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The Hernando County football players of the week

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LB Sam Sternberger, Sr., Hernando

Sam Sternberger, one of the best linebackers in Hernando County — and the state — is a tackling machine. 

Since becoming a starter two years ago, Sternberger has averaged more than 80 tackles per season. And he is a dependable target as a tight end, too. 

Two weeks ago, Sternberger finished with 12 tackles on defense and had two receptions for 35 yards on offense in a loss to Lakeland Kathleen.

Fans were impressed. Sternberger had 49 percent of the votes (1,789) in the Hernando County football player of the week poll to finish in a tie with Nature Coast’s Ethan Fahey. 

QB Ethan Fahey, Sr., Hernando

Last season, Ethan Fahey earned the starting job at quarterback because of his arm. After all, he threw for 1,140 yards and 15 touchdowns as a junior. 

Because of injuries to receivers, Fahey has not been able to duplicate those numbers this season. 

Still, he has been efficiently moving the chains by using his feet. 

The dual threat has thrown — and rushed — for more than 500 yards this season. 

Two weeks ago, he ran for 200 yards and three touchdowns on 20 carries and threw for 100 more and another score in a win over Hudson. 

Fans took notice. Fahey received 49 percent of the votes (1,765) in the Hernando County football player of the week poll to finish in a tie with Hernando’s Sam Sternberger. 

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Football: Friday night scoreboard

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Region finals

Class 7A

Final Tampa Bay Tech 42, Wharton 6

Class 6A

Final Jesuit 42, Hillsborough 0

Class 5A

Final Sebring 13, Clearwater 12

Class 4A

Final Lakewood 21, Clewiston 7

Class 3A

Final Berkeley Prep 36, Clearwater Central Catholic 22

Class 2A

Final Orlando Christian Prep 48, Zephyrhills Christian 12

Final Naples First Baptist 51, Northside Christian 28

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Friday football forecast — Nov. 26

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Region finals

Class 7A

Wharton (9-2) at Tampa Bay Tech (12-0), 7:30

For preview of the game click here

Fans’ pick: Tampa Bay Tech (69 percent/49 votes)

Putnam’s prediction: Tampa Bay Tech 21-20

Class 6A

Hillsborough (10-2) at Jesuit (12-0), 7:30

For preview of the game click here.

Fans’ pick: Jesuit (73 percent/52 votes)

Putnam’s prediction: Jesuit 21-7

Class 5A

Sebring (8-3) at Clearwater (11-1), 7:30

For preview of the game click here.

Fans’ pick: Clearwater (76 percent/54 votes)

Putnam’s prediction: Clearwater 28-21

Class 4A

Clewiston (8-2) at Lakewood (10-2), 7:30

For preview of the game click here.

Fans’ pick: Lakewood (89 percent/63 votes)

Putnam’s prediction: Lakewood 22-17

Class 3A

Clearwater Central Catholic (8-3) at Berkeley Prep (10-0), 7:30

For preview of the game click here.

Fans’ pick: Berkeley Prep (75 percent/53 votes)

Putnam’s prediction: Berkeley Prep 28-24

Class 2A

Zephyrhills Christian (9-2) at Orlando Christian Prep (9-1), 7:30

For preview of the game click here.

Fans’ pick: Zephyrhills Christian (58 percent/41 votes)

Putnam’s prediction: Zephyrhills Christian 21-19

Northside Christian (7-2) at Naples First Baptist (9-1), 7:30

For preview of the game click here.

Fans’ pick: Northside Christian (66 percent/47 votes)

Putnam’s prediction: Naples First Baptist 35-21

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Football: Wharton at Tampa Bay Tech preview

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7A region final

Wharton (9-2) at Tampa Bay Tech (12-0), 7:30

This is a rematch from a regular season game the Titans won 21-12. That win not only clinched the district title for Tampa Bay Tech but also helped the program go undefeated in the regular season for the first time. The Titans schedule included nine games against teams that made the playoffs. Playing — and beating — such tough competition is the reason why Tampa Bay Tech earned the top overall seed in 7A based on RPI rankings.  The offense has displayed some nice balance with more than 2,000 yards rushing and passing this season. Quarterback Xavione Washington, a transfer from Tampa Catholic, took over as the starter and had played well down the stretch, throwing for 15 touchdowns and just two interceptions the last seven games. Defensively, the Titans are led up front with a furious pass rush that has recorded 38 sacks this season. The Wildcats are road warriors. They have won all road the past two seasons under coach Mike Williams, including two straight in the playoffs so far to reach the region final. Wharton’s strength is its defense, which has allowed just 93 points all season and has posted four shutouts. Last week, the Wildcats stymied Lehigh’s five-star running back Richard Young, who held to his lowest rushing total of the season. Wharton’s defensive playmakers also have a knack for finding the end zone once they get their hands on the ball. The Wildcats have scored a whopping 12 defensive touchdowns this season (five fumble returns, seven interception returns). 

Stat leaders

CategoryWhartonTampa Bay Tech
Passing yardsCarson Mohler, 947 (10 TDs, 5 INTs)Xavione Washington, 1,932 (19 TDs, 7 INTs)
Rushing yardsArkese Parks, 570 yards (7 TDs)James Evans, 917 yards (14 TDs)
Receiving yardsJason Cornwall, 227 (2 TDs)Greg Gaines III, 741 yards (9 TDs)
TacklesCameron Campbell, 92Ed Gwinn, 78
SacksBooker Pickett Jr., 19Keyon Clark, 15
InterceptionsTwo players tied with four. Two players tied with three.
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