All region finals at 7 p.m. Tuesday, with exception of Jesuit, which plays Friday.
Class 9A …Full Story
Bob Putnam, Rodney Page, Kelly Parsons
All region finals at 7 p.m. Tuesday, with exception of Jesuit, which plays Friday.
Class 9A …Full Story
East Lake 17, River Ridge 0
(Junior varsity played fourth quarter)
Spring game-breakers: After a two-hour lightning delay, the game finally kicked off at 9:30 p.m. In the first half, the Eagles were more prepared than the Knights. East Lake’s Ian Woodward kicked a 45-yard field goal in the first quarter, made even more impressive because both teams played full rush on special teams. … On his first carry of the game, Eagle running back Isaac Gibbs scored on a 13-yard touchdown run early in the second quarter. It was his only carry of the first half. Gibbs ended with 40 yards on four carries. … East Lake’s Jared Pratt scored on the next possession when he returned a fumble 30 yards. … East Lake sophomore Tucker Gleason showed his versatility. He caught four passes for 63 yards and also completed two passes for 44 yards. … Jackson Rowland was East Lake’s starting quarterback. He was 4-for-8 for 63 yards, all four passes to Gleason. … Knights quarterback D.J. Mann split time with Devin Gallo. Mann rushed four times for 28 yards but completed only 1 of 6 passes for minus-5 yards. … Gallo was 4 of 5 for 26 yards. River Ridge had 21 passing yards in three quarters. …Full Story
Each week, our HomeTeam staffers nominate male and female Hot Shot athletes from each of the counties we cover. Then we turn the voting over to readers. These nominations span Saturday, May 13 through Friday, May 19. Read up on all of our nominees then vote until noon Monday.
Taylor Bump, softball, Canterbury: The Michigan signee scored the tying run and had the game-winning hit in a 2-1 victory over two-time defending champion Aucilla Christian in the Class 2A state title game.
Tia Williams, softball, Land O’Lakes: The infielder had a triple that brought home the winning run in the Gators’ 2-0 victory over North Fort Myers in the Class 6A state semifinals.
Bailey Wilson, softball, Palm Harbor University: The senior shortstop was 2-for-3 with a double and the game-winning single in the sixth inning to lead the Hurricanes in a 1-0 victory over Jupiter in the Class 9A state semifinals.
Note: Fewer female nominees than usual now that sanctioned FHSAA sports are winding down for the year.
Male nominees …Full Story
VERO BEACH — Land O’Lakes made the state semifinals last year for just the second time in school history.
At the time, that accomplishment was good enough for the Gators.
On Friday, Land O’Lakes made it back to the state semifinals.
This time, the Gators did not have that same happy-to-be here mentality.
Determined to take another significant step, Land O’Lakes beat North Fort Myers 2-0 in the 6A semifinals to advance to the championship game for the first time.
The Gators get the rematch they wanted against Plantation American Heritage, the team that knocked Land O’Lakes out in last year’s state semifinals. If Land O’Lakes can win, it will be the first time a Pasco County team has won a state softball title since Ridgewood in 1992.
American Heritage is playing in the state championship game for the fourth straight season and is trying to win its eighth title on Saturday.
That playoff pedigree was something that did in the Gators a year ago. …Full Story
Durant 21, Brandon 7
Bloomingdale 21, Newsome 17 …Full Story
Hillsborough 23, Wharton 7
Freedom 17, King 0
Spring game-breakers: Hillsborough quarterback Tyler Thomas ran for a 26-yard TD and threw a touchdown pass. . . . Tyrese Spain had a pair of TDs for the Terriers, catching a 20-yarder and running in from 6 yards out. . . . Christian Naranjo booted a 39-yard field goal for Hillsborough. . . . Wharton quarterback Zach Lewis came off the bench and completed 7 of 10 passes, including a 29-yard TD heave to Denely Joseph as the receiver was falling backward in the end zone on fourth down. . . . Hillsborough rolled up 209 yards on offense, and limited Wharton to 68 yards. . . . Freedom's defense stood out with two turnovers leading to scores. A fumble recovery by Michael Gonzalez set up a Sebastian Bove's 18-yard scoring run, and Gary Williams intercepted a Yoshua Amaglo pass and returned it 15 yards for a score. The Patriots limited King to only 44 yards. . . . Freedom quarterback Jayland Desue completed 5 of 11 passes for 84 yards and one interception. . . . Noah Tenney kicked a 28-yard field goal for the Patriots. . . . King's Samario Austin had an interception. …Full Story
Zephyrhills Christian 35, Boca Ciega 26
Spring game-breakers: Zephryhills Christian scored 28 unanswered points to pull off the spring upset at Boca Ciega. The Warriors used a power running attack to wear down the Pirates and rally from a 20-7 halftime deficit. Alonzo Sampson scored two touchdowns and the Warriors took a 21-20 lead on a 36-yard touchdown pass from Calvin Samuel to Evan Miller midway through the third quarter. The Warriors, who rushed for nearly 200 yards in the second half alone behind Samuel, Sampson and Dwight Thomas, tacked on another score in the fourth quarter to take a 28-20 lead. ... The Pirates came back with a 51-yard run by Dsoni Ross to set up a 10-yard touchdown from Osby Green to Kyren Taylor to make the score 28-26 with two minutes remaining, but the Warriors defense stuffed Ross on the two-point conversion. ... With the Warriors needing first downs to kill the clock, Samuel did one better by scoring on a 29-yard run to put the game out of reach. ... Ross and Green had first-half touchdowns for Boca Ciega while Eugene Davis had two interceptions for the Warriors. …Full Story
Blake 37, Leto 0
Chamberlain 31 Middleton 0 …Full Story
Central 35, Hudson 14
Spring game-breakers: Just because Central gradutes it leading rusher from last year (De'Vonta Smith, who rushed for almost 3,000 yards), don't start overlooking the Bears' rushing attack. From the first whistle to the final horn Thursday, Central never slowed on its way to 459 yards on the ground. Quarterback Izzy Zena led the charge with 277 followed by Justin Fribbley's 89 yards (41 yards in the fourth) while overcoming four lost fumbles. ... Joshua Turner paced the defense with three tackles for loss followed by Foster Hawthorne's two. ... Fribbley chipped in with two interceptions. ... Hudson OLB Dominick Rutigliano had a game-high four sacks and two fumble recoveries for the Cobras . QB Dylan Dilandro tossed for 163 yards and a touchdown going to Trey Doran on a 50 catch... Doran also had an interception.
