Class 7A Championship. St. Thomas Aquinas 41, Lincoln 25
Back on September 28, the Aquinas Raiders were at 3-2 after a controversial loss to Miramar, and knocked off their spot as the top team in Broward. Last Friday night, it seems as if the Raiders have reclaimed that top spot back with an impressive 41-25 win over Tallahassee Lincoln to capture their seventh state championship in the 7A classification. The Raiders were down at the start thanks to a 95-yard kickoff return for a touchdown, but after that, it was fireworks galore from STA’s offense as they racked up 604 yards on the Trojans as John O’Korn threw for 339 of those yards as well as sparking key touchdown strikes to keep Lincoln out of reach. Corey Holmes, and Mark Barr were the key receivers as STA hanged 24 on Lincoln in the 1st half, and 21 points in the second half to finish off the Trojans.
Class 6A Championship. Gainesville vs. Miami Central
The Rockets are back on the big stage, and with another chance to win a state title unlike last season when they fell to Armwood, but a new team will face the Rockets, and it’ll be the Gainesville Purple Hurricanes. The Rockets overcame a 24-7 deficit to knock off Naples while the Purple Hurricanes tore apart Navarre to set up the matchup. This one will be decided on the Hurricanes’ availability to contain the duo of Joe Yearby, and Dalvin Cook. The duo has combined for over 2600 with 37 touchdowns, and seeks to do more damage versus Gainesville. The Hurricanes come in with really a team that doesn’t depend on one player, and brings a nice offense of their own led by Mark Cato, Raphael Webb, Chris Thompson, and Tony James while their Defense has given up an average of 13 points. This one has the makings of a shoot-out, but penalties, and red zone play could be the deciding factor in this title matchup.
Prediction- Central 38, Gainesville 34.
Class 8A Championship. Apopka vs. Cypress Bay
The Lightning who were projected by many to be in this position are in Orlando for the chance at their first state title, and would give Mark Guandolo the recognition of having two of his teams win a title, but to do so, they’ll have to take out the blazing Apopka Blue Darters who have won 12 in a row to this point. For the Lightning to escape with the title, it’ll take great games for Jaranta Lewis, Alex Montgomery, and Matt Dayes for an offense that has been lighting up the scoreboard against the likes of Miramar, Seminole Ridge, and Columbus. Since the beginning of these playoffs both teams have put up no less than 30 points, and look for some more with Apopka coming in after having no problem taking out rival Dr. Phillips who was undefeated. Cypress Bay’s ground game has been great, but their air attack will need to step up again as in the previous week versus Columbus as well as their defense which doesn’t get the recognition as much as their offense does. It will be a home-field advantage for Apopka with the Blue Darters basically 15 miles from the Citrus Bowl, and Cypress being on the big stage for the first time. Apopka is not new to the state championship as many can remember them taking out Northwestern back in 2001, but don’t expect the Lightning to lay down in this one as this will be a ground, and pound matchup from start to finish.
Prediction. Cypress Bay 31, Apopka 29.
Week 15Preview - Special Class 3A and 4A State Championship Edition
Five teams in the area have punched their ticket to Orlando, and two of them will play today, and later on tonight. Let’s look at the matchups of the Class 3A & 4A Championship.
Class 3A Championship (Madison County vs. The U-School)
The last time the Suns were playing for a state title in Orlando, they lost in heart-breaking fashion with a 56-55 defeat at the hands of Ocala Trinity Catholic back in the 2010-11 season, but now two seasons later, the Suns are back, and have their eyes set on winning their state football championship, but to do so, they’ll have to take out a team who was there last season for the finals in Orlando. Madison County made it to the big stage last December only to get thumped by last season’s champion in American Heritage Delray 30-3, but the Cowboys escaped through the north side of the bracket to make it back, but they’ll have their hands full as they look to spoil the Suns’ magical season today. Madison County has averaged 37 points this season as it’ll be their seventh state appearance as they are led by DJ McKnight, Keyon Burton, and Brandon Crawford while the Suns have pretty much put out an all-out team effort with key offensive players such as Mike White, Jordan Scarlett, Jordan Cunnigham, Maquedius Bain, DJ Taylor, LaJuan Hunt, and on defense with Skai Moore, Brandon Boyce, Nick Internicola, Rashard Causey, and Jalen Battle.
The Suns are just a few years younger than large class Cypress Bay, but Roger Harriott’s 69-12 record as headman for the U-School speaks for itself as the Suns have averaged 42 points with the fact that two of their games were canceled back in the regular season. As much as the Cowboys want the play the heavy role of being David in this one, if the Suns come to play as they done all season long at this point, this one could get ugly real quick as the U-School looks to become the newest Broward team into the state football ring of honor.
Prediction: The U-School 34, Madison County 17
Class 4A Championship (Jacksonville Bolles vs. Miami Booker T.)
