RIVER RIDGE (0-0) AT FIVAY (0-0)
WHEN/WHERE: 7:30 p.m. / Falcons Stadium, 12115 Chicago Ave., Hudson
COACHES: Ryan Benjamin (River Ridge), Chris Taylor (Fivay)
LAST WEEK: River Ridge 26, Gulf 3; Sunlake 57, Fivay 14
LAST MEETING: First meeting
NEED TO KNOW: Of all the superlatives in last week's win against Gulf, Benjamin was most pleased with the defense, which did not allow the Bucs to score a touchdown. "We're going to be known for it now," Benjamin said of the defense. "That's what we're trying to accomplish here – high-intensity, flying around the football on defense." The Knights coach also said he doesn't mind if Fivay tries to pound the football on the ground against his defense, but believes they have the ability to move the ball through the air as well. … Taylor finally decided on junior Tyler Degen as the Falcons starting QB after Degen and sophomore Eric Vitale battled through spring and summer practice. Fivay, playing its first full varsity schedule, went 1-4 last year – defeating Hudson and losing to Brooksville Central, Berkeley Prep, Wiregrass Ranch and Ridgewood. Transfer Kyrie Rodriguez (Hudson) will start the season as the Falcons' featured back.
MITCHELL (0-0) AT ANCLOTE (0-0)
WHEN/WHERE: 7:30 p.m./Anclote High School, 1540 Sweetbriar Drive, Holiday
COACHES: Scott Schmitz (Mitchell), Matt Wicks (Anclote)
LAST WEEK: Mitchell 66, Hudson 0; Land O' Lakes 36, Anclote 0
LAST MEETING: Mitchell 40, Anclote 13 (2010)
NEED TO KNOW: The Mustangs' Wing-T offense looked to be in midseason form during its 66-point outburst in a Kickoff Classic last week, but Schmitz knows Anclote will be a much tougher test. Mitchell's special teams were just that last week, blocking two punts for touchdowns, but it will need tailback Freddie Jones (five carries for 63 yards, one touchdown), fullback Mordell Holley (10-62, touchdown) and wingback Danny Barber to once again pace a run-heavy offensive attack.... There's no doubt after last Friday's 36-0 shellacking by Land O' Lakes, that Anclote is looking for major improvements offensively, as the Sharks were only able to muster up 34 yards of total offense. The Sharks return running back Alonzo Pettiford, who sat out last Friday, which should be a big boost for Anclote's running game. Watch out for sophomore fullback Willie Barrett, who filled in nicely for Pettiford at tailback.
HUDSON (0-0) AT SUNLAKE (0-0)
WHEN/WHERE: 7:30 p.m./Seahawk Stadium, 3023 Sunlake Blvd, Land O'Lakes
COACHES: Justin Fenton (Hudson), Bill Browning (Sunlake)
LAST WEEK: Sunlake 57, Fivay 14; Mitchell 66, Hudson 0
LAST MEETING: Sunlake 45, Hudson 0 (2010)
NEED TO KNOW: Hudson had problems in almost every facet, as there special team allowed two blocked punts in the first quarter vs. Mitchell and then had serious trouble running the ball effectively. One of the lone positives was the play of Gulf transfer Will Fulmer, who completed 7-of-20 passes for 83 yards and rushed for 24 on the ground. The Cobras will need to find a way to generate consistent offense to keep Sunlake off the field. ... The big question mark going into the 2011 regular season for the Seahawks was at the quarterback position, with Jacob Jackson graduating. But after last Thursday's 57-14 crushing of Fivay, behind new starter Cameron Stoltz, who threw for 33 yards and rushed for 51 against the Falcons, the concern for Sunlake is very minimal. The duo of Rashaud Daniels and Jamal Jones should have a big day vs. a Cobras defense that allowed several big plays vs. Mitchell last Thursday.
