When you first see Harmony athlete Christian Acevedo in person without his pads on you have to figure he's just another statistic. A little guy who has big talent, but will never get beyond his 5-6, 160-pound stature.
But if you were able to watch this past Friday's Bright House Networks Sports telecast of Harmony's 50-17 romp over Lake Nona, you'd quickly jump on the Acevedo. That's right, Harmony put 50 on Kevin Sousa's Lions and it was no fluke as the Longhorns pounded the ball on the ground.
Acevedo, a senior whom you will usually find at running back or slot receiver, started at quarterback over fellow senior Adam Harvey, mostly to allow the Longhorns to establish a ground attack.
They attacked all right.
Acevedo mostly directed traffic in the first half Wildcat formation, handing the ball off frequently to bulldozer of running back C.J. Clayton, who had 222 yards and three touchdowns by halftime.
In the second half, Clayton, who ended with 235 yards, didn't see the ball much, but Acevedo was more than enough. Coming from either the running back slot -- Harvey got in on the act in the second half -- or by just keeping the ball as quarterback, he too rolled up 200-plus yards (203) and Harmony racked up more than 545 yards rushing. Acevedo also had a second-half kickoff return for a 97-yard TD.
Other Harmony players who impressed were freshman ATH Alexander Britton, sophomore WR-RB Forrest Osborne and junior lineman Terry Akers.
The 'Horns made a statement. We'll see if it means anything the rest of the way.
Lake Nona had a few players who stood out as the Lions woke up a bit in the second half. Senior Chris Compton showed he's a receiver Sousa can count on this season and he'll be a big help to a squad that lost senior Matt Mendez last week with a torn ACL.. Compton and Dimitri Fontana made some nice catches, as did Josh Sullivan, the leading receiver in Central Florida last year in catches (53) and yards (908) .
Wherever the ball was when Harmony had possesion, so was Nona senior linebacker Aaron Virgilio, whom coach Andy Hamre calls his "ball hawk" and he's right on the money with that description. Kicker
Of course Sousa would get his usual numbers, eventually. He had 15 carries for 181 yards rushing, including a late 60-yard touchdown run, 18-of-38, 256, two TDs.
Elsewhere on the Prospect Patrol:
Apopka 38, Lake Brantley 3: Freshman Zack Darlington and senior Keon Brooks, both quarterbacks gave Apopka quite a different look Friday night. Brooks, of course, can do it all, and when Darlington, the second son of head coach Rick Darlington on the Apopka roster -- the other is junior center Ty Darlington -- it allowed Brooks to get out in open spaces and display his talent even more.
Brooks, one of the most impressive athletes in all of Florida, and Darlington hooked up on the freshman's second snap from center with a 35-yard pass play that had fans on their feet. Brooks would later line up wide again, but this time came around on a reverse that he took 19 yards to the goal line and was whistled down. The secret weapon is out of the bag now. We'll see how Apopka handles teams who can now prepare for the QB duo. Apopka junior slot back Qua Barnes was also big for the Darters. He was a workhorse most of the night, along with senior Tom Smith, but he got his reward late in the game with an 82-yard TD run that put Barnes at 127 yards rushing for the game.
South Daytona Beach Warner Christian 46, St.. Johns Country Day 6: Senior RB-DB Breon Allen showed why Pittsburgh has recruited the 5-foot-7, 160-pound mighty mite. He ran the football just eight times and racked up 234 yards rushing. He had four touchdowns, two rushing, one on a 91-yard interception return and a 35-yard punt return. His rushing TDs were big plays also -- 78 and 65 yards. Teammate sophomore RB Marcus Dixon wasn't about to miss out and he added three TDs, two running (53 and 16 yards) and one TD catch (22 yards). Allen has yet to visit Pitt, and when he does the commitment he made in July is supposed to become official.