There’ll be a Tornado ripping its way through the Citrus Bowl, and forecasts are calling for major destruction as the BTW Tornadoes are back in the big stage as they seek to win its second state title, but will the damage be enough to dethrone the defending champion, and state powerhouse Bolles for the 4A Championship. Booker T. really started their title run in the off-season as all teams begin to prepare for potential title runs by playing in numerous 7on7 tournaments such as Miami Dolphins Academy 7on7, and the NFL tourney in Indianapolis winning both of them, then gearing up for the regular season by dominating opening night against a now much improved Carol City team before slipping up the following week against top-tier opponent Miami Central, but since then, the rallying cry has been playing 48 minutes for the Tornadoes as they have won eleven in a row, and with notable blow-out wins over Jackson, Orlando Jones, Southridge, and last week against another state power in Cocoa as well as a notable win in Texas over Cedar Hill.
The defending champion Bolles Bulldogs were thought to start the season without their head coach Corky Rodgers, but he’s still on the sidelines, and Bolles is still the legitmate power people expect them to be. This is the matchup that pretty much everyone in the state wanted to see after Booker T. blew away a 25-12 lead which eventually led to the Bulldogs rallying from behind to celebrate in Orlando with a 33-25 victory thus giving Bolles its eleventh state championship. It’s what driven the Torandoes to be right back here in the Citrus Bowl to not only redeem themselves, but to prove they deserve to be called “Champions”. Bolles is led by QB Colby Peters, Arterrious Mitchell, Gianluca Heatherley, Austin Kirksey, and Dexter Carter Jr. while the Tornadoes offense is led by Treon Harris, D’Von Ballard, Krondis Larry, Nicholas Norris, Lamar Parker, Deltron Hopkins, and Terrawn McPhee and on defense, Matthew Thomas, Chad Thomas, Denver Kirkland, Darren Parker, Michael Johnson, and Laqwan Scott.
Coach Ice Harris has brought Booker T. back to being among the nation’s elite, and can put another banner in BTW’s gym along with bringing a state title back to the city of Overtown. Whether this one is a defensive struggle, or an all-around shoot-out, if the Tornadoes play 48 minutes, and stay focus, the Tornadoes can end the night celebrating on the field in Orlando, but it’ll take an all-team effort as Bolles would like nothing more than to ruin the Tornadoes’ chances of another state crown.
Prediction: Booker T. 34, Bolles 24.
Week 15 Preview
The Road to Orlando is almost set, but there still are state semifinal matchups to be determined, but first, the Class 2A championship game has to be decided between 13-0 Dade Christian, and 12-1 Jacksonville University Christian. The Crusaders have a tough task ahead of them later on this afternoon as they’ll take on one of the state’s storied programs from Jacksonville in the Christians who before Bolles started their dynasty run, The Christians were state champions in 91-92, 92-93, and 94-95, and with six state titles overall, this team knows very much about captured the ultimate prize in the sunshine state. The team is led by Bolles transfer Tim Betros who’s thrown for more than 1300 yards with 19 touchdowns overall, and the duo of Hussein Howe, and Jeremiah Hamlin in which both are close to rushing for 1000 yards with 32 touchdowns combined between the two. The Christians’ lone loss came on September 28, against Trinity Christian 36-8, but outside of that, eight of their wins have come in blowout style so it may be cliché, but nevertheless, it’s important for Dade Christian to hold on to the ball for as much as they can to control the scoring limit for the Christians.
As for Dade Christian, they remain to be 1 of the 2 teams in the area left without a loss alongside The U-School who will play for the 3A title tomorrow. The Crusaders are in Orlando thanks mostly in part to their defense with notable wins of Gulliver Prep, Reagan, North Broward Prep, Champagnat, Glades Day, and last week over First Baptist. D.C can score in bunches too as they have averaged over 30 points while the defense has carried three shut-outs. D.C can become the 14th Dade County team to win a football state title, but if it’s going to be done, the defense led by Vince Young, and Mike Perera must step up once again as well as key players on offense like Gary Sampson, and Terrence Alls.
Prediction – Dade Christian 31, University Christian 28.
Class 8A State Semi-Final (Cypress Bay vs. Miami Columbus)
The Lightning, and Explorers, two top 10 area teams on a collision course to find out who will reach Orlando to face-off with Apopka, or Dr. Phillips. The Lightning projected by most to be at this point had to dispatched Miramar, and rally from behind to defeat Seminole Ridge to make it here, and are now one win away from the big stage which is something the Explorers haven’t reached since the 1982-83 season, but only one team can escape. The Explorers have had somewhat of a roller-coaster this season starting with an opening night loss to St. Thomas Aquinas, then racking three wins in a row before losses to Northwestern, and Central, but now have won 5 of their last 6 including last week’s avenging win over Killian, but now a major test, can Columbus be able to find a way to break through versus a program seeking their first state title berth.
Prediction- Cypress Bay 27, Columbus 23.
