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Tuesday, Sep 02, 2014

Pinellas Game of the Week: Largo at Lakewood

Published:   |   Updated: September 27, 2013 at 08:50 AM

WHEN: Tonight, 7:30

WHERE: Lakewood Stadium, St. Petersburg


Largo’s Donovan Hale vs. Lakewood’s Ryan Davis

The last time Largo’s Donovan Hale saw complete game action was in the 46-0, season-opening victory against Northeast. The 6-foot-3 QB completed nine of 14 passes for 119 yards. Hale has practiced this week and is expected to see plenty of time under center, according to Largo coach Rick Rodriguez. “He’s been practicing and he’s looked good,” Rodriguez said. “With Donavan there, he’ll give us a few more options.” Lakewood used two quarterbacks in its 24-14 win against rival Gibbs last Friday. Ryan Davis and Joc Ellison saw time, and coach Cory Moore hasn’t thrown out the possibility the two could share snaps once again vs. Largo. “Davis is still our starter,” Moore said. “We put Joc (Ellison) in against Gibbs to give them a different look. Great thing with us is we have the ability to switch in athletes at several positions.”

College athletes galore

No game in Pinellas County can put as many Division I athletes on the field as this one. On Largo’s side, there are University of South Florida commits Jarvis Stewart and linebacker Frankie Hernandez, to go along with Cordell Hudson, Raheem Harvey, Jonathan Crawford and Hale. Lakewood also boasts a strong lineup of BCS-level recruits led by Georgia commit Isaiah Wynn and Toledo commit Andrew Davis. Rounding out the other college prospects are Joc Ellison, Brujoun Bonner, Darquez Watson, Nyquel Alexander and Ryan Davis, who has offers from Florida State, Arizona and Vanderbilt. “They have an explosive team, but so do we,” Rodriguez said. “Game could go either way. Both teams are capable of scoring a lot of points. Defenses are very good, too, so it could be low scoring.”

Momentum when it matters most

Both of these teams are looking to use this matchup of titans as a momentum builder heading into district play.

“I think the big thing for us is we’re getting ready for district play and this will be a good game to prepare us,” Moore said. “(Largo) is a great ball club and they have great all-around units. Nothing negative on their part, though, but our motto is whether we win or lose it’s how we play that determines everything.”

Rodriguez acknowledges the tougher non-district games against Jesuit, Lakewood and Lakeland Lake Gibson will help his team come postseason time. “Last year, our non-district schedule was real soft,” Rodriguez said. “The reason we picked up some of these tougher non-district games is to help us come playoff time.”

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