting for all season. Last year, Tampa Bay Tech nearly pulled off the upset of the Dreadnaughts, falling 37-30 in the region semifinals. This sime, the Titans get the rematch at home. David Wright threw for 200 yards and two touchdowns in last year’s meeting. He will need another strong performance for Tampa Bay Tech to have a chance to prevail. 

Pinkos’ pick: Tampa Bay Tech by 10

Putnam’s prediction: Tampa Bay Tech 35-34

Mitchell (10-0) at Wekiva (6-3)

Stat leaders: QB Ezra Brennan, Sr., (185.2 passing yards per game); RB Andy Treto, Jr. (82.9 rushing yards per game); WR Jonathan Fairbank, Sr. (55.2 receiving yards per game); WR Elijah Hadley, Sr. (55.4 receiving yards per game); WR Maguire Anderson, Sr. (33.4 receiving yards per game); DB Cole Castro, Sr. (6.4 tackles, 0.5 interceptions per game). Wekiva: QB Junior Muratovic (177.0 passing yards per game); RB Chad Davis, Jr., Sr. (55.8 rushing yards per game); WR Asaad Waseem, So. (60.2 receiving yards per game); LB Johnny Chaney, Sr., (6.4 tackles per game, 0.8 sacks per game); DB Tamareon Foster, Jr. (0.8 interceptions per game).  

Outlook: The best season in Mustangs history continues. They have already won two playoff games for the first time (the first one was a play-in game). Now Mitchell will try to take the next step by making its first region final. To get there, the Mustangs will have to get past its biggest challenge yet. Wekiva’s three losses have all come against quality opponents, including a one-point overtime defeat against undefeated Orlando Jones. The key will be how well Mitchell handles adversity. The Mustangs have won every game this year by 28 or more points.  

Pinkos’ pick: Wekiva by 10

Putnam’s prediction: Mitchell 28-24

Class 6A

Lake Minneola (8-1) at Largo (5-4)

Stat leaders: Largo: RB TJ Holmes, Sr. (134.4 rushing yards per game); QB Garrett Gurney, So. (72.6 passing yards per game); S Zayvion McCluster, So., (8.4 tackles per game); LB Adarius Hayes, Fr. (8.5 tackles per game); DL Deondre Randall, Jr. (1.0 sacks per game); DB Burhaan Hamm, Jr. (0.5 interceptions per game). Lake Minneola: QB Robbie Sanders, Jr. (71.8 passing yards per game); RB Sidarius Walker, Sr. (128.4 rushing yards per game); DB Jamel Butts, Sr. (11.0 tackles per game); DL Brendan Flakes, Sr. (1.0 sacks per game). 

Outlook: A rematch from last year’s region semifinals the Hawks won 33-13. The Packers have not played in two weeks. They advanced in last week’s region quarterfinals after Deltona was forced to forfeit after having multiple players in quarantine due to contact tracing. Largo cannot afford to be rusty, especially on defense. Lake Minneola is averaging 56 points in each of its last four games, all wins. 

Pinkos’ pick: Lake Minneola by 21

Putnam’s prediction: Lake Minneola 28-16

Gaither (10-0) at Countryside (8-3)

Stat leaders: Gaither: QB Kiael Kelly, Sr. (155.4 passing yards per game); RB Ricky Parks, Sr. (69.5 rushing yards per game); WR Drelin Pittman, Jr. (56.9 receiving yards per game); LB Nick Bartalo, Sr. (8.0 tackles per game); LB Hayden Reed, Sr. (6.4 tackles per game); DL Mario Eugenio, Sr. (2.0 sacks per game); DB Jordan Young, Sr. (0.3 interceptions per game); DB Jordan Oladokun, Sr. (0.3 interceptions per game). Countryside: QB Gabe Olds, Sr. (95.0 passing yards per game); RB Zyterius Watts, Jr. (59.7 rushing yards per game); LB Matt Sattinger, Sr. (10.7 tackles per game); DL Carson Burbee, Jr. (0.5 sacks per game). 

Outlook: The Cowboys, ranked 18th overall in the state, are in the region semifinals for the second straight season. They have been dominant against Pinellas County foes in the playoffs, beating Seminole and Clearwater by a combined 76-7 in the first two rounds. The Cougars, meanwhile, are in the region semifinals for the first time since 2010. To pull off the upset, Countryside will have to rely on its running game for some clock-eating drives that produce scores. That will be a tough task against a Gaither defense that has allowed just 45 points all season. 

Pinkos’ pick: Gaither by 28

Putnam’s prediction: Gaither 35-14

Palmetto (7-3) at Hillsborough (8-1) 

Stat leaders: Palmetto: QB Josh Siplin, Sr. (128.1 passing yards per game); RB Sagel Hickson, Sr. (73.9 rushing yards per game); LB Rubin Stamp, Sr. (10.6 tackles per game); DL Jordan Renaud, Sr. (0.6 sacks per game). Hillsborough: QB Caleb Pierce, Jr. (193.7 passing yards per game); RB Jordaan Bailey, Jr. (57.3 rushing yards per game); WR Kareem Chambers, Sr. (58.0 receiving yards per game); LB Joey Sipp Jr. (11.3 tackles per game); LB KJ Harris, Sr. (0.9 sacks per game).  