Class 7A State Semi-Final (St. Thomas Aquinas vs. #1 USA- Manatee)
For all the ones who are not known to these two teams pairing off against one another, it’s always something at stake between these two heated rivals. The Raiders are still a top 5 team at the moment, but are heavy underdogs tonight even at their home Piccolo Stadium as they welcome in the Nation’s #1 team in Bradenton Manatee. The Canes are 3-0 against the area’s teams of Miramar, Central, and Cypress Bay, and look to make it not only 4-0 versus Dade, and Broward elite teams, but to walk away from Aquinas’ home field with a win at their place for the first time. Manatee has defeated the Raiders just once, but it was an incredible one for the Canes, and heart-breaking for STA as Manatee managed to survive 28-20. If STA is to have any chance, Fred Coppet will need to play probably his best game of his HS career along with John O’Korn, but even then, will that still be enough to knock off the nation’s best to open a chance for Aquinas to possibly their seventh state title.
Prediction – Manatee 37, Aquinas 21.
Class 6A State Semi-Final. (Miami Central vs. Naples)
The Rockets are enduring a road stretch at the moment where they need one more win to reach Orlando for the third straight season. Naples tore apart one Miami team back in 2002 when Edison walked in, but this is 2012, and this could be the type of Dade team that get to escapes. Central’s defense has been the key so far this time, and now they must prove it once again against a Golden Eagle team who has posted 11 blow-outs this season, but the Rockets have prepared themselves for games like these from past matchups back in the regular season. Can the lethal duo of Joe Yearby, and Dalvin Cook run for more daylight to open up the air attack, if so, Central may be able to find a way to get past Naples, and advance back to Orlando where they will meet Gainesville, or Navarre.
Prediction- Miami Central 34, Naples 27.
Class 5A State Semi-Final (Jackson vs. Immokalee)
The Generals’ gauntlet continues this time against an Indians squad who is 10-3, and have won five in a row. Many critics including us wrote off Jackson noting them as done after they lost three in a row, and facing a daunting task of playing American Heritage on the road, but like last season, the Generals had no problem taking out Heritage, then the impressive win of sending the defending champion Vikings through the exit, and then last week, going into the muck to defeat Glades Central in last week’s 3rd round playoff matchup, now one test with the Indians before a shot at Orlando. The Generals have never been to the state final with the closet chance coming in 1998, but if Quinton Flowers comes to play once again as he has done in the last three weeks along with Tim Bellinger, and Devondre Powell, then the Generals have a great shot at going to Orlando.
Prediction – Jackson 21, Immokalee 20.
Week 14 Preview
It’s the 3rd round of the FHSAA playoffs, and this weekend’s matchups will determine who will make it to Orlando, and who will be one step closer. Class 8A features two matchups for our area teams as Cypress Bay will make it to Palm Beach to face-off with Seminole Ridge. The Lightning convincingly took out Miramar 34-14, and Seminole Ridge defeated Palm Beach Central to set up this matchup while down south at FIU, Columbus, and Killian will knock heads to decide who will reach the final four in 8A as the Explorers look to avenge a late-season loss to Killian who has now won seven in a row, and seeks a spot in the state semi-final since the 2003-04 season.
Class 7A will have St. Thomas Aquinas taking on Boyd Anderson in a Broward playoff matchup with the winner taking on either Fort Pierce Central, or Bradenton Manatee. The Raiders dismantled Plantation 38-7 due to crucial turnovers made by the Raider, and key running on the offensive attack. The Cobras however, used defense to take out state power Dwyer 6-3, and are now winners of 8 of their last 9 games setting up this game in Fort Lauderdale.
Miami Central will take to the road as they will face Palm Bay in 3rd round action of Class 6A. The Rockets were great in their 34-7 victory over the Bulls, and now stand 2 wins away from reaching Orlando again for a chance to redeem themselves as well another team in 4A that will be previewed just shortly. The surprise team in the area so far has been Miami Jackson, and the Generals look to pull another trick off as they meet Glades Central in the muck for a playoff matchup. The Generals have defeated once top-ranked area team Plantation-American Heritage, and then took out the defending 5A champion Norland Vikings, but this test will be the toughest as the Raiders have won 9 in a row, and seem to have things back in the right place, but the Generals have the talent to knock them off, and this time it won’t be a surprise if Jackson comes out on top.
In Class 4A, the Tornadoes will meet Cocoa in a rematch of last season’s semi-final where BTW escaped with a close win, but now Booker T. will now travel north to Cocoa’s place for a chance at getting possible revenge against Bolles in Orlando should BTW wins, and Bolles defeats Cocoa. BTW has been lighting up the scoreboard all season long, but this one looks like a potential trap-game since Cocoa has racked up a hot streak of ten straight wins after getting thumped by top-ranked area team University School. As for those Suns, they’ll be taking on Clearwater Central Catholic for the right to be in the 3A state title game. The Suns were able to prove themselves against Delray-American Heritage, but the road is not done yet, and University School can’t afford to take anyone left lightly as with this team of CCC who may not have a tough schedule as the likes of Heritage, but has won 11 in a row, and will looking to put the Suns in some early pressure tonight.
As for Dade Christian, they take on First Baptist from Naples, and with a win can clinch their own berth for Orlando in the 2A state title game. The Crusaders escaped last week with a 20-14 win over Kelvin Taylor, and Glades Day.
