TAMPA – On a rainy Friday night, two playoff teams from a season ago River Ridge and Tampa Catholic battled it out. The Crusaders flew past visiting River Ridge 56-10 in four quarters of play.
Rising senior wide receiver Darius Corbett shined all night long totaling three touchdown receptions including a 21-yard score on the second play of the game. Tampa Catholic recovered a fumble on the opening kickoff setting up shop in River Ridge territory.
Corbett later added a 39-yard touchdown in the second quarter and then capped it off with a 19-yard scamper into the endzone with No. 2 quarterback Charlie Dean under center in the third.
Starting quarterback Austin Sessums, a rising senior stood tall in the pocket all night combining for three touchdown passes, two to Corbett and another one near the end of the second quarter to Spenser Wong.
With rising senior running back Devan Barrett inactive, rising sophomore Jalen Bussey was electric for the Crusaders. The 5’6″, 134-pounder is a lightning bolt out of the backfield. He added touchdown runs of 48 and seven yards in the opening quarter. He later added a 40-yard scamper in the fourth quarter. The kid has a motor and should be a dangerous threat rotating behind Barrett this fall.
The other TC scores came in the fourth quarter from Dean, who hammered in for a two-yard score. The offense didn’t miss a beat with him under center and he’s destined for big things as a rising sophomore. Come 2017, he’ll be the starting quarterback for the Crusaders there’s no doubt in my mind.
Prior to that touchdown, rising senior Leon Bright came in at running back and bulldozed his way in for a 11-yard score.
River Ridge’s lone score came on a two-yard run to open the second quarter by rising senior quarterback Trevor Hawks. Rising junior kicker Michael Webster connected on the lone field goal on the night from 30 yards out later in the quarter.
Standouts from Tampa Catholic
WR Darius Corbett
Corbett is a player that is hard to miss. With graduating senior Nate Craig-Myers off to Auburn, Corbett is taking over his role in the offense. The rising senior totaled hree touchdowns in this one. He took screens up field in a hurry, caught every pass that came his way and did his part on defense as a cornerback. He’s a fun player to watch.
— Jake Perper (@JakePerper) May 21, 2016
CB Bentlee Sanders
Every time Bentlee Sanders touched the ball, he made things happen. He had a 64-yard catch and run in the first quarter that he nearly took to the house. He also had two kickoff returns of 50 plus yards and another one of 25 yards despite muffing the punt initially. At 5’9″, 180 lbs., Sanders has the straight line speed that every player desires.
LB Darien Gooch
I counted the rising junior for five tackles on the night, but I’m sure he had even more. He was in on just about every play and brings a bruising presence to the Tampa Catholic defense. The game ended on a Gooch sack. The son of former Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Jeff Gooch, Darien is top notch player in the Class of 2018.
QB Austin Sessums
Outside of an interception in the second quarter on a ball that sailed on Sessums, the 6’0″, 187-pounder made all the right throws whether it was deep, intermediate or on screens. He deserves more attention simply because he plays with such grit and smarts overall.
RB Jalen Bussey
Two touchdowns and some flashy runs, Bussey excels as a side stepper evident by his 40 plus yard scamper late in the fourth quarter. Barrett is penciled in as the starter, but no one says Bussey can’t work his way onto the field. He had one fumble. His quick feet is what gets him past defenders.
DB Chris Murray
A diving 12-yard reception prior to Bussey’s second score in the opening quarter, Murray made a bigger impact on defense. The rising sophomore had two interceptions. He is beyond athletic and should start for the TC defense this season.
Honorable mentions: DB Raymond Benefield, QB Charlie Dean, WR Corey Leppert, DE Zac Couture
Standouts from River Ridge
WR Mikey Roussos
Although River Ridge scored only 10 points on the night, Roussos, a rising junior did everything and more for his squad. He brought back a kickoff 70 yards, hauled in an interception at defensive back, threw a 30-yard pass and made a handful of highlight-reel grabs. I love the way this kid plays and he’s a name you need to know right now.
— Jake Perper (@JakePerper) May 20, 2016
DT Corbin Moore
The rising senior excels in gap penetration at 6’0″, 255 lbs. He used his pure power to record a couple tackles for a loss. This kid should be able to land an offer to play at the next level.
TE Tyler Poirer
Only a rising sophomore, Poirer is going to have an important role this season for the Knights. He made some stellar grabs that weren’t easy against an aggressive TC defense.
WR Alex Kostogiannes
The 6’2″, 180-pound rising senior turned out a nice performance as both a wideout and cornerback. He had a couple of solid receptions and did his part in coverage.
QB Trevor Hawks
Although he is undersized at 5’11”, he is a crafty player who overcomes adversity. He’s a strong runner and makes solid throws when he’s given ample time in the pocket. Hawks had a couple of throws he would like back, but he has a ton of time to improve this summer.
Jake Perper is the founder of Prep Sports Scouting. Make sure to follow along for all the updates on Twitter: @JakePerper.
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