By Tamas Mondovics
It is safe to say the Durant High School football program means business and is hungry and ready to take the season seriously.
The Cougars, led by program Head Coach Mike Gottman, started off with a season opener 14-10 win against Jesuit, followed by a 28-14 victory against Sickles a week later.
To give their fans who braved the weather a fair share of Friday Night Lights football excitement against Jesuit, Durant opened with an 80-yard kickoff return by Cougar junior Demarcus Governor.
Durant Quarterback Carlton Potter completed two huge passes in the first half; a 43-yard touchdown to freshman Agiye Hall, and a 65-yard touchdown to senior Jory Cole.
Potter ended with five of nine for 148 yards and two touchdowns.
A talented trio to also look for this season includes running back Cameron Myers, fullback David Tabakovic and defensive back Corey Barnes.
Durant is without question ready to lead its district lineup, while facing some very talented 7A District 9 competition including East Bay, Strawberry Crest, Lennard, Bloomingdale, Plant City and Tampa Bay Tech.
For its season opener, Newsome took on Bloomingdale, whose offense came in ready to rumble, picking up 24 points in the first half and seeming unstoppable.
Unfortunately, Bloomingdale seemed to have forgotten that that this wasn’t Newsome’s first rodeo. The Bulls allowed 20 points in the second half and handed over the season opening victory with a final score of 27-24 to the Wolves.
A week later in a close game, Newsome also defeated East Bay 17-14 but the final score came only in the second overtime.
But things are not looking too bad for East Bay either. For the past nine times (including this year’s season opener game) the Indians have enjoyed the upper hand against local rival Riverview and managed to hold onto the battle trophy.
Hoping to break the streak, the young Riverview team led by program head coach William Mosel, came out strong scoring first with a 26-yard field goal, by Yadir Blas, but quickly ran out of steam unable to put anymore points on the board.
When it was over East Bay walked away with another annual rivalry game victory and the winning trophy after defeating Riverview 35-3, forcing the Sharks to look to next year for a chance to settle at the score.
The Indians led by Coach Frank LaRosa are boasting a solid roster that includes returning senior quarterback Tanner Morris and four-year varsity running back Davonte Williams, who rushed for more than 230 yards on 22 carries.
“Davonte is not the biggest running back, but I’ll put him up against anybody in the county,” he said during a post game field interview.
LaRosa added that Williams wants the pressure on him and has great leadership ability. “The kids respect him”, he said.
For more information about local area high school football, please visit www.maxpreps.com.