Week 13 Preview
Rematches, and encores from last season is the theme for the second round of the state playoffs as
7 of those 11 games are district matchups, and will decide who moves on to the next round in the
Road to Orlando.
Starting in 8A, the Patriots, and Lightning will knock heads for the second time in the post-season thanks to a "foolish" blunder by Patriot RB Eric Pittman as Cypress Bay escaped with a 17-13 victory over Miramar setting up the playoff rematch tonight with the home Lightning seeking to knock off Miramar, and inch closer to a possible state title berth. Coral Gables did a great job of rallying from down 14 to eliminate North Miami Beach, but now they must face-off with a district opponent that they know very well in Columbus. The Explorers tore apart Dr. Krop in their playoff opener, and now have their eyes set on the Cavs today at 1PM.
On Saturday night, Killian, and South Dade will meet once again this season, but it’ll be the team’s first playoff meeting against one another. The Bucs had to fend off Killian on October 6, 23-21, but the Cougars have since racked off six straight wins including a 21-17 late season win over Columbus so it’ll be another test for the Bucs as both teams seek a 3rd round meeting with the Explorers should Columbus win.
In class 7A, St. Thomas Aquinas will take on Plantation in another rematch as the Colonels look to take out the Raiders on the road. It won’t be an upset if Plantation comes away with the win as they’re led by defensive minded coach Steve Davis who’s had Plantation in the thick of things in the postseason, but can change all of that with a win. Thanks to a late-game passing touchdown, and some nice defense against Atlantic, Boyd Anderson advanced, and will now meet state power Dwyer in their second-round game with the Cobras once again as the road team. You can make a case that B.A is a legitimate Top 10 area team, but proving themselves is what they have to do again against the home Panthers.
The Bulls, and Rockets will square off once again in the playoffs, but the venue goes back to Traz from SunLife Stadium. NW let a great opportunity to put the Rockets in serious trouble when they were up 11-0, and looking for a possible 18-0 lead when the Bulls fumble deep in Rocket territory thus allowing Dalvin Cook to scoop it up, and return it for a touchdown giving the Rockets momentum, and eventually the lead in the second half as the Rockets came back, and won 35-17. The Bulls since then won three in a row including a crucial tie-breaker over Homesead, and Carol City which lead to last week’s playoff opening win over Hollywood Hills 38-6 which brings back this heated matchup again for round two.
Miami Jackson was the big surprise in the area after defeating Top 10 area team Plantation-American Heritage 39-23 after which Jackson looked done, and out after having loss three in a row, but proved themselves on the road by taking out the Patriots setting up the next round matchup with Norland who survived a valiant effort by Dillard 31-21 which now pits these two to face-off with the winner taking on the winner of Meritt Island, and Glades Central.
While Booker T. takes on Gulliver in 4A, one big-time game will take place in Davie as the U-School
Suns will look to avenge last season’s playoff loss to defending 3A champion Delray American Heritage.
The Suns come in at 9-0, but the Stallions are 11-0, and are among one of the state’s elite having
knocked off the likes of Dwyer, Armwood, and Louisiana’s West Monroe, the Suns have their hands full.
Defeating Cocoa 49-3, and Chaminade 47-20 have been the high points for the Suns, but if University
is to ever get back to Orlando, this is the game to do it.
Rounding out the playoff schedule, we finish in 2A as Dade’s only undefeated team left in Dade Christian looks to get the monkey off their back against RB Kelvin Taylor, and the Glades Day Gators. The Crusaders seek to continue their ride to the Citrus Bowl, but this obstacle will be a tough one as Dade Christian must find a way to not only keep Taylor at a limit, but put enough points to keep the Gators away at bay.
Week 12 Preview
The state playoffs start this week, and it’s a full slate of games across the area in classes 2A to 8A as the road to Orlando begins in the middle part of November. In Class 8A, South Plantation will get a first-hand stiff test perennial playoff power Miramar as they seek to knock off last season’s class 8A runner-up. Miramar enters the second season having gone through an up, and down ride with unusual losses to Northeast, and Boyd Anderson as well as finishing second in 12-8A to heated rival Cypress Bay, but the main focus of it all is that Miramar in the final stage of the season which is Win or go home. For the Paladins, it’s a chance to begin stamping their place among Broward’s elite. Running back Alex Collins will be the x-factor in this one as they looks to have a great playoff performance against the likes of the “Darkside”, but only one can survive to see another week. Cypress Bay will be at home as they take on Deerfield Beach. The Bucks having won 5 of their past six clinched their playoff berth off a tie- breaker win over Taravella, but now have to face-off with the Lightning once again looking to avenge a 29-6 loss to them on Opening night. South Dade will take on Varela in the lower part of the 8A bracket while Killian will take on upcoming Southwest-Miami. The Cougars, and Bucs both had impressive wins last week as Killian took down Columbus 21-17, and the Bucs shut-out Homestead 10-0. These two could face-off in round two, but first they must take care of their first-round matchup. The playoff spotlight game looks to be in 7A as state power Dwyer takes on Northeast in Oakland Park. The Panthers are coming off a 13-7 defeat at the hands of Palm Beach’s best team in Delray Beach American Heritage, but Dwyer may get back on the right foot as they meet the Canes. Dwyer won last season’s matchup in a 45-14 rout. In Class 5A, Plantation-American Heritage begins their road to Orlando at home against Jackson. The Patriots were defeated by that same General squad 35-18, but the tables may turn in this opening round matchup as the winner will take on the matchup of Norland, and Dillard. Defending 5A champion Norland is back in the bracket, and will face a tough defensive Panther squad seeking to spoil the Vikings’ chances of a repeat. If you ask who would be the last undefeated team left in Dade County, you probably would say Booker T, but actually the last spotless team left is in 2A as Dade Christian begins their journey against the Village Academy. The Crusaders have been knocking on the door for the past few seasons, but this one could be their best shot at reaching Orlando, and coming away with a title. We’ll keep track of the rest of the games for first round as the playoffs continue.