Outlook: The Terriers, who have won eight straight since dropping the season opener to Armwood, are in the region semifinals for the first time since 2017. Now, Hillsborough is trying to take the next step by reaching the region finals for the first time since 2012. To do that, the Terriers will continue to rely on their balanced offensive attack, led by quarterback Caleb Pierce and running backs Jordaan Bailey and Joey Sipp Jr. The Tigers, which made the state semifinals last season, are in the region semifinals for the third straight season. 

Pinkos’ pick: Palmetto by 6

Putnam’s prediction: Hillsborough 21-19

Class 5A

Zephyrhills (8-2) at Orlando Jones (8-0)

Stat leaders: Zephyrhills: QB Jaxson Rivera, Jr., (48.0 passing yards per game); RB Zyre Roundtree, Sr. (95.7 rushing yards per game); LB Theotis Smith, Jr. (8.4 tackles per game); DL Maguire Neal, Jr. (1.0 sacks per game); DB Tre Gallimore, Sr. (0.3 interceptions per game). Orlando Jones: QB Tysan Robbins, Sr. (156.0 passing yards per game); RB Daquan Harris, Jr. (102.0 rushing yards per game); LB Daniel Mosley, Jr. (6.2 tackles per game); LB Jonathan Aleem Jr., Sr. (0.7 sacks per game). 

Outlook: The Bulldogs, who made the region semifinals for the third time in the past four seasons, were supposed to host this game. But Pasco County implemented new COVID-19 safety guidelines that restricted fans and media members from attending games. To accommodate spectators from both teams, the Florida High School Athletic Association decided to move the game to Orlando Jones. To extend its eight game win streak, Zephyrhills will have to continue to rely on a strong running game, led by Zyre Roundtree and Tre Gallimore. The Fightin’ Tigers, who are ranked 44th in the nation and fifth overall in the state by MaxPreps, played in last year’s state final and are in the region semifinals for the third straight season.  

Pinkos’ pick: Orlando Jones by 31

Putnam’s prediction: Orlando Jones 34-21

Orlando Bishop Moore (6-2) at Jesuit (11-0)

Stat leaders: Orlando Bishop Moore: QB Luke Hedrick, Sr. (236.6 passing yards per game); RB Daniel Flatch, Sr. (61.8 yards per game); WR Marc Morrison, Sr. (85.1 receiving yards per game); LB Sonny Rao, Sr. (7.8 tackles per game); DL/LB Karlis Bailey-Vice, Sr. (1.0 sacks per game); Jesuit: QB Joe Pesansky (204.4 passing yards per game); RB Joquez Smith, So. (80.4 rushing yards per game); WR Junior Vaneross, Jr. (60.6 receiving yards per game); WR Jaydn Girard, So. (46.5 receiving yards per game); LB AJ Cottrill, Jr. (13.1 tackles per game); DB Tyler Corish, Sr. (0.5 sacks per game). 

Outlook: This is familiar territory for the Tigers, who are making their eighth straight region semifinal appearance. Jesuit has been to go on cruise control, winning nine games this season by double digits. In the first two rounds of the playoffs, the Tigers have outscored River Ridge and Chamberlain by a combined 85-14. It won’t be as easy against the Hornets, whose two losses this season were by a combined seven points. 

Pinkos’ pick: Jesuit by 14

Putnam’s prediction: Jesuit 27-14

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Football: Friday night scoreboard

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Final Tampa Bay Tech 21, Wharton 12

Final St. Petersburg Catholic 47, Bishop McLaughlin 15

Final Gibbs 50, Gulf 21

Final Countryside 28, Sunlake 7\

Final Berkeley Prep 49, New Orleans Newman 24

Final Zephyrhills Christian 30, Bradenton Christian 7

Final Boca Ciega 28, Seminole 21

Final Lakeland Christian 38, Calvary Christian 13

Final Clearwater 48, Tarpon Springs 7

Final Clearwater Central Catholic 56, Kissimmee Gateway 0

Final Northeast 21, Hollins 20

Final Sumner 14, Braden River 10

Final Legacy Charter 21, Indian Rocks Christian 14

Final Mount Dora Christian 48, Keswick Christian 0

Final Seffner Christian 62, St. Joseph Academy 16

Final Zephyrhills 35, Nature Coast 0

Final Largo 25, Sickles 7

Final Osceola 48, St. Petersburg 9

Final Steinbrenner 35, Chamberlain 21

Final Carrollwood Day 42, Cambridge Christian 7

Final Tampa Catholic 38, Winter Haven 0

Final Land O’ Lakes 36, Pasco 0

Final Jesuit 44, Blake 0

Final Armwood 41, Wiregrass Ranch 11

Final Palmetto 23, Bloomingdale 3

4th Q Alonso 52, Robinson 17

Final Plant City 31, Plant 24

Final Wesley Chapel 44, Hudson 6

Final Newsome 55, Riverview 7

Final Pinellas Park 46, Palm Harbor University 0

Final Fivay 27, Freedom 25

Final Bradenton Manatee 29, East Bay 13

Final Dunedin 48, Anclote 22

Final Spoto 46, Brandon 0

Final Durant 49, Middleton 6

Final Cypress Creek 43, Weeki Wachee 0

Final Lennard 33, Jefferson 31

Final Gaither 48, Leto 7

Final McCallie (Tenn.) 47, Clearwater Academy 14

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Football: FACA District 14 team announced

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Here are the selections for the Florida Athletic Coaches Association District 14 team, which includes all Pinellas County schools. The picks were made by coaches who belong to the FACA.