Did you know? While only rushing for 85 yards last season and his game high only being 28 yards, Zena broke out for 277 yards Thursday, with 234 yards coming in the first half alone. …Full Story
Springstead 33, South Sumter 0
Spring game-breakers: During last season’s spring game, Nathan Sims burst onto the scene with a performance to remember in his varsity debut, catching two touchdowns and returning a kickoff for another in the Eagles’ win over Anclote. Thursday night the rising junior made his debut under center and showed how dangerous he can be in that position as well. On the opening drive, he broke a 41-yard touchdown run to put Springstead up. It was the first of three rushing scores for Sims (11 carries, 155 yards). He also passed 1-of-2 for 21 yards on a completion to FB Damien Giles. …RB Randy Morgan (22 carries, 109 yards, two TDs) was among area leaders in 2016 with 11 touchdowns. He and rising sophomore Giles (12 carries, 62 yards) should be the main ball carriers for the Eagles after the graduation of 900-yard rusher Demetrius Barry. …Rising junior Max Gabbard blocked a punt by South Sumter in the first quarter, giving the Eagles good field position that resulted in Sims’ second touchdown run. He also recorded a sack in the third quarter. …Full Story
Spring game-breakers: The Wildcats defense, after getting shredded on a four-play, 63-yard drive to start the game, did not allow Mitchell's offense another point as the other seven came on Kym-Mani King's 97-yard kickoff return after Chapel went ahead 31-7. ... Austen Wittish was a big force and Brendan Boger made several strong tackles, once helicoptering Mustangs running back Mychael Hamilton. ... Malik Melvin led the Wildcats' multi-pronged rushing attack with 118 yards on 10 carries. ... Hamilton ran for 59 yards on five first-half carries, getting a 41-yarder and 4-yard score on the quick opening touchdown drive. He then turned hard hitter at safety, providing the collision of the night when his helmet popped off hitting Melvin, who scored two plays later. ... Oregon commit Isaiah Bolden ran for 81 yards and completed three passes for 96 more, all to Wildcats receiver Justin Trapnell, including a 58-yard TD for a 10-7 halftime lead. ... Dexter Leverett added 55 yards for Chapel while teammate Keith Walker kept things rolling, coming off the bench for 67 fourth-quarter yards highlighted by a spin move and later 30-yard score. ... Big right tackle William Westcott had plenty of plays called behind him. ... Spencer Conard led the Mustangs with 68 yards rushing. ... Kiko Connetti was their other big hitter on defense and Ryan Ovind recovered a Bolden fumble near the goal line. …Full Story
Citrus 35, Gulf 0
Spring game-breakers: It was all Inverness Citrus in the spring contest against Gulf at Girardi-Young Field at Des Little Stadium. The Hurricanes relied heavily upon a strong rushing attack that compiled 287 yards on ground on 38 attempts. ... The leader of the pack for the Hurricanes was senior running back Rudolph Holton III, who rushed for 127 yards on just 12 carries. He was paced by Cody Russell (13 carries, 56 yards) and Kyle Ervin (three carries, 44 yards). ... Gulf was in its first game under coach Jason Grain and the Buccaneers showed some grit on defense in the early going, with defensive end John Jukas creating havoc in the backfield and forcing a couple fumbles, also recovering one. ... Grain's squad had immense trouble moving the ball, finishing the game with 14 yards of total offense. Gulf was able to rush for a mere 3 yards on 20 attempts and passed for 11 yards. Kevin Powell had the best game, yardage wise, for any Gulf offensive player, rushing for 16 yards on seven touches. ... Four interceptions through the air hurt Gulf and set up a few of Citrus' scores. ...The Bucs dressed fewer than 25 players for the game. …Full Story
Berkeley Prep 21, Englewood Lemon Bay 14 …Full Story