The Cougars and Chargers have a showdown in Dover on Friday night.
The second of back-to-back crosstown rivalry games kicks off in Dover this Friday night, when Durant and Strawberry Crest will face off to try and end a cold streak.
October has not been kind to the Cougars and Chargers at all: both teams have been held scoreless in two losses this month (and Strawberry Crest’s streak dates back to Sept. 27 against Lakeland). To say both teams want to make something happen on the scoreboard, let alone to get a win that’s proved elusive lately, is an understatement.
The wrecking ball that is Lakeland High School came through Cougar Path last week and left with a 27-0 shutout win. The Dreadnaughts kept Durant from scoring despite helping the Cougars with 135 penalty yards against themselves, and they contained the rushing attack to the tune of 159 total yards (an even four yards per carry). Sean Williams completed one of his four pass attempts, finding Eli Reed for a 21-yard gain.
Though the final score was very much in Lakeland’s favor, it wasn’t the easiest thing for the Dreadnaughts to do. The Cougars’ defense, which has been better than a 3-5 record would suggest, forced two fumbles and recovered one (Reed, a fullback, had the other fumble recovery for Durant). The unit kept Lakeland almost entirely off the scoreboard in the second half, save for six points in the fourth quarter.
Crest hosted Plant City last week and did not fare as well. The Plant City Raiders dominated the game and picked up a 63-0 final score. Plant City’s offense had a light, but effective, workload: eight combined touchdowns on eight pass attempts and six running plays. Quarterback Makenzie Kennedy accounted for five of the touchdowns (three passing, one rushing, one receiving) against his former team.
Though the offense was able to sustain drives and enter Plant City territory several times, the Raiders kept quarterback Kadin Durgan and his teammates from doing too much damage. Crest’s search for scoring isn’t getting any easier for a few weeks, as it’s got Durant at home this Friday and then a tough Bloomingdale unit on the road on Oct. 25.
Friday’s game kicks off a two-game road trip for the Cougars, who have been better on the road than at home in 2019. Durant has a 3-1 record (compared to an 0-4 record at home) and averages an even 33 points per game as the visiting team (compared to three points per game, scoring 12 against Riverview and nothing against Bloomingdale, Lennard and Lakeland, at home). They’ll end their season next week with the Battle for the Redman Cup at PCHS before both of those teams enter their bye week. The Chargers, meanwhile, have the game at Bloomingdale next Friday and end by hosting a winless Brandon team on Nov. 1.
OTHER AREA ACTION
vs. Kathleen, 7:30 p.m.
Last week, everything that could go right for Plant City did in its 63-0 win at Strawberry Crest. The offense scored with one snap on most of the Raiders’ drives and brought about a running clock in the second quarter after scoring 28 points in the first. The win was a confidence-booster for a team coming off of two straight losses, including a 35-0 shutout at home at the hands of Armwood.
This week, Plant City kicks off a two-game home stand by hosting Kathleen. The Red Devils, who started October by staying within a touchdown of Bartow in a 45-38 shootout loss, hosted Bloomingdale last week and allowed 603 total yards in their 46-10 loss to the Bulls. More than half of Bloomingdale’s yardage came on the ground (379 rushing yards), which bodes well for Plant City’s Makenzie Kennedy/Zamir’ Knighten combo this week.