Week 11 Preview
The last week of the regular season is here, and we got a plate full of rivalry matchups to end the season as the playoffs get set to begin next Thursday. The Area’s #1 Team, Booker T. will go up to take on Southridge in their season’s finale. The Tornadoes have been real impressive this season as they have averaged over 50 points this season, but Booker T. might want to give some rest to their key players if the Tornadoes jump on top early, and the game is out of reach to prepare for the 1st Round in the playoffs. The NMB Chargers put up a respectable fight against the Area’s #2 Team in Miami Central, but the Rockets were too much in the end as they defeated NMB 52-28. The Rockets will now put their target on Archbishop McCarthy in the 6A bracket while NMB will take on Coral Gables on next Thursday in the 8A bracket.
An intriguing matchup in Broward if it was a mid-season meeting, but nonetheless, Cypress Bay, and Boyd Anderson will knock heads in their season’s finale. The Lightning have been known to put out fresh players from JV squad for late season matchups so expect that once again, meanwhile the Cobras could keep their starters in for most of the game to see if they can not only take out Cypress, but tune up their assignments as they get ready for Delray Beach Atlantic in round 1 of the 7A bracket. This past Wednesday night, Killian knocked off Miami Columbus 21-17 to end the season at 8-1, making that season finish their best one since the 08-09 season where they fell short one game of making the 8A state semifinal. As impressive as that win was, it’s still in the regular season, and if Killian wants another shot with a state semifinal spot on the line in that one they’ll have to get through their first two rounds which includes Southwest-Miami which defeated Coral Gables 35-28 in overtime, and rival South Dade who is 8-1 at the moment.
Speaking of those Bucs, South Dade has their own concerns at the moment as arch rival Homestead will be knocking heads with them in the annual battle of “Lucy Street”. Homestead along with Carol City will be the two best teams in the Dade-Broward area not to make the playoffs, but with a rivalry game on tap, don’t expect Homestead to go out without trying to prove themselves, and the Buc faithful that they were a legit contender all this season, and should be for next season. The Bucs have had a great regular season with an 8-1 record, and what ever outcome goes for South Dade tonight, that will have to put to rest when the second season starts next week against Varela. Meanwhile for the Chiefs, their season will end as well after tonight against American, but for what it’s worth, they have done a great job putting themselves right back among Dade’s elite highlighted by regular season wins over Northwestern, Jackson, and Dr. Krop along with hanging tough with Central, and they can put the icing on it with a win over American, but the Patriots have clinched a playoff berth, and they expect to stay in this matchup to knock off the Chiefs.
Broward’s spotlight game is in Plantation as the Colonels take on South Plantation in the city’s version of the Mayor’s cup. If South Plantation is to make Miramar a little worried of their playoff matchup next week, it’ll have to show tonight against a talented Colonel team sparked by a lethal running, and passing game which almost knocked off St. Thomas Aquinas. The Paladins are 8-1 as well along with South Dade, but much will still have to be proven, and it starts tonight.
Week 10 Preview
The season is now in week 10, and playoff spots are to be determined this weekend with big district matchups on tap as the playoffs is just around the corner. In Dade, Northwestern will collide with Homestead in a key 16-6A district match with major scenarios in this one. A Homestead win clinches a a playoff berth, but if the Bulls win, Carol City will join a three-way tie-breaker for the runner-up spot in the district.
Southwest, and Varela will meet in a district title match for 15-8A with the winner hosting Killian next week, and the other team going up to South Dade for the 1st round of the state playoffs. North Miami Beach celebrated their playoff clinching win over their arch-rivals in North Miami with a 31-28 victory. Dr. Krop defeated Hialeah 31-19, and thanks to that, the Chargers are the district champion in 13-8A.
