but the fever bug struck last week.. I was lucky to be able to get out of bed Friday and do the show.
Ah, but never the less, we had shake-down week... and what a week it was.
St. Thomas Aquinas proved to the world that they belong among the national elite programs with a dismantling of Camden County, 45-28. Once again the Raiders gave up a late score to make the margin of victory seem manageable, but this one was all STA.
Armwood used its defense and its power rushing attack to keep the Plant Panthers offense off the field and handed Plant a 17-0 shutout. Plant may have lost the services of senior phenom James Wilder Jr. with a possible knee injury.
Miami Northwestern took the first step of the gauntlet with an nail-biting 26-25 win over Booker T. Washington. Last year the Bulls fell to BTW and then upended Central. This year they once again face the Rockets just six days after winning over the Tornados. Up after this is Columbus, which is unbeaten. Things don't get any easier for the Bulls.
Cocoa faced the last team to beat them - Merritt Island - and handled the test very well, with a 24-0 victory over the Mustangs. Cocoa hasn't lost a game since 2008.
Lincoln and Pine Forest met in a battle of two teams desperately needing a win. Pine Forest gave the ball up six times, but Loucheiz Purifoy, who made two of those turnovers, took the game over in the fourth quarter... He had a block of a field goal - and returned it 67 yards for a score - and when the Trojans tied it at 21, he busted loose for a 78 yard run to put the game away. The score would have been 35-21 but Purifoy fumbled through the end zone on the previous drive. Of course, Trebian Suggs added 191 yards rushing as Pine Forest appears to have righted the ship.
A couple of teams bounced out of the Top 25 - Niceville was beaten by Pace 31-17 and dropped out as well as Plant, Miramar (a 30-28 loser to Hallandale) and Tampa Robinson (a 29-28 loser to Jesuit).
Madison County continues to roll over opponents, regardless of classification... and how about Trinity's impressive 40-0 win over Nease. Don't you think Fletcher would love to have that opener against Nease back?
Is there a team that has played a tougher schedule in northeast Florida than First Coast? Four playoff teams including one state finalist dot the Buccaneer schedule through the first five weeks and the Bucs are 5-0 without the services of Eric Beverly.
A couple of teams to keep an eye on....
Venice (4-1) their only loss is to Lakeland and they manhandled Southeast... Big game with Manatee forthcoming.
St. Petersburg (5-0) The Green Devils are rolling and some say are the best in Pinellas.
Kathleen (4-1) - the Red Devils only loss came to Jesuit.