The Chargers are looking to beat the Lions in consecutive seasons Friday night.
If history truly does repeat itself, as the saying goes, the Strawberry Crest Chargers are about to have themselves a good week.
Crest is heading into Friday night’s home opener against King High School with high hopes. The Chargers beat King, 23-6, in an away game early last season that effectively ended the Chargers’ regular-season losing streak. That came after a loss to Spoto in the 2017 opener and a win over Seminole in that preseason. In 2018, the Chargers picked up a 20-7 win over Seminole and, though they lost to the Spartans again, fared much better in a 12-7 loss.
Last week’s matchup with Spoto was defined largely by Kobe Smith, the Spartans’ senior running back who gashed Crest’s defense to the tune of 182 yards and two touchdowns. Smith accounted for 87% of Spoto’s offense by himself and scored both of his touchdowns in the first half. But Crest’s defense performed well against the rest of the Spartans, holding quarterback Jerson Singleton to 15 yards on four completions against 12 pass attempts and holding the rest of Spoto’s rushers to a grand total of three yards. The Chargers were able to get seven points on the board in the fourth quarter, but the offense couldn’t pull off the comeback in the end.
King had it much worse in a 44-0 home loss to Middleton. The Tigers successfully ran a balanced attack on the hosting Lions’ defense, passing for 111 yards with a 57% completion rate and rushing for 204 yards with 8.5 yards per carry among four players. On defense, Middleton’s Jason Comwall came up with an interception he returned for 97 yards.
The Chargers would certainly like to head into the bye week on a positive note, especially since two of their next three games are among the toughest they’ll play all season: they return to action Sept. 14 at Tampa Bay Tech and will host Plant City on Sept. 28.
OTHER AREA ACTION
at Sickles, 7950 Gunn Highway, Tampa, 7:30 p.m.
The Cougars hung in there with Jesuit for three quarters last week and managed to tie the game at 7-7 going into halftime The only problem for Durant was the third quarter, in which the home team allowed 21 unanswered points in the span of about three in-game minutes. Durant couldn’t recover from that outburst.
Sickles is coming off a 23-12 win at Alonso last week in which the Gryphons defense forced four turnovers and a safety, and held the Ravens to 144 total yards on offense. The stop unit is most likely to cause problems for Durant, which wasn’t able to get too much going on offense besides David Haynes’ big touchdown run.
at Hillsborough, 5000 N. Central Ave., Tampa, 7:30 p.m.
Down by five points with 32 seconds left, Plant City quarterback Braxton Plunk linked up with Eric McLeod for a 36-yard touchdown that capped off a 19-14 Raiders win. Plant City achieved a goal it set for itself — finish some of those games it couldn’t last year — but also committed 22 of the game’s 53 combined penalties.
Hillsborough was on the losing end of Saturday’s 45-28 score at Plant High School in a game rescheduled due to lightning. Though the final score might not suggest it, the Terriers hung right in there with the Panthers for much of the game and made transfer quarterback Tucker Gleason and company work for their points. Plant was up by 10 points with 10 minutes left to play but pulled off a drive that ran out the clock and ended with the game’s final touchdown.