In Broward, South Plantation will meet Deerfield Beach in a key district contest with the Bucks needing a win to keep their playoff chances alive, while the Paladins seek to continue their undefeated season. Taravella can make it a tie-breaker with a win as well plus a Deerfield Beach win in 11-8A. Miramar, and Flanagan will knock heads on Saturday for the last playoff spot in District 12-8A. It’s been a lackluster season for the Patriots filled with ups, and downs, and much inconsistency, but all of that can be wiped out if they can take out the upstart Falcons on the road this weekend. Flanagan was Broward’s best team not to make the playoffs, but now they have their playoff chances in their hands as they seek to knock off one of their district rivals in a crucial matchup.
Plantation can clinch a playoff berth with a win over Nova, and a St. Thomas win over Cooper City, while American Heritage seeks to close out the district as they play Dillard with Hallandale taking on Gibbons in another key district matchup.
Week 9 Preview
Week 9 is now here after the short-term effects of Hurricane Sandy, and this weekend’s matchups could have some messed-up sync as district matchups become more crucial as the season continues into the ninth week. The Area’s #3 team, Miami Central will be pitted in their annual rivalry clash with the Bulls at Sun Life Stadium to clear up the district playoff picture a bit more. The Rockets were at Sun Life a few weeks ago back on Sept. 8 when they rallied from down 16 to beat Miami Booker T. The Rockets are only 4-2, but two of those losses have come against two of the nation’s elite in Georgia’s Grayson, and Bradenton Manatee. The Bulls’ running attack will need to be at an extreme high to have a chance to take out Central. 4 hours earlier, Carol City will be playing against Homestead, and will have a chance to clinch a playoff berth with the addition of Central having to beat the Bulls. Homestead can keep themselves alive with a win over the Chiefs, and create a possible crucial game of their own with the Bulls next week. A Rocket win plus a Chief win clinches berths for Central, and Carol City.
In District 16-8A, South Dade can clinch the district title with a win over Southridge. The Bucs were the disrict’s darkhorse, but can now clinch, and go undefeated in it, but the Spartans can create a possible tie-breaker If they can defeat South Dade, and beat Coral Reef next week as well. Plantation gets their chance to be in a spotlight game as they take on St. Thomas for first place in the district of 15-7A. The Colonels may be well on their way to clinching a playoff berth for the first time since 2009, and they have a chance this week, but it’ll have to be on the road against the Raiders. Aquinas lost the 15-7A district last season to Cooper City in which that matchup was at home as well. Plantation is averaging close to 50 points this season while STA steamrolled through Nova and South Broward by a combined score of 111-13.
Cardinal Gibbons takes on Heritage in a matchup for first place in 15-5A. The Chiefs saved themselves from possible elimination this week with last week’s win coming off a hail mary to defeat Dillard, but now the Patriots come calling in this one as they enter the game at 6-1.
Week 8 Preview
This week, district matchups will take place as the playoff races start to get exciting from all the classes from 8A to 3A. The area’s #5 Team, St. Thomas Aquinas will be on the road in Davie as they will take on Nova. Should the Raiders win, it’ll set a nice matchup with Plantation for control of 16-7A due to the Colonels looking to become 6-1 when they play McArthur. Northwestern will match up with Belen Jesuit as they seek to keep their playoff chances alive, but now with Central defeating Carol City 49-32, the stakes are a bit higher for the Bulls as they seek revenge from last season’s heartbreaking loss to Belen. Northeast, and Blanche Ely will knock heads on Saturday for first place in 14-7A. The Hurricanes came off defeating Everglades 48-6 while Ely fell to Deerfield Beach 19-0. Cardinal Gibbons, and Dillard will match-up in a crucial district contest that has American Heritage in 1st place, but the Patriots will play Pompano Beach. Western will play Flanagan in a game that the rest of the 12-8A district should keep an eye on as well as Miramar versus Everglades. Other games include North Miami versus Krop, Hialeah versus North Miami Beach, and Jackson versus Norland.
Week 7 Preview
Week 7 is here, and there are a few out-of-district matchups to fill up your weekend. The Area’s #1 team, Booker T. will be at Traz to entertain Miami Jackson in a Dade-county contest that pits a challenging Jackson squad against the Tornadoes who are coming off a bye week. The University School Suns will hit the road again as they play against Leesburg in an attempt for the Suns to improve their record to 6-0. Columbus, and Miami Northwestern will knock heads on Saturday night as both look to prove their case to stay inside the Area’s Top 10. Explorers have won only one meeting in the team’s matchups since 2006, but that one was a national tv game in which Columbus had their way before losing to the Bulls in the 2010-11 playoffs. The winner gets some nice confidence heading into the district games for the rest of the season, and for Northwestern, that measure happens to be a bit more important with the Bulls on the outside looking in as far as the district standings are concerned.
In Broward, Cypress Bay will get set to take on the Nation’s top team in Bradenton Manatee. The Hurricanes are 2-0 already this season when going against the area’s top teams with Miramar, and Miami Central, and will seek 3-0 this week with the Lightning. Cypress Bay is sitting pretty in the driver’s seat along with Western for 1st place in district 12-8A, but for now, their task is to knock off the Canes, and ride with amazing momentum into the next few weeks of the season. Manatee shut-out Cypress Bay last season, but the Lightning’s new offense looks to make things more different this time.
