Posted: 12:05 am Wednesday, November 10th, 2010

Pahokee prepares for Glades Central’s high-octane aerial assault 

By Jeff Greer

If there’s one thing Pahokee coach Blaze Thompson knows about this year’s Muck Bowl, it’s that Glades Central will throw the ball. Frequently.

And the Raiders have good reason: Even without big-time BCS prospect Kelvin Benjamin lining up at wideout, Glades Central still has one of the top receiving corps in the area, if not the best.

That sets up Muck Bowl 26’s key battle for Friday night: Glades Central’s passing game vs. Pahokee’s secondary. Jet’s jets vs. Blaze’s blazers. Or something like that.

Quarterback Jamarious Rowley leads all area passers with 1,825 yards and small-schools passers with 22 touchdown tosses. The senior will rely on seniors Davonte Allen, Robert Burgess and Jaqavein Oliver and junior Jaime Wilson, along with a few other talented young receivers, to carry the load. Oliver contributed 56 receiving yards in Glades Central’s 39-0 win over Suncoast last week, the first game without Benjamin, who is no longer eligible to play because he passed the maximum age for Florida high school football players.

Emerging sophomore backs Aaron Baker and William Likely, who combined for 167 rushing yards against Suncoast, can help Rowley if they can establish the threat of a running game.

Glades Central (8-1) scores a cool 35.7 points a game, thanks in large part to its 223.6 passing yards per game and a coach in Jessie Hester who loves to push the envelope on offense.

Meanwhile Pahokee’s defense has actually been more vulnerable to the run, allowing 148.1 rushing yards a game. The Blue Devils only give up 98.7 passing yards on average.

So, as the saying goes, something’s gotta give. Thompson wants to play defense with his offense.

“We expect an aerial attack, a major air attack,” Thompson said on Monday. “They’re gonna air it out. That’s what they always do … We’ve got to slow down the game as best we can. Keep their offense off the field as much as possible. That’s easier said than done, but that’s what we’ve got to try and do.”