TAMPA — Tampa Catholic coach Mike Gregory said there is no secret surrounding versatile senior Justin Motlow. The Crusaders’ wide receiver, defensive back and punter was huge in Friday’s 13-10 win against Clearwater Central Catholic.
The 5-foot-10, 185-pound Motlow came up big in the final minutes of the first half with a touchdown-saving tackle after he punted the ball away. Motlow was the last man standing as a speedy Marauders’ return man had a clear view of a lot of green grass in front of him, but he wrapped up the player for the tackle, keeping the Crusaders’ deficit at one score.
“I know I’m a punter, but I play defense too,” Motlow said with a smile after the game.
Gregory admitted there are some players who may get more attention than his everyman, but Motlow is far from a secret to his coaches.
“Motlow has never been a hidden factor for us,” Gregory said. “He was big for us last year and we knew what he would bring for us this year.”
Motlow also came through in the third quarter at the receiver position, going up for a ball, fighting off a CCC defender and coming down with the ball in the end zone for a touchdown.
“My main goal is to be a great example for the rest of the younger guys,” Motlow said. “I try to work as hard as I can to help my boys out.”
Severity of Brown’s hand injury unknown
As of Saturday afternoon, Plant quarterback Colby Brown still had questions about his throwing hand.
Brown injured the hand in the first quarter of Friday’s 28-7 victory against Robinson. Brown was running toward the end zone when he was hit hard, but cleanly, at the Robinson 2-yard line. Brown crashed to the ground and came up wincing.
“We should have an answer soon,” Plant coach Robert Weiner said Saturday afternoon.
Minutes after the game Friday night, Weiner said he believed the hand was badly bruised but couldn’t be certain without a full diagnosis.
Brown, who completed seven of 16 attempts for 59 yards and a 2-yard touchdown pass on Friday, didn’t play the second half. Rex Culpepper filled in and played well.
Avenging loss first step for Dragons
Jefferson avenged last year’s loss to Hillsborough on Friday, putting to rest the sorrow from a game they led 21-0 before squandering the needed win to make the playoffs.
Friday’s 28-23 win puts the Dragons in a great position to make the playoffs, but the players’ goals are bigger than just returning to the playoffs, where they haven’t been since 2010.
“Nothing is promised and nothing is safe so we still have to work, we still have a long way to go,” senior quarterback Deiondre Porter said. “We can’t get complacent. The goal ain’t the playoffs. The goal is state (tournament). Just because you make the playoffs doesn’t mean you go to state. We have to keep grinding and working and clean up a lot of mistakes.”
Chris Greene, East Bay — Greene tallied just 40 yards rushing in Saturday’s overtime win against Riverview, but scored two touchdowns, coming through late with a fourth-quarter TD, the game-tying 2-point conversion, then a 10-yard scoring rush to end the game in overtime.
Travis Hempstead, Newsome — After some fumbling issues in Week 1, the senior running back stepped up for the Wolves with 170 rushing yards and three touchdowns (two rushing, one receiving) in Newsome’s 38-7 win against Gaither.
Robbie Shell, Seffner Christian — The senior scored six times as the Crusaders crushed Master’s Academy 54-21, totaling 304 yards of offense in the game.
Michael Hicks, Berkeley Prep — The Buccaneers’ cornerback and return man got things started right, taking the opening kickoff 78 yards to score, and later came through with an interception return for a touchdown in Berkeley’s 27-22 win against Victory Christian.
Isaiah McIntyre, Bloomingdale — For the second-straight week, the Bulls’ sophomore quarterback led his team with three touchdowns (two rushing, one passing) as Bloomingdale has a pair of victories to open the season.