And the annual Hog Bowl will take place as 5-0 Western takes on 2-3 Cooper City. The Cowboys woke up from their 0-3 slumber, and took out Nova 31-8, but now an arch rival will be looking to continue Cooper City’s losing ways this season. The Wildcats lost last season’s meeting 17-6, so revenge will be on the prowl for the Wildcats tonight in this rivalry matchup.
Other games included Miramar versus Boyd Anderson, Apopka taking on North Miami Beach, Barron Collier knocking heads with Carol City, and Dillard facing Glades Central.
Week 6 Preview
Week 6 doesn’t have the usual slate of good games on the schedule, but there are a few nice matchups around the area for this week so let’s see what’s on tap. The Area’s #2 team, Miami Central will travel on the road to take on Homestead for a vital district contest in which last season, the Broncos almost knocked off the Rockets, but went down 10-6. Homestead has won four in a row after taking a beating from Killian on opening week, but have responded back nicely to gear up for this matchup against the Rockets who have defeated 2 of the top 6 area’s teams so far this season in Columbus and the Area’s #1 Booker T. Down in Miramar, the Patriots seek to rebound from last week’s bonehead loss to St. Thomas Aquinas in which the Raiders look to get revenge from a 27-20 defeat at home to Miramar, but now the Patriots are 2-3 for the first time since the 2005-06 season, and are in a dire need to improve their offense while the Raiders are coming off a 65-20 victory over McArthur.
Carol City who is 4-1 at the moment so far this season takes on Belen in another district matchup where the Chiefs look take out revenge on Belen from last season. The Chiefs have also won four in a row after an opening week loss to Booker T. while the Wolverines defeated Doral 41-12 last week. American Heritage, and Hallandale will knock heads in a key District 15-5A game. The Patriots bounced back from their loss to Jacksonville Bolles with nice wins over Lake Highland, and Sebring. Hallandale got shut out by district opponent Dillard 20-0, and are now in a vital situation to keep their playoff chances alive. It’ll be the first county test for Heritage this season, but a win brings them closer to a district title. Killian looks to stay undefeated as they battle South Dade in a district matchup. South Dade has surprising became the other front-runner to capture the other playoff spot due to Southridge disappointing start, but now with the Spartans bouncing back to defeat Palmetto, this game is now more crucial when those two meet
Week 5 Preview
Week 5 continues on Friday, and Saturday, and there are some games to look after for this week. Central, and Columbus will knock heads as the Explorers look to continue their nice winning streak while the Rockets are coming off a bye week after falling to Bradenton Manatee 44-34 on the road. The Explorers will look to go to their pounding running back duo of Daryl Chestnut, and Lorenzo Woodley as well as receiving threat Jesus Wilson. Central will counter with the duo of Dalvin Cook, and Joe Yearby. Rockets look to have the advantage, but a heavy dose of Woodley, and Chestnut while holding the Central offense will surely put the odds in the Explorers favor.
Cypress Bay, and Miramar will face-off with each other in another district clash with the winner at 2-0 in first place in District 12-8A alongside Western if they defeat West Broward. The Patriots, and Lightning will match up against one another for the ninth time with the all-time series at 4-4 with Miramar having won the past three meetings. Miramar’s offense is in serious need of an upgrade after being shutdown by Northeast two weeks ago, and must have their best game yet to continue their winning ways versus the Lightning. Cypress Bay’s defense has played well, but besides St. Thomas, this will be a huge test since the Patriots has posed a difficult threat to take down, and put over 40 points in the two games between those two last season.
Norland takes on Hialeah in a mid-season matchup which pits the defending 5A champion against one of the bright spots in Dade so far this season in the T-Breds. Can Hialeah prove themselves against a worthy opponent who’s still capable of slowing down offenses with the best in the state. The Vikings’ offense may have to string up some points in this one however to tame the T-Breds as Hialeah seeks to improve to 4-0 on the season, and continue their nice start.
Other games include Everglades versus Flanagan in an early must-win district game, Miami Pace knock heads with Gulliver Prep, South Plantation takes on Taravella, and Monarch plays Blanche Ely.
Week 4 Recap
Week 4 is finished, and it’s time to look back at the games that occurred around the area this past weekend. The Area’s #1 Team Booker T. thumped Orlando Jones 68-13 in a game that saw the Tornadoes in complete control from the mid part of the 1st quarter all the way to the finish. Booker T. is stating that the 68-13 win is a statement game referring back to their lone loss in the season in which Miami Central rallied back to take out the Tornadoes 37-26. Miami Central, and the St. Thomas Aquinas Raiders were off this week, but Columbus was in action as they took out Miami High 49-0.
The Explorers have played very well since their first game of the season which was a loss, but have rebounded, and are a sure top 5 area team at the moment. University School’s game withTreasure Coast was canceled due to bad weather so the Suns will have to just move on to their bye week before a matchup at home against Chaminade-Madonna. Carol City made some noise in the area by defeating Northwestern 20-14, and improving their record to 3-1, and 1-0 in district play. Killian is now 4-0 with their 27-13 win over Southridge which now sends the Spartans to 1-3.
