Here are some standout performances last weekend by Tampa Bay area athletes in college football: • Eastern Kentucky University defensive back Justin Bell (Chamberlain) had his first two career interceptions, including an end-zone pick, in a 23-13 victory against Murray State. • Bucknell University quarterback Marcello Trigg (Robinson) scored the winning touchdown on a 3-yard run in a 17-16 victory against Marist. The outcome was assured on a blocked extra-point in the final seconds. • University of Florida running back Chris Rainey (Lakeland), best known for breakaway runs from the UF backfield, blocked a punt and recovered it for a touchdown during a 41-7 win at Kentucky. • University of Central Florida running back Brynn Harvey (Largo) rushed 16 times for a team-high 71 yards, including a 19-yard touchdown, in a 19-14 loss against East Carolina. • University of Wyoming punter Austin McCoy (Winter Haven) had five punts for a 53.2-yard average, including a 60-yarder, in a 30-27 win against UNLV. • Colorado State University freshman punter Pete Kontodiakos (Countryside) averaged 43 yards on four punts in a 42-23 loss against Brigham Young. • Florida Atlantic University senior tight end Jason Harmon (Riverview) had a career-high 11 receptions for 132 yards in a 27-25 loss to Louisiana-Monroe. FAU receiver Chris Bonner (Gaither) had five catches for 76 yards, including an 18-yard touchdown.
University of Alabama senior Javier Arenas (Robinson) had four punt returns for 59 yards in a 35-7 win against Arkansas. His career punt-return yardage total is 1,531 yards. He needs 165 yards to become the SEC's all-time career punt-return leader (Vanderbilt's Lee Nalley had 1,695 yards from 1947-49). He needs 231 yards to become the all-time career punt-return leader in Division I-A (Texas Tech's Wes Welker had 1,761 yards from 2000-03). Minnesota Twins center fielder and leadoff batter Denard Span (Tampa Catholic), in his second game back since getting beaned, was 4-for-5 with a career-high six RBIs in Saturday night's 11-6 victory against the Kansas City Royals. "You see the ball and it seems like every pitch looks like a beachball," Span said. "When you go to swing, you feel like it's going to fall. I've never had six RBIs in a game at any level." Span, who went 2-for-5 in Sunday's 4-1 loss against the Royals, has improved his batting average to .312. "He's really maturing into a great player," Twins pitcher Scott Baker said. "He's patient. Obviously, he can hit the ball when we've got guys on base. And he plays great defense. There's not a lot he can't do." The Twins, trailing the American League Central-leading Detroit Tigers by two games, head into the final week by beginning a series at Detroit tonight.
The Florida Marlins distributed T-shirts on Saturday night that campaigned for left fielder Chris Coghlan (East Lake) to become National League Rookie of the Year. Coghlan is doing little to dispute that possibility. Sunday, he went 2-for-4 in a 4-0 loss to the New York Mets, raising his batting average to .314. His first big-league game was May 8 after getting called up from Triple-A New Orleans, but he has 150 hits with the Marlins, along with 76 runs scored, nine home runs and 44 RBIs. His slugging percentage is .450. He's batting .368 (39-for-106) in September after hitting .385 (47-for-122) in August.
Here are 10 eye-catching performances from the weekend in Tampa Bay area prep football: • Hillsborough quarterback Tarean Austin passed for 298 yards and two touchdowns in the Terriers' 49-23 win against Alonso. Austin also rushed for two touchdowns. • Venice quarterback Trey Burton accounted for six first-half touchdowns - four passing, two rushing - in the Indians' 41-14 win against Sarasota Riverview. Burton completed five of 11 passes for 155 yards and four touchdowns, while rushing for 47 yards and two more scores. • Tarpon Springs running back Adrian Golden rushed for 164 yards on 25 carries and four touchdowns in the Spongers' 49-3 victory against River Ridge. • Armwood quarterback Josh Grady completed 13 of 16 passes for 258 yards and two touchdowns in the Hawks' 49-0 win against Wharton. Grady also rushed for two touchdowns. • Lakeland wide receiver Javares McRoy had seven receptions for 102 yards and scored an overtime touchdown on a 10-yard reverse to lead the Dreadnaughts past Concord (Calif.) De La Salle 31-30 in a game televised by ESPN2. • Lakewood running back Bernard Reedy rushed for 258 yards (on just 10 carries) and scored five touchdowns in the Spartans' 51-7 rout of Dixie Hollins. • Avon Park wide receiver Alonzo Robertson had five catches for 143 yards and two touchdowns in the Red Devils' 25-13 victory against Cardinal Mooney. In a two-week span, Robertson has 357 receiving yards. • Lake Wales quarterback Justin Shafer completed 18 of 21 passes for 332 yards and six touchdowns in the Highlanders' 41-0 win against Celebration. • Mitchell running back Ricky Trinidad rushed for 145 yards and three touchdowns in the Mustangs' 57-20 victory against Anclote. • Jefferson quarterback Quentin Williams completed 19 of 28 passes for 297 yards and six touchdowns in the Dragons' 46-0 win against Osceola. Equally impressive - Dragons wide receiver Andre Davis had six receptions for 132 yards and four touchdowns. Jacksonville Providence High School swingman Stacey Poole, Jr., whose father was a star for Lon Kruger's Florida Gators in the early 1990s, has orally committed to the University of Kentucky's basketball program. Poole, 6-foot-5 and 200 pounds, also was considering Florida, Indiana, South Carolina and Clemson. Happy belated birthday to former Raiders offensive tackle Henry Lawrence, the all-state performer from Manatee High School and Florida A&M University, who earned three Super Bowl rings. He is now a musical entertainer, specializing in the blues and Motown-influenced tunes. Saturday, Lawrence turned 58. Here's the answer to Friday's trivia question: When Sickles High School opened in 1997, the head football coach was Shannon O'Brien. His brother, Pat, is the current Sickles' head coach. Here's our daily sports trivia question, featuring a Tampa Bay/Florida spin. Try your luck by commenting below. Bucs coach Raheem Morris, the franchise's eighth head coach, lost 24-0 on Sunday to the New York Giants in his third regular-season game. Who was the only head coach in franchise history to never lose by a shutout while with the Bucs? Check for the answer in Tuesday's Wake-Up Call.