TAMPA — In its season opener, Tampa Bay Tech outgained Newsome in yardage, had the turnover advantage, but ended up with a 23-12 loss. It was something Titans coach Jayson Roberts said he could see on the faces of his players as they came in for film study and practice the following day.
“When they watched that film on Saturday after (Newsome) they were hurt, they were taking it on themselves,” Roberts said. “Take nothing away from Newsome, they did what they were supposed to do, but when you outgain a team by more than 100 yards, have four turnovers then there is no excuse for us losing.”
However, the loss to the Wolves lit a spark in TBT’s leaders, Roberts said, and it showed as the Titans topped Durant 31-10 Thursday night.
Roberts said after the film review of the Newsome game, his leaders, Deon Thompson, Fred Russ, Micah Tucker and Tajee Fullwood, stayed another two hours talking about what went right and wrong and how they could fix their mistakes. Roberts said he stayed with his players listening to their ideas and stepping up to take responsibility for the loss.
“The guys we think of as our leaders hung around after practice and sat with me,” Roberts said.
“What they thought was right, what was wrong and what we could fix. I listened to what they said and took some to heart, the players really took it upon themselves to take the responsibility for the game and that was probably the biggest difference in our attitude this week.”
The change in attitude paid off.
“Our team refocused after being humbled a little bit by Newsome,” Roberts said. “We got back on track, playing the way we expect to play and I think that showed in our play.”
Sickles has eye on the prize
Sickles has missed the playoffs the past two seasons. Last year, the Gryphons finished 7-3 but fell short. This season, Sickles is playing like a team on a mission.
Sickles improved to 3-0 on Thursday with a 27-7 win against Newsome. All three wins have come against teams that made the playoffs in 2012 — Robinson (Class 5A state semifinals), Durant (region semifinalist) and Newsome (region finalist).
“This shows we’re one of the best around here,” said Sickles junior running back Ray Ray McCloud III. “We beat Newsome, Robinson and Durant, three playoff teams that went far into the playoffs.”
Taylor King and Michael Smith, Carrollwood Day — The two combined for a big day as King (16 of 21, 309 yards) hit Smith (six catches for 197 yards) for three touchdowns in the Patriots’ 49-22 win against Shorecrest Prep.
Deiondre Porter, Jefferson — The Dragons QB rushed for 162 yards and three touchdowns and added another score through the air as Jefferson (3-0) topped Robinson 39-22.
Garrett Young, Cambridge Christian — The Lancers quarterback threw for 191 yards and two touchdowns and added three rushing touchdowns in Cambridge’s 48-21 win against Bishop McLaughlin.
Keisean Young, Riverview — The Sharks quarterback rushed for 210 yards and three TDs as Riverview (1-1) topped Brandon 28-21 on Thursday.
Seffner Christian’s quarterback is Caleb Newman. An incorrect last name was printed in Saturday’s story.