BISHOP MCLAUGHLIN (0-0) AT CAMBRIDGE CHRISTIAN (0-0)
WHEN/WHERE: 7:30 p.m./Skyway Park, 3901 George Road, Tampa
COACHES: Derrick Alexander (Bishop McLaughlin), Bob Dare (Cambridge Christian)
LAST WEEK: Cambridge Christian 50 Shorecrest 28; Carrollwood Day 38 Bishop McLaughlin 6
LAST MEETING: Cambridge Christian 47, Bishop McLaughlin 0 (2007)
NEED TO KNOW: Former Florida State and NFL star Derrick Alexander got his first taste of game experience as a high school coach last week vs.a tough Carrollwood Day team and the going doesn't get any easier this week against Cambridge, as the Lancers used big plays in the second half to defeat Shorecrest. Look for the Hurricanes to get the ball to running back Jordan Betancourt early and often. ...The Lancers sat 6-foot-5 wide receiver Damarcus Faison during the first half of they're win over the Chargers, but Faison came in the second half and sparked Cambridge, as the junior had a 32-yard catch-and-run from quarterback Garrett Young. Look for Cambridge to establish the run game early, with running back Daniel Hamilton, who rushed for 570 yards last season and scored seven touchdowns.
BROOKSVILLE NATURE COAST (0-0) AT GULF (0-0)
WHEN/WHERE: 7:30 p.m./W.D. "Des" Little Stadium, 5355 School Road, New Port Richey
COACHES: Charles Liggett (Brooksville Nature Coast), Tom Carter (Gulf)
LAST WEEK: Wiregrass Ranch 35, Hudson 7; River Ridge 26, Gulf 3
LAST MEETING: First meeting
NEED TO KNOW: Liggett makes his head coaching debut with the Sharks a season after Nature Coast finished 5-5. Improving upon that record won't be easy as Nature Coast lost a trio of talented playmakers to graduation. Quarterbacks Brenton Nuby and Ja' juan Story combined to pass for 647 yards and six touchdowns a season ago, while tailback Isaac Bailey rushed for more than 1,300 yards and 11 touchdown. … Tom Carter specifically chose his first regular-season game as head coach as an opportunity for the Buccaneers to fully understand the caliber of team they would need to defeat in order to become a perennial playoff program. A week ago in a Kickoff Classic defeat, Gulf was held to 117 total yards and three points and will need to shore up a run defense that allowed 200 yards.
RIDGEWOOD (0-0) AT SPRINGSTEAD (0-0)
WHEN/WHERE: 7:30 p.m./Eagles Stadium, 3300 Mariner Blvd, Spring Hill
COACHES: Kent Reed (Ridgewood), Bill Vonada (Springstead)
LAST WEEK: Palm Harbor University 74, Ridgewood 7
LAST MEETING: Springstead 24, Ridgewood 7 (2010)
NEED TO KNOW: It may take some time before Ridgewood, after suffering heavy losses to graduation and four recent key transfers, develops enough depth to compete each week. That was part of the case as the Rams stayed close through the first quarter of their Kickoff Classic only to succumb to heat, humidity and low numbers in a blowout loss. Quarterback Bob Peck will need to produce big numbers keep the Rams' offense on the field for long stretches if Ridgewood has any chance at victory… Springstead is coming off a 6-6 season in which it reached the second round of the state playoffs, but must replace a pair of ultra-talented players. Quarterback Brian Beeker passed and ran for more than 2,100 yards and accounted for 14 touchdowns, while running back Devean Huff rushed for 887 yards and scored four times. The Eagles did not play a Kickoff Class last week.
ORMOND BEACH CALVARY CHRISTIAN (0-0) AT PASCO (0-0)
WHEN/WHERE: 7:30 p.m./W.F. Edwards Stadium, 36850 State Road 52, Dade City
COACHES: Billy Glenn (Calvary Christian), Tom McHugh (Pasco)
LAST WEEK: Lakeland Christian 38, Calvary Christian 15; Pasco 17, Hernando 0
LAST MEETING: First meeting
NEED TO KNOW: Though a bit sluggish out the gate, the Pirates settled down in their preseason game and kept the Leopards off the scoreboard. QB Jacob Guy hooked up with WR Trey Dudley-Giles twice for TD passes (40, 46 yards), as Guy went 11-for-22 passing for 260 yards with two TD and an INT. RB Janarion Grant, who had four catches for 121 yards, was also a big target for Guy, and Grant and fellow RB David Emmanuel will likely share carries in the backfield as they did against Hernando. The Pirates are still fine tuning their offensive line that features five new starters, however, McHugh said he was pleased with their performance and progress through the season, thus far, adding he felt they were ahead of the learning curve of last season's offense line. A nagging problem the Pirates said they would address this week was hydrating better prior to the game, as a handful of players, including Dudley-Giles, suffered cramps last week. … The Lions are led by QB-turned-WR Cameron Hadley and RB Clarence Teel, who had a 58-yard TD run last week. Hadley, as sophomore QB last season, averaged 15 yards a carry, rushing for 1,064 yards and 12 TD and completed 57-of-102 passes for 1,243 yards, nine TD and three INT. Hadley has 6,487 yards and 78 TD during his high-school career. Despite 7-3 last season, Calvary Christian did not make the playoffs.
