The Strawberry Crest Chargers are off to a great start under fourth-year head coach Phillip Prior. The Chargers routed King and Spoto to go 2-0 for the first time since 2010. The team has been trending upward since their 5-5 season last year.
Senior quarterback Jordan Lewis has taken first team snaps, completing 11 of 20 passes for 141 yards and three touchdowns through the air, as well as carrying the ball 11 times for 90 yards and a rushing touchdown. Prior said that Lewis is great at managing the game and he throws a very catchable ball. Senior Ryan Weems is an athletic runner who will take snaps at the QB in the wildcat formation. He’s carried the ball 19 times for 78 yards and a touchdown.
The Chargers need to build depth in order to remain fresh on the field. They’ve had a lot of athletes playing both ways, which doesn’t bode well for success later in the season. The school’s location near Armwood and Plant City has made it difficult for it to have a deep roster. The team returns 17 out of 22 starters, including their entire secondary that has played together for three seasons. Lack of experience won’t be a problem for Strawberry Crest.
Key players who will help facilitate this run-heavy multiple offense include junior running back Devin Blunt, who has carried the ball 16 times for 76 yards and a touchdown; senior receiver Quincy Hart, who leads the team with two catches for 54 yards and a touchdown; and senior receiver Marcus Springfield, who can catch and run the ball with 51 receiving yards and 22 rushing yards, to go along with 24 kick return yards. Prior said that his team has done a great job controlling the ball but would like to see them start faster and rip off some more big plays.
Prior thinks that his team’s strength is its defense that gives multiple looks up front. The team gave up a touchdown on King’s opening drive in the first game of the season and hasn’t allowed a score since. Cornerback Blunt leads the team with 10 total tackles and an interception. Also at cornerback, Weems is second on the team with six tackles, junior defensive end Quintin Walker leads the team with three sacks off the edge and Springfield recorded an interception at safety.
Strawberry Crest has a manageable schedule, only facing three teams with winning records last season. Expect the Chargers to win six-plus games this season.
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