Overall Coach of the year: Shawn Davis, Northeast

Overall Player of the year: D’Angelo Hutchinson, Northeast

Players of the year (by classification)

Class 8A: Luke Yoder, Palm Harbor University

Class 7A: Tre’son Everett, Largo

Class 6A: D’Angelo Hutchinson, Northeast

Class 5A: CJ Lee, Clearwater

Class 4A: Terrell Crosby, Lakewood

Class 3A: Preston Cushman, Calvary Christian

Class 2A: Anthony Weaver, Keswick Christian

IND: Cortland Mitchell, Osceola

Coaches of the year (by classification)

Class 7A: Marcus Paschal, Largo

Class 6A: Shawn Davis, Northeast

Class 5A: Thor Jozwiak, Clearwater

Class 4A: Cory Moore, Lakewood

Class 3A: Chris Harvey, Clearwater Central Catholic

Class 2A: Phil Hayford, Keswick Christian

IND: Cody Montgomery, Osceola

Teams

Offense

QB Anthony Colandrea, Jr., Lakewood

QB Aidan MacLean, Sr., Clearwater

RB Lenwood Sapp Jr., Jr., Clearwater Central Catholic

RB Luke Yoder, Jr., Palm Harbor University

RB Terrion Williams, Sr., Pinellas Park

RB Jaden Griffin, Sr., Countryside

WR Amari Niblack, Sr., Lakewood

WR Nate Johnson, Jr., Clearwater Central Catholic

WR Eric Jackson, Sr., Pinellas Park

TE Wyatt Stiehl, Sr., East Lake

C Tyrek Tripp, Jr., Clearwater

C Jacob Johanning, Sr., Pinellas Park

OL Preston Cushman, Sr., Calvary Christian

OL Connor Homa, Sr., Palm Harbor University

OL Aaron Sanez, Sr., Clearwater

OL Franklin Miller, Sr., Northeast

K Robert Gunn III, Sr., Pinellas Park

UTIL CJ Lee, Sr., Clearwater

Defense

DL Jack Hostetler, Sr., East Lake

DL Maikeli Tuinakauvadra, Sr., Osceola

DL Jaylan Anderson, Sr., Northeast

DL Deondre Randall, Sr., Largo

LB Garrick Ponder, Sr., Pinellas Park

LB Melvin Jordan, Sr., Clearwater Central Catholic

LB Adarius Hayes, So., Largo

LB Anthony Weaver, Sr., Keswick Christian

CB Terrell Crosby, Sr., Lakewood

CB London Hall, Sr., Clearwater Central Catholic

SS Jaeden Atkins, Sr., Calvary Christian

FS D’Angelo Hutchinson, Sr., Northeast

P Logan Gregory, Sr., Countryside

UTIL Jordan Jiminez, Sr., Pinellas Park

UTIL Sammy Miller Jr., Jr., Gibbs

LS Mac Wiand, Sr., St. Petersburg Catholic

LS Liam Holden, Jr., St. Petersburg

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FNF Campus Tour Preview: Pinellas Park at PHU

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Pinellas Park (6-1) at Palm Harbor University (3-4), 7

Three things to know

Pound the rock

Both teams have strong rushing attacks. Palm Harbor University’s ground game is led by Luke Yoder, whose father is former Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Todd Yoder. The younger Yoder currently leads the Tampa Bay area and ranks fourth overall in the state with 1,271 yards so far this season. Pinellas Park is more diversified in its approach. Isaiah Hampton (780 yards) and Terrion Williams (652 yards) are the Patriots’ top two leading rushers. 

Trap game

Pinellas Park is tied with Northeast for second place in Class 6A, District 11 and needs a win against Boca Ciega on Oct. 29 to force a three-way tie at the top of the standings. Before the Patriots can worry about playoff implications, they have to focus on Palm Harbor University. After starting 1-3, the Hurricanes have lost three straight and dropped out of contention for the 8A, District 11 title. That relegated Palm Harbor University to playing the role of spoiler the remainder of the season. 

Check out the FNF Campus Tour

The Friday Night Football Campus Tour, presented by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, is a free, interactive event that includes games and prizes for all fans, including the opportunity to get Tampa Bay Buccaneers swag. A 15-foot-tall replica of the NFL’s Super Bowl trophy is on display at each stop.. Buccaneers cheerleaders and Captain Fear, the Bucs’ mascot, also will be in attendance.   

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