By STEVE JACKSON
The Armwood Hawks scored early and often last Friday to dispatch the East Bay Indians 49-0. The 7A District 8 power Hawks put up 14 in the first quarter and 21 in the second quarter before easing off on the gas pedal with 7 in each of the last two quarters in the romp over Coach Frank LaRosa’s outmanned Indians who fall to 2-7 with one more game in a disappointing season, which has featured two miracle wins.
The Indians return home to Big Bend Road Nov. 1 to end the 2019 campaign with the Bloomingdale Bulls. The visitors from Valrico are fresh off a 60-6 rout of 7A District 7 Strawberry Crest. So far on the season, East Bay has managed to put 79 points on the scoreboard while giving up 317 points in its nine games. During the same span, the Bulls have piled up 254 points while allowing 151. Doing the quick math, that works out to an average of slightly below nine points per game offensively for East Bay and about 35 points per game yielded. The worksheet for Coach Jack Coulson’s Bulls comes out to about 28 points per game scored and nearly 17 points per game given up.
On paper that makes for a pretty steep hill for LaRosa’s squad to climb. Do the underdog Indians have one more miracle game? That will be answered Friday night under the lights.
Veteran coach LaRosa commented after the game how the current Florida high school football policies are leading to dysfunctions and inequities in high school sports all over the state and especially in our own South Shore football backyard. LaRosa’s observations point to a need for change of policies regarding transfers (and recruiting of players) by the powers-that-be who control and regulate football and other high school sports.
According to LaRosa, a neighborhood school such as East Bay versus an all-star team, such as Armwood, with players brought in from multiple counties might not be a great match up to watch on a Friday night. “However, that was the card that was dealt to East Bay,” pointed out LaRosa.
This has been the case not only in this particular game Oct. 25, but in other football games throughout the East Bay football season this year.
LaRosa added that East Bay played hard against Armwood for four quarters. He said, “Our offense struggled. Our defense gave up some big plays, but there were a few defensive highlights: Jaden Santos Lopez with 4 tackles (3 tackles for a loss, and 1 sack); Jackson Castillo with 6 tackles, and Malik Sails 2 tackles (1 tackle for a loss and 1 sack).
Meanwhile, up the road in Riverview, the football season has mercifully come to an end for Coach Cassius Crawford and his Spoto Spartans. King handed the Spartans their ninth setback of the year last week 38-15. The Spartans did manage one victory this season.