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Hillsborough Game of the Week: Tampa Bay Tech at Sickles


Published:   |   Updated: November 1, 2013 at 11:47 AM

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TBT (6-2, 3-1) must beat Sickles (7-1, 4-0) to throw the 7A-District 7 into a possible three-way tiebreaker with Gaither.

WHEN: Tonight, 7:30 WHERE: Gryphons Stadium, Tampa

TBT’S HARD-HITTING DEFENSE VS. SICKLES’ DYNAMIC OFFENSE

Any questions about the health of Sickles’ running back Ray Ray McCloud III can be put to rest. He appeared to be 100 percent during practice this week after shaking off a deep hip bruise and a strained knee. TBT coach Jayson Roberts said he’s well aware of McCloud (177 rushes, 1,436 yards, 15 touchdowns), but he’s also focused on several other Gryphons, including quarterback Issac Holder (79 completions, 151 attempts, 1,212 yards, 14 TDs) and wide receiver Chett Levay (35 catches, 524 yards, six touchdowns). TBT counters with one of the county’s hardest-hitting defenses, led by linebacker Fred Russ, who is averaging 11.4 tackles

TBT’S OFFENSE VS. SICKLES’ DEFENSE

TBT has several athletes who can flat-out fly, and a quarterback, Deon Cain, who can get the ball to them (105-of-207 passing for 1,756 yards, 13 TDs). When his receivers are covered, Cain can make things happen with his feet (118 carries, 665 yards). TBT running back Deon Thompson adds another formidable threat, who can break a play from anywhere on the field. Thompson has rushed 122 times for 718 yards and eight touchdowns. Expect Sickles defensive linemen Deven Santana (7.4 tackles a game) and Josh Black (7.0 tackles a game) and linebacker Jake Hampton (8.5 tackles a game) to have many collisions with Cain and Thompson.

DISTRICT SURVIVAL VS. DISTRICT DOMINANCE

If ever there was a must-win game, this is it for Tampa Bay Tech, which put its playoff hopes in extreme peril with a loss last week, 14-10, to Gaither. Now TBT (6-2, 3-1) must beat Sickles (7-1, 4-0) to throw the district into a possible three-way tiebreaker with Gaither (favored to beat 7A-7 foe Steinbrenner tonight). If Sickles wins it will mark the first district title for the in the school’s 16-year history.

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