TAMPA — The new quarterbacks at Plant and Jefferson — Panther Rex Culpepper and Dragon Randy Bradford — were pretty darned sharp in Thursday’s spring jamborees at Robinson High.
Culpepper started the scoring against Leto at a two-half jamboree with a 45-yard touchdown pass to Clark Miller midway through the first quarter. Culpepper followed with a 10-yard touchdown run and an 11-yard TD pass to Luke McFadden on the last play of the half to give the Panthers a 22-0 victory.
On the first play of the second half — featuring Robinson vs. Jefferson — Bradford threw an 80-yard touchdown bomb to Taj Jenkins. Bradford then followed with a 55-yard screen pass for a touchdown to Mondreas Lofton, and two more touchdown passes to Maurice Moore, one for 35 yards and another for 82 yards.
Dragon running back Corey Walker added a 2-yard touchdown run, and Jefferson ran away with a 38-0 victory over the Knights.
“I knew we had the players, but they are young players, and I just didn’t know what would happen when they stepped under the lights,” Jefferson coach Jeremy Earle said. “I have to say I am very, very pleased.”
Perhaps the most pleased was Bradford, a wide receiver before he took his first snap at quarterback to start the spring practice a few weeks ago.
“(Bradford) has come a long way in a short time,” Earle said. “Very exciting.”
TAMPA — The biggest play on the Ray Ray McCloud show didn’t even count.
The sidelines were dotted with scouts from many of the major colleges all over the country. McCloud, who plays running back, defensive back, kick returner and almost everyplace else, was on display.
He didn’t disappoint. He scored on a twisting, turning, 65-yard score that was nullified when it was decided Gaither had called a timeout just before the snap. That didn’t matter. The scouts noticed as McCloud dominated and the Gryphons topped Gaither, 8-6.
Sickles coach Brian Turner said McCloud is the best athlete he has ever had and that the scouts were getting an eyeful.
In the opening game, Alonso topped Steinbrenner, 12-10. Steinbrenner opened the game with a kickoff return for a touchdown and led 10-0, but Alonso fought back and scored two late touchdowns.
PLANT CITY — After a 14-0 win over Plant City in the spring jamboree, Armwood coach Sean Callahan was pleased, to say the least, with the direction of the program.
Junior quarterback Noah Johnson, last season’s starter, connected with sophomore Trevor Laurent on a 19-yard touchdown pass and junior linebacker Jordan Griffin, the team’s leading tackler in 2013, walked in a fumble recovery.
Plant City’s Sawyer Dawson returned an interception 55 yards with eight seconds left to put his team in scoring position, but the Raiders could not find the end zone.
In the second game, sophomore Cameron Lehtola made a 27-yard field goal as time expired to give Strawberry Crest a 10-9 win over Durant. Lehtola hit a game-winning field goal against Durant in the 2013 season.
TAMPA — Hillsborough quarterback Dwayne Lawson and the entire Blake defense turned in standout performances in separate halves.
The Terriers defeated Chamberlain 23-7 in the first two quarters behind two TD passes from Lawson and 107 rushing yards, while the Yellow Jackets’ defense allowed minus-2 yards of total offense in a 19-0 second-half shutout of Middleton.
Terriers linebacker Demetrius Clark intercepted Chamberlain on the game’s first play, and Lawson threw a 13-yard TD pass to Rudy Dawson on the next play. Lawson’s other TD pass was to Michael Hampton in the second quarter.
Anthony King added a 65-yard interception return TD for Hillsborough, which pulled away late. Chamberlain kept it close thanks to a 70-yard TD drive in the first quarter, as well as 17 Hillsborough penalties for 128 yards.
Blake got two short touchdown runs from Anthony Jeffery, and forced three Middleton turnovers.
Yellow Jackets QB Samuel Oxendine hooked up with Isaiah Rodgers on a 50-yard TD pass in the fourth.
VALRICO – Four teams played two quarters apiece in a spring jamboree. Only one came away empty handed.
In the first half, Newsome produced touchdowns on its first three drives en route to a 21-7 victory against Brandon. Chris Bryant reached the end zone first on a 15-yard run. Cole Schaller doubled the lead on a quarterback sneak, then connected with Donovan Geter on a 79-yard scoring aerial.
Eagles quarterback Isaiah Alexander spoiled the shutout with an 11-yard touchdown pass to Jordan Mendez with 4:38 remaining. The pair nearly struck again on the ensuing drive, but Alexander’s pass to the back of the end zone was just out of reach.