Jones 42, Deltona 3: Senior running back Steven Michel and sophomore receiver Kermit Whitfield each scored twice. Whitfield took a punt back 66 yards and had a 40-yard pass from Angelo Warner. for a TD. Warner also scored on a 1-yard run. Senior lineman Jamal Massey blocked a kick for the Tigers, which was recovered for a touchdown in the fourth quarter. Michel's TD runs were from 8 and 3 yards out. Another big moment was a hit that Jones safety Cameron Montgomery put on a Deltona player, who was on the ground for a while, but walked off on his own power. Montgomery is one of the biggest hitters in Central Florida, if not the entire state.
Hagerty 24, Lake Mary 22: Jeff Driskel let loose against the touted Rams defense and led the fourth-year school to a season-opening victory. Driskel rushed for 246 yards and two touchdoesn, and threw for another TD and had 147 yards passing (11-of-17) and the future Florida Gator did everything he could to fuel all the comparisons to Tim Tebow. Driskel scored on runs of 61 and 68 yards. Lake Mary senior running back William Hartsfield ran for 146 yards and a touchdown, and senior Purdue commit ATH Taylor Richards had a pair of rushing TDs and 74 yards on the ground.
15-26 for 147, 1 TD
17 carries for 246 yards, 2 TD
St. Cloud 41, Osceola 35 (OT): RB Irving Huggins and QB Phillip Steinmetz, both juniors, are supposed to lead St. Cloud to big things this season. They certainly got off to a great start. Huggins had 179 yards rushing and two touchdowns, while Steinmetz threw for 229 yards and two TDs in dumping county rival Osceola.
Winter Park 19, Winter Springs: The Wildcats needed all they could muster to knock off a much improved Winter Springs team. Iowa State-bound senior QB Sam Richardson passed for 116 yards and a TD and was 13-of-20, and senior RB-DB Brandon Brown-Dukes clinched the game with a late 41-yard TD scamper.
Freedom 12, Timber Creek 3: Junior RB Austin Gamble ran for 177 yards and the game's only two TDs.
Oak Ridge 38, Smoky Hill (Colo.) 0: Ricky Harper is for real. The Oak Ridge senior caught three touchdown passes from Andre Scott. The junior QB also scored on a 72-yard run, and senior RB Mario Bargainer, added an 80-yard TD run.
Evans 30, Ocoee 23: Evans is looking like they will compete under first-year coach Carl Holden. RB Dexler Dixon had 98 yards and a touchdown as Evans rallied from a 14-point margin. Ocoee senior QB Trenier Orr led the Knights with 50 yards rushing and two touchdowns. Evans senior Brandon Alexander caught a 30-yard TD pass.
DeLand 33, Wekiva 13: Florida-bound De'ante 'Pop' Saunders had 291 all-purpose yards and accounted for three touchdowns in the rout. Terrance Ross had a 90-yard kickoff return for Wekiva.
Oviedo 14, Seminole 7: Senior wide receiver Mac Metcalf caught a 29-yard TD pass from senior quarterback Sean Long on a 4th-and-5 situation with 3:03 left to snap a 7-7 tie. Junior RB Anthony Gonzalez scored the first Oviedo touchdown from 46 yards. He had 100 yards on 14 carries. Long looks to perhaps have filled the vacancy left by graduated Blake Bortles, who is now at UCF. Long had a nice night, completing 11-of-17 (64 percent) passes for 114 yards and a touchdown.
Seabreeze 18, Spruce Creek 0: One of Central Florida's top receivers John Christopher caught seven passes for 148 yards and a TD and junior QB Trenton Norvell, in his first varsity start, threw for 224 yards and two touchdowns. Senior running back Brian Young caught six passes for 55 yards.
East River 23, Orlando University 22 (OT): Senior QB Josh Jones scored on a sneak up the middle then threw the conversion pass to senior WR Chris Streat to send the game to OT. Jones again hooked up with Streat on a fade route on fourth-and-22 in the OT and then backup QB Arnold Lusby punched it in for the victory on the conversion.