By STEPHEN FLANAGAN JACKSON
The Spoto Spartans were the lone South Shore prep football team to notch a victory last Friday. Spoto ran their record to 2-2, dispatching hapless 0-4 Brandon 22-0. Coach Alfred Smith’s purple and white Spartans host Blake Oct. 9.
East Bay struggled all night at home and fell to Tampa Bay Tech 47-0. Coach Frank LaRosa’s Indians, now 1-2, will be looking to snap a two-game losing streak Oct. 9 against neighboring rival Riverview. The 1-2 Sharks of Coach William Mosel also bit the dust, consumed 49-14 by the Newsome Wolves at Lithia.
Lennard and Sumner, a pair of erstwhile unbeatens, saw their perfect records fall on the road last Friday. The Longhorns, under interim coach Kristopher Ramsey, seek to get back on the winning trail against 2-0 Newsome this Friday at Ruskin. First-year school Sumner, led by Coach Alonzo Ashwood, hopes to bounce back on the road versus the varsity of super-cupcake 0-3 Leto of Tampa.
Lennard put up a tough fight against the Riverview Rams in Sarasota after falling behind 21-7 in the first quarter. After the Rams hit paydirt first, Lennard’s Jahlin Hobbs, a 6-3, 275 pound USF commit, forced a Ram fumble that was gathered in by the Horns Amarie Jones, who rambled 78 yards to the house. The Rams answered with a long run from scrimmage by QB Will Evans, which led to Riverview’s taking the lead back for good. Riverview then forced a Lennard punt, which was blocked and recovered by the Rams in the end zone for the 21-7 opening stanza lead.
Riverview got on the board in the second quarter to go up 28-7, but after another near scoop-and-score by Jones, QB Henley bulled in from the two-yard line. The resilient Horns were still in the game at 28-13, following the blocked PAT.
Lennard played its best ball of the night after halftime.
Resilient and hopeful under interim Coach Kristopher Ramsey, Lennard denied the Rams offense. On the other side of the ball, Lennard put together a masterful drive behind its offensive line, mixing QB Gavin Henley’s sharp passing and Chauncey Jones II’s determined runs. With 7:04 remaining in the third quarter, the Horns were suddenly back in the game, trailing 28-20 with a 2-yard score up the middle by Jones II.
In less than a minute, however, Riverview again showed its dominance. The Rams took a 35-20 lead on a 45-yard TD pass from Evans to Omari Hayes. Still, Lennard refused to fold. QB Henley continued his pinpoint passing. On fourth and goal, the junior QB hit wide receiver and co-captain Dax Corr with an 8-yard scoring pass. Lennard could not convert the extra but once again cut the Ram lead to 35-26. Riverview finally stretched its margin to 42-26 on running back Poodah Hayes’ 45-yard scoring sprint, with only seconds left in the third quarter.
Lennard was out of gas offensively in the fourth quarter. The Rams did not generate much offense in the final stanza, either. In the waning moments, Riverview tacked on some insurance, recovering an errant Horn snap in the end zone to seal the 48-26 win.
Longhorn Co-Captain Amarie Jones continued his stellar work. The senior safety and outside linebacker made six tackles, recovered and returned two fumbles(one for a TD) and deflected a pass. On offense Jones rushed for 2 yards and returned two kickoffs for 24 yards. Jones had plenty of help on defense from junior Jacob Treese who prompted the two fumbles and made eight tackles, including one for a loss and one for a sack.
Offensively, the Longhorns were led by junior QB Henley, who completed 20 of 37 aerials for 223 yards for one passing TD. Henley rushed for 8 yards and a TD. Sophomore Elijah Singleton was on the receiving end of 6 passes for 132 yards. Jones II added 32 yards rushing.
Meanwhile, over in eastern Hillsborough County, the Durant Cougars varsity brought the first-year Stingrays down to earth with a 34 to 6 whipping. Coach Ashwood’s senior-less Sumner could never generate much offense against a veteran Durant squad. The Cougars jumped out to an 18-6 first quarter lead and coasted to the victory. For Sumner, offense was a disaster, with a mere 19 yards passing and minus 14 yards rushing. The Rays only score came from two-way star Keoni Denney, who returned a Durant fumble 70 yards for a TD in the first quarter. Sumner had churned out 100 yards plus in each of its first three victories over varsity squads. Up to the Durant loss, Sumner had scored 50 points in wins over Spoto, Blake and Strawberry Crest.
Now 3-1, Sumner travels looking for different results Oct. 9 against a Leto Falcons varsity that has not scored in three losses so far this season. A train wreck on offense, the Tampa high school has been a defensive sieve as well, surrendering 128 points in routs by Sickles, Alonso and Pinellas Park last week.
In a photo caption published Sept. 24 about the Sumner Stingrays victory over Blake, the PAT was actually kicked by Justin Guzman, #83, a junior, not Trung Nguyen as stated in the caption.