In the late matchup, Tampa Catholic and host Bloomingdale played to a 7-7 standoff. Devan Barrett put the visiting Crusaders on top on their initial possession, scoring on his third consecutive rushing attempt from inside the 2-yard line.
Bloomingdale pulled even on a 15-yard pass from Isaiah McIntyre to Logan Crouse with only 1:43 to go.
RIVERVIEW — Mark it down now. Be on the lookout this fall for Todd Sims of Spoto and Jahryn Bailey and Josh Shellman of Lennard. The trio led their two teams to lopsided wins in a jamboree.
Sims looked in midseason form, running for 122 yards in eight carries in two quarters. He scored on runs of 17 and 47 yards, leading Spoto against Riverview 14-0. Sims also punts for the Spartans.
Bailey and Shellman, in beating East Bay 20-6, ran for 99 and 62 yards. Bailey scored two touchdowns on runs of 63 yards and 1 yard.
East Bay looked good after taking the opening kick. Anthony Hollingshed ran in a 15-yard touchdown to cap a 10-play, 70-yard drive to put his team up first.
After that, the Longhorns took over. The runners were aided by the offensive line of Travis Dean, Jaykob Hafter, Jamie Buck, and Kadeem Roman.
TAMPA — With 1:47 left in the game, Freedom’s fourth and final punt was blocked and returned for a touchdown by Tampa Bay Tech in a jamboree in which both matchups ended 13-0.
Running back Darrell Turner scored on TBT’s opening drive with a 7-yard run, and senior quarterback Deon Cain added 85 yards on the ground before the final whistle.
Freedom didn’t have any such luck, ending each of its four drives with a punt and didn’t have a single play for positive yardage the entire first quarter.
The second matchup of the evening ended in similar fashion as Wharton forced two punts from King along with two second quarter interceptions from sophomore Miguel Hernandez.
Wildcats quarterbacks Bryce Martin and Adam McAfee each put points on the board. Martin scored on the opening drive with a goal-line sneak, and McAfee connected with 6-foot-4 junior Auden Tate on a 35-yard pass to the corner of the end zone.
Anclote loses, 31-7
HOLIDAY — Springstead and Anclote are coming off postseason berths, but lost key players to graduation.
After playing each other close during the first three quarters, the Eagles came out strong in the second half to defeat the Sharks 31-7.
Anclote struck first with an 18-yard interception return by Zack Adams.
The Eagles scored on a 1-yard run by Daniel Wright (21 carries, 80 yards) and a 21-yard field goal by Ryan Reyes, making it 10-7 Springstead.
NEW PORT RICHEY — Flashes of brilliance came every so often for Gulf during the 2013 season.
Following up a 1-9 season with optimism was tough sledding, but the Buccaneers have much to look forward to after picking up a convincing 21-8 spring victory against Weeki Wachee. Two-way star Deandre Hopkins picked off two passes and returned one for a touchdown.
The Buccaneers controlled both lines of scrimmage, racking up more than 200 yards rushing and nearly 300 yards of total offense.
Quarterback Avery Welch sat out the spring game due to academic issues, but Morgan Smith stepped in and completed six of nine passes for 54 yards. He rushed for another 80.
Hopkins, who will be a sophomore this fall, displayed his talents on both sides of the ball. He picked off a Weeki Wachee pass and returned it 55 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter and caught two passes for 19 yards.
RaiQwan Hayes had a solid evening catching the ball, hauling in a couple passes for 31 yards.
Mitchell tops Hudson
HUDSON — In a battle of two winning teams from last fall, Mitchell used a swarming defense to come out on top with 22-6 win over Hudson.
After a scoreless first quarter, Mitchell got on the board with a 1-yard touchdown run from Will Fairbanks. The two-point conversion was stuffed by Hudson, and the Mustangs led 6-0.
The Cobras answered on their next possession. Quarterback Joey Caruso hit wideout Christian Thomas on a slant, and Thomas outraced the secondary to the end zone for a 40-yard score to tie the game at 6.
Mitchell pulled away with two Alec Lambert touchdown passes and a safety.
The Mustangs defense, playing without leading tackler Larry Couch, registered two interceptions and five sacks.
For Hudson, Caruso threw for 103 yards, and the Cobras were led on the ground by Billy Werner, who finished with 50 yards on 10 carries.
Seffner Christian wins
Junior Marcus Richardson totaled six touchdowns to lead Seffner Christian in its shutout win over International Community School at Winter Park, 62-0.
Richardson rushed for more than 200 yards with five rushing touchdowns. He also returned an interception for a touchdown. The Crusaders had four interceptions and held International Community School to 125 yards.
Karmi Mackey added 80 yards on the ground with a touchdown.