LAND O' LAKES (0-0) AT ZEPHYRHILLS (0-0)
WHEN/WHERE: 7:30 p.m./Bulldog Stadium, 6335 12th Street, Zephyrhills
COACHES: Brian Wachtel (Land O' Lakes), Reggie Roberts (Zephyrhills)
LAST WEEK: Land O' Lakes 36, Anclote 0; Zephyrhills 31, Brooksville Central 14
LAST MEETING: Land O' Lakes 38, Zephyrhills 7 (2010)
NEED TO KNOW: The Bulldogs picked up right where they left off last season (won two of final three games) and showed they no longer want to be a pushover in Pasco County with a dominating win over the Bears. QB Jamal Roberts rushed for 243 yards on 10 carries and scored three TD, however, the Bulldogs also fumbled six times, losing three of them. Roberts moves from RB to QB this week. Zephyrhills' defense looks vastly improved from when it gave up 421 points in 2010, as the Shaffer brothers, Joshua and Justin, each had two sacks, while Joshua added a blocked FG against the Bears. The defense, which now features experience, as well as speed, has two standout linebackers in Joel Morrison and Tylar Hochstetler. Keep an eye on RB Jake Smith. He moves from QB but his leadership qualities on and off the field will help the Bulldogs offense score more points than the 165 last season. … The Gators are looking for their fifth consecutive win against Zephyrhills in the annual series. The last four have come by a combined score of 77-19. They insist they will not be looking ahead to next week's showdown with Pasco. TE Kent Taylor (left hand) is out, with senior LB Jackson Cannon picking up most of that workload. Despite the defense living up to expectations with a shutout of the Sharks, Wachtel believes that side of the ball still has a lot to work on.
WIREGRASS RANCH (0-0) AT WESLEY CHAPEL (0-0)
WHEN/WHERE: 7:30 p.m./Wesley Chapel Stadium, 30651 Wells Road, Wesley Chapel
COACHES: Jeremy Shobe (Wiregrass Ranch), Ben Alford (Wesley Chapel)
LAST WEEK: St. Petersburg 48, Wiregrass Ranch 7; Bushnell South Sumter 27, Wesley Chapel 26
LAST MEETING: Wesley Chapel 17, Wiregrass Ranch 14 (2010)
NEED TO KNOW: The rivalry to decide supremacy among the two Wesley Chapel schools has been dominated by the Wildcats, who have won all four meetings. But Wiregrass has been inching closer, with last year's tight 3-point defeat by far the closest meeting in the series. The Bulls are expected to have Jamie Barrone and Jamel Nunez available this week after they sat out against St. Petersburg. Controlling the line of scrimmage should be the deciding factor. Defensively Wiregrass Ranch's undersized, but quick, front four will be tested by a run-heavy Wildcats attack. … The Wildcats made a valiant, come-back effort against the Raiders, scoring a TD with 18 seconds left, but failed to convert the game-winning 2-point conversion. Overlooked in that loss, however, has to be the four recovered onsides kicks by the Wildcats, and solid performance by first-year starting QB Keegan Tanner, who threw for two TD and ran in another. RB Devin Piper also added a score, and should get the majority of the carries in the backfield, but also share some with junior RB DeQuane Anderson. Also vastly improved is the Wildcats defense, which features Anderson as a shutdown corner and the return of DL Angel Lociciero from back-to-back knee injuries the past two seasons. Wesley Chapel's four TD Friday equals one-fourth of the 16 offensive TD the Wildcats scored in 2010.
Rick Harmon, Mike Camunas, Chris Errington, Bart O'Connell, Andy Villamarzo