With two weeks remaining in the Tampa Bay-area prep football season, just eight teams have wrapped up playoff berths.
Some of the teams headed to the playoffs were expected while others may be surprising. And some of the teams that will be in the postseason just have not clinched as of yet.
But with a few more weeks of sorting out left in the season, here's some intriguing storylines as the playoffs approach: 10. Will Wiregrass Ranch (Wesley Chapel) make the playoffs?
Yes. Not only did the Bulls make the playoffs for the first time in school history, but they won the Class 4A-6 district title and will host a first-round game. 9. How will Largo perform in the playoffs without quarterback Juwan Brown? Jarvis Stewart
and Derrick Doss
have picked up the slack, each running for 200 yards in recent games for the 4A-10 champion Packers. 8. How far can Countryside (Clearwater) go in the postseason?
The undefeated Cougars have had their share of seemingly uninspired regular-season wins this year (14-13 against East Lake, 17-13 against Tarpon Springs and 21-6 against Clearwater).7. Can St. Petersburg's Rashad Lewis keep up his rushing pace?
The Green Devils' running back has been dominant in the regular season with an area-best 1,317 yards and 21 touchdowns. 6. Will Robinson (Tampa) be able to continue its offensive fireworks?
Quarterback Blake Rice
, running back J.J. Hubbard
, wide receiver Ruben Gonzalez
and athlete Frankie Williams
have helped the Knights enjoy a 34-point average margin of victory.5. There are two 3A-7 playoff spots up for grabs between Pasco (Dade City), Land O'Lakes and Sunlake (Land O'Lakes). Who gets in?
Pasco defeated Land O' Lakes, Land O' Lakes defeated Sunlake. If Sunlake beats Pasco, it'll be a real mess – an exciting one, though.4. Can first-year Jesuit (Tampa) coach James Harrell keep the Tigers motivated through a playoff run?
The Tigers have been outstanding this season, earning the 2A-5 crown and beginning the Harrell era flawlessly. 3. Is this the year for Jefferson (Tampa)?
The Dragons have made the playoffs 11 straight seasons but haven't had a signal caller like Quentin Williams
. His prolific season (2,349 yards, 35 touchdowns, one interception) looks like it may go well into December.2. Can Plant (Tampa) three-peat?
A tough early-season schedule and untimely injuries have slowed down the Plant train but the Panthers may be peaking now that November has arrived. 1. Can anyone score on, much less defeat, Armwood (Seffner)?
The Hawks defense has given up zero points in the opening half of eight games so far this season. Amrwood has allowed a total of 28 points all year, pitching a shutout in three contests.BEST OF THE BAY AREA ARMWOOD (Seffner) 8-0 –
The Armwood train rolls on as the Hawks destroy Gaither 49-7. Hawks will clinch Class 4A-10 district if they beat East Bay (Gibsonton) this week.JEFFERSON (Tampa) 8-0 –
Quentin Williams threw 5 touchdowns in a 61-0 thrashing of Dixie Hollins (St. Petersburg). Now owns Hillsborough County's career touchdown passing mark with 88. Up next: Blake (Tampa).ST. PETERSBURG 8-0 –
Green Devils wrapped up 5A-9 district crown with 25-8 win against Northeast (St. Petersburg). Hosting Pinellas Park this week. JESUIT (Tampa) 8-0 –
Jesuit earned the 2A-5 title after beating Middleton (Tampa) 37-6. Jesuit plays at St. Petersburg Catholic this week. PLANT (Tampa) 6-2 –
The Panthers, off last week, will wrap another district crown this week when Chamberlain (Tampa) visits. ROBINSON (Tampa) 7-1 –
The Knights clinched a playoff spot after a 45-7 win against Steinbrenner (Lutz). Robinson is at Strawberry Crest (Dover) this week. PASCO (Dade City) 8-0 –
The Pirates put a pounding on Mitchell (New Port Richey) – to the tune of 52-0. A win this week at Sunlake (Land O' Lakes) earns Pasco the 3A-7 title.BRANDON 7-1 –
Eagles looked lackluster in their 10-0 win at lowly Chamberlain (Tampa). Hosting Freedom (Tampa) for, at the very least, a shot at a playoff spot this Friday.LAND O' LAKES 7-1 –
Quarterback Stephen Weatherford threw two late scores and ran for another as the Gators rallied to beat rival Sunlake (Land O' Lakes). LOL must top Mitchell (New Port Richey) to lock up at least a playoff spot.COUNTRYSIDE (Clearwater) 9-0 –
The Cougars slipped past East Lake (Tarpon Springs) 14-13 to win the Class 5A-8 district crown. Off this week. Coming on:
Largo 6-2, King (Tampa) 7-2, Sunlake (Land O' Lakes) 7-1, Hillsborough (Tampa) 5-3, Admiral Farragut (St. Petersburg) 7-1. OTHER BAY AREA HAPPENINGS
Region play begins this week in the volleyball postseason.
Several Bay area squads are competing and two – Plant (Tampa)
and Berkeley Prep (Tampa)
are vying to repeat as state champions. In addition to Plant, Bloomingdale (Valrico)
also advanced to the Class 6A state playoffs.
In 5A, area teams Durant (Plant City)
, Riverview (Sarasota)
, Pinellas Park (Largo)
, East Lake (Tarpon Springs)
, Northeast (St. Petersburg)
and Tampa schools Freedom (Tampa)
and Sickles (Tampa)
have advanced to regional play.
Class 4A teams Mitchell (New Port Richey)
, Strawberry Crest (Dover)
and Steinbrenner (Lutz)
reached region competition.
At 3A, Berkeley Prep is attempting to repeat and add to its program total of 13 state championships. Clearwater Central Catholic
also has reached the 3A region round. Tampa Prep
, meanwhile, is trying to advance to the Class 2A state title match again but is also trying to avoid a repeat of last year's state runner-up finish. Also in the 2A regional playoffs: Indian Rocks Christian (Largo)
and Northside Christian (St. Petersburg)
In Class A, Seffner Christian
, Canterbury (St. Petersburg)
and Cambridge Christian (Tampa)
are playing the region round.