The Armwood High football team has arguably the best defense in Hillsborough County this season. Through the first two games of the regular season, the Hawks have allowed 12 total points. In last week’s win against Blake, Armwood recorded two safeties and returned two turnovers for touchdowns.
During his many years as Armwood’s coach, during which time the Hawks have won multiple state titles, Sean Callahan said this year’s defensive line might be the fastest he’s ever had.
Yet he knows his defense will face it’s biggest challenge of the early season in facing Hillsborough High junior quarterback Dwayne Lawson.
“He’s a man,” Callahan said. “We’re going to need more than one guy to tackle him. He pushes people away like they’re not even there.”
In last week’s 28-23 loss to Jefferson, Lawson, a 6-foot-5, 210 pound dual-threat quarterback, threw for 291 yards with a touchdown and rushed for another 124 yards and two touchdowns.
“I thought Dwayne played a magnificent football game,” said Hillsborough coach Earl Garcia after the loss. “He had our offense on his shoulders, heck, our whole football team on his shoulders.”
Lawson led the Terriers to a 3-0 win over the Hawks in last year’s regular season meeting. Armwood defeated Hillsborough in the regional playoffs weeks later.
“We’ve got to get to him and contain him,” Callahan said. “We have to make him pull back down. I don’t think he’s in awe of us.”
Chasing Lawson through the night will be defensive lineman Hyriam Frederick and Byron Cowart. Offensively, Armwood junior quarterback Noah Johnson (toe) practiced earlier in the week and is probable.
Armwood struggled against Blake’s blitz package last week and anticipating Hillsborough will try the same, Callahan has prepared his offensive line all week for what may come.
Overlooking your opponent can prove to be a costly mistake.
Tampa Bay Tech knows this to be true.
In the season opener, the Titans, picked in the preseason as one of the top five teams in the county, were upset by Newsome.
“For lack of a better word, we got big-headed,” said Tampa Bay Tech coach Jayson Roberts. “We read into how good we were and how good we were going to be.”
Roberts said it’s a mistake his squad can’t afford to make twice. Despite their 0-2 record, Durant, which Tech plays tonight, is still a formidable opponent.
“They had two tough opponents and we still understand their a top team in the area,” he said.
Tampa Bay Tech lost to Durant in the first round of the playoffs last season. Roberts, however, doesn’t believe there can be redemption in a regular season game. The playoffs, he said, is entirely different.
The best thing his Titans can do tonight is show they’ve learned from the mistakes they committed against Newsome.
“We’ve been telling them all week to be disciplined,” he said.
Berkeley Prep on live stream: FOX Sports Florida announced it will be featuring the Berkeley Prep-Orlando Lake Highland Prep game on FOXSportsFlorida.com tonight at 7. Lake Highland is 0-2, while the Buccaneers are 2-0.