Jefferson 35, Strawberry Crest 31

Shaquille Speights scored his fourth touchdown Friday with five seconds remaining, pushing Jefferson (5-4, 4-2) to an emotional comeback win, 35-31 over Strawberry Crest (3-6, 1-5).

The Dragons overcame a pesky Chargers squad, but a looming FHSAA ruling that could result in three forfeited wins awaits.

“We knew going into the game that we were set up for an upset,” Jefferson coach Jeremy Earle said. “As much as you try to avoid it, there we were. Staring at it right in our faces.”

Strawberry Crest took a 31-28 lead with less than two minutes left. Dragons quarterback Deiondre Porter ran for 45 yards on the deciding drive and his toss to Speights sealed it. The senior tailback rushed for three other scores.

This article can be found here as originally published in The Tampa Bay Times.

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Newsome 42, Riverview 6

RIVERVIEW — Quarterback Will Worth rushed for four touchdowns as Newsome (4-4, 3-1) rolled Riverview (2-6, 0-3) 42-6 on Friday night.

“It’s not a one-man show,” Newsome coach Kenneth Hiscock said of Worth. “But we do expect great things from him and he gave them to us tonight.”

Turnovers turned the game into a rout quickly, as Newsome jumped out to a 28-0 halftime lead. That lead was extended to 35 points when Zac Slater took the second half’s opening kickoff the distance.

Riverview avoided the shutout on a last-play touchdown. The Sharks turned the ball over five times and didn’t gain a first down until midway through the second quarter.

Worth finished with 89 passing yards and 94 yards on the ground.

This article can be found here as it originally appeared in The Tampa Bay Times.

Brandon 16, Riverview 8

Facing fourth and goal with less than two minutes left, the Brandon defense did what it did well all night — stopped the run.

The Eagles (1-6, 1-2) stuffed a potentially game-tying play from their own 5-yard line, holding on for their first win of the season, 16-8 over Riverview (2-6, 0-3) Thursday night.

“I’m proud of these kids,” Brandon coach Dean Eychner said. “They paid their dues coming out of the gate. I saw some things out of them tonight that reflected the work they’ve invested.”

Riverview’s only score came on a fourth-quarter punt return as the Brandon defense held the Sharks to just 107 offensive yards.

This article can be found here as it was originally published in The Tampa Bay Times.

Plant 49, Brandon 0

Plant scored on its first offensive play and never looked back, beating Brandon 49-0 on Friday night.

Three minutes into the game, Colby Brown connected with Jordan Reed for the first of his three touchdown passes. He finished 14-of-19 for 227 yards, with a pair of touchdowns to junior Cameron Winter as well.

“I had a lot of fun tonight,” Brown said after the win. “We’re all excited for the next couple games. I feel like we’re playing pretty well right now.”

The Plant (5-1, 1-0) defense held Brandon (0-6, 0-2) to 97 total yards. The Panthers squashed the Eagles’ only real scoring threat when they forced a fumble at their own 10-yard line in the first quarter.

This article can be found here as it was originally published in The Tampa Bay Times.

Alonso 20, Bloomingdale 0

On a night bogged down by more than 200 penalty yards and a soggy field, Alonso was thrilled just to be heading home. A shutout victory over a district opponent doesn’t hurt either, as the Ravens (3-2, 1-0) defeated Bloomingdale (3-3, 0-1), 20-0 Friday night.

While the Bulls tried and failed to throw the ball, Alonso was content working their junior running back. Ish Witter finished with 112 yards on 25 carries.

Tensions ran high for most of the game, climaxing with the ejection of Bloomingdale defensive end Tyler Jahn after he tossed his helmet while walking off the field.

“There’s always rivalries with district games and we’re dealing with 16-, 17-, and 18-year-old kids,” said Alonso coach Brian Emanuel. “I think the officials did a good job of controlling it.”

This article can be found here as it was originally published in The Tampa Bay Times.

King 28, Strawberry Crest 16

TAMPA — Once it established the run, King dominated, beating Strawberry Crest 28-16 on Friday night.

Senior quarterback Kenyatta Young took advantage of a flooded line of scrimmage by simply throwing over it.

“He wants to be a college quarterback. He’s big enough to be a college quarterback,” said King coach Alvin Davis. “He did real good tonight.”

Young started off cold though, completing just four of his first 11 passes. But he finished by completing seven of his final eight, including three touchdowns.

After being shut out in the first quarter, King scored in each of the final three, accented by 14 in the fourth. The defense forced four turnovers and accounted for eight sacks in the game.

This article can be found here, as originally published in print in The Tampa Bay Times.

Middleton 17, Lennard 12

TAMPA — Middleton won for the first time in more than a year as the Tigers beat Lennard 17-12 on Friday night.

The game marked Alonzo Ashwood’s first win as head coach.

“This was my first victory but that’s just our breakthrough,” Ashwood said. “I kept telling them, ‘Let’s win one game and then let’s keep moving on.’ ”

Down for most of the night, Middleton bided its time as Lennard was plagued with penalties and long third downs for most of the second half. The Tigers finally broke through with just under six minutes left in the game, when senior Amp Carswell rushed for a 53-yard touchdown, emphasized by a ferocious stiff arm at the 30-yard-line.

Before Friday night, Middleton last won Nov. 12, 2010, at Blake.

This article can be found here, as originally published in The Tampa Bay Times.