By STEVE JACKSON
Sumner High and Riverview High were the two unbeaten winners in last week’s South Shore gridiron clashes. Falling to defeat were three other teams, East Bay High, Lennard High and Spoto High.
This week three of the five are prepping for another Friday night of combat. Two, the Riverview Sharks unbeaten at 4-0, and the Spoto Spartans unwinning at 0-4, have a bye or the week off with no game. They both return to game action Sept. 29: Riverview at Newsome and Spoto at East Bay.
Playing under Coach Mike Gottman, the East Bay Indians return this Friday from the losing confines of Riverview after EB could not complete a second half rally, dropping its first game of the season 18-12 to the Sharks. The Indians are looking to go to 3-1 and welcome 2-2 Jefferson High Dragons of Tampa to the EB stadium on Big Bend Road Sept. 22 at 7:30 p.m.
East Bay fell behind early by 18 points to Riverview last week. The Indians finally woke up after the half and tallied 12 points but it was not enough as the Sharks held on for their unbeaten season. Junior East Bay quarterback William Boyd had a conservative, modest night passing versus Riverview. Boyd hit 4 of 10 passes for 59 yards and a TD with one interception. The scoring catch was a grab by 6 foot 170 lb. junior Deanthony Caldwell who outran the Riverview secondary. Indians running back senior Jaelin Sneed scored on a long jaunt in the second half. Sneed piled up the majority of EB’s 246 yards rushing on a team total of 35 carries. Defensively, East Bay depended on its usual top senior trio without the ball: Miles Thompson, Emanuel White, and Aaron Green Hardaway.
Riverview Head Coach Tony Gonzalez had his Sharks ready for the Indians. Offensive senior stalwarts running back Dino Shoats and quarterback Aaron Turner, co-captains for the Sharks, got off to a fast start. Turner compiled 12 of 16 passes for 97 yards and a pair of TD passes for the game. Shoats exhibited power and speed, rushing for 135 yards on 16 totes, including a 86-yard dash to the house. Shoats found the end zone via his legs and via the air from Turner. Riverview takes its show on the road Sept. 29 to Newsome followed by Friday trips to Alonso and to Sumner. The Sharks next home game is Strawberry Crest High on Oct. 20. Riverview then closes out the regular season’s last two weeks at home with Durant High and Steinbrenner High.
Lennard jumped out to 10-0 lead over hosting Steinbrenner High in Lutz. The early lead proved to be fool’s gold, however, especially due to a number of breakdowns on special teams.
The Longhorns struck first on a 37-yard field goal from placekicker Aiden Gibbons. The visitors from Ruskin threatened to hang a fourth straight loss on the Warriors. Lennard sophomore quarterback Jacob Mobley and sophomore wide receiver 6 foot 152 lb. Keishawn Pestano collaborated on a 52-yard scoring heave. Gibbons PAT made it 10-0 and the Horns were in good shape—or thought they were.
Leading in the second quarter, Lennard made the first of several crucial mistakes. Steinbrenner stormed back after a muffed kickoff return coverage by Lennard gave a gift score to the Warriors. It was a sign of worse to come as Steinbrenner ran away in the second half and walloped the Horns 31-10. Senior Steinbrenner QB Ty Robinson wore out the Horns defense. Robinson led the comeback win by tossing 25 of 40 pass completions for 353 yards, including three scoring aerials, one a 86-yard bomb. Robinson also included a sneak for a TD.
Up next on Sept.22 is 3-1 Durant High Cougars at Ruskin which will be another hard fought game for the 2-2 Longhorns of Coach KB Belton.
In a battle of 0-3 squads in Tampa, King High managed to go to 1-3. Coach Keith Chattin’s Spartans fell to 0-4. Spoto will be looking to an offense led by sophomore quarterback 5-11 225 lb. Nathan Richardson, junior wide receiver Z’orey Cotton, and running back 5-9 175 lb. running back junior Cam White. Spoto depends on junior 5-8 181 lb. Jaedyn Cartwright and 5-11 205 lb. sophomore Elijay Vega to hold down the opposition point total. Spoto has scored 85 points and given up 136 on the season.
After this week’s Friday night bye, Spoto takes a neighborly jaunt to East Bay for a tough Sept. 29 match. Leto High, now 2-2, then travels to Spoto for an Oct.6 game.