Homestead escaped a nail-biter in overtime with a 34-33 victory over Belen Jesuit. The Wolverines had a nice lead in the matchup, but slowly the Broncos would make their climb back into the game until eventually sending the game into the extra session before closing it out in Overtime. Next Week, our game of the week features a great Broward rivalry as Miramar hosts Cypress Bay in an early crucial district clash where the winner is in the early driver’s seat at 2-0 in district play.
Week 4 Preview
Here’s what’s on tap for this upcoming fourth week in the season. Our Game of the Week features Northwestern taking on Carol City in which the Bulls look to continue their winning ways over the Chiefs while Carol City looks to turn the tide in their favor, and get in the early driver’s seat in one of the nation’s toughest districts of 16-6A. Carol City defeated Jackson 19-15 while the Bulls ran through Coral Gables 42-0, but this is a district match, and when you add in the fact that it’s a rivalry game then anything can go in this matchup. Miami Booker T. will be entertaining the Jones Tigers from Orlando on Saturday in another test that the Tornadoes seek to pass with flying colors, but the Tigers come in at 3-0 so it could be a challenging one, but Booker T. blew away Jones last season in the Citrus Bowl so the outcome in that one might look similar to the score from last year. A key match in Dade County features Killian taking on Southridge as the Cougars look to improve to 4-0, and send the Spartans to a 1-3 record, and 0-1 start in district play.
Killian at the moment looks to be Dade’s surprise team to make a deep run in the playoffs if they can stay healthy, and play to their advantages on the field, but don’t count out the Spartans, or any of the other teams that have started out slow to start the season as it’s still young, and plenty of football is still left to be played. Other games to keep an eye on this week includes The U-School taking on Treasure Coast, Northeast knocking heads with Boyd Anderson, and Belen Jesuit versus Homestead.
Week 3 Recap
Week 3 is in the books, and now it’s time to reflect, and look back as the week before in preparation for next week. The area’s #1 team, St. Thomas Aquinas enter Friday’s matchup against Don Basco with a sparkling 7-0 record versus out-of-state opponents, but that came to a streaking halt as the Ironmen played with much pride, and escaped with a 20-10 victory over the Raiders, thus giving Aquinas their first loss of the season. In Bradenton, Miami Central had their hands full with top-ranked Manatee, and gave a valiant effort, but came up short in a 44-34 defeat. Central had their chances in the game, and pushed Manatee to high points, but the Canes came out on top to protect their top five national status.
Booker T., who lost last week to those same Rockets, rebounded, and did so in convincing fashion with a 40-21 win over Cedar Hill in Texas. The Tornadoes put up 22 points in the second half to put away the Longhorns, and improve their record to 2-1. University School may have been the most impressive of the area teams this past week as they hung 49 on legit state power Cocoa, and may have made enough of a claim to become Broward County’s new #1 team for next week when week 4 takes place. In Oakland Park, Northeast set out a task that was to hold Miramar to a low of 10 points, and they did just that with a 13-5 victory sending the Patriots to a struggling 1-2 start on the season. Other games across the area included Carol City outlasting Miami Jackson 19-15, South Plantation improving to 3-0 with a 21-13 win over Hallandale, Blanche Ely blanking out Taravella 29-0, Hialeah going out on the road to take out Charlotte 22-21, Homestead defeating Coral Reef 29-13, Columbus defeating Southridge 34-21, and Cypress Bay taking out South Broward 42-12. Next week, our radio game of the week features a key district matchup in 6A as Carol City takes on Northwestern with other key games such as Northeast taking on Boyd Anderson who lost to Deerfield Beach 10-7, University School going back on the road versus Treasure Coast, Killian hosting Southridge, and Booker T. entertaining Orlando Jones on Saturday.
Week 3 Preview
Plenty of interesting across the area for the third week of the season, so let’s see what’s in store for this weekly schedule. In Broward, St. Thomas Aquinas will be hosting the current mythical national champion Don Basco Prep from New Jersey, and with many of the area’s best teams facing off against stiff opponents in the state, the Raiders have a chance to improve to 8-0 versus teams outside Florida, and notched another highly-ranked national team under their belt as well.
Miramar will travel on the road as they go up to Oakland Park to battle Northeast with both teams at 1-1. The Patriots rebounded from the opening day loss to Bradenton Manatee, and defeated Ely 42-20 while the Hurricanes stumbled, and struggled against Hallandale 23-12. The University School Suns will also hit the road as they play versus legitimate state contender Cocoa in a top-notch lower-class matchup with the Suns having a chance to start the season at 4-0, but it will be tough trying to take out the Tigers. A pair of top ten Broward teams will square off as Hallandale hosts South Plantation with the winner looking at a 3-0 start, and much to look forward at the rest of the regular season.
In Dade County, Miami Central travels to Bradenton to play top-ranked Manatee in a national spotlight matchup in which the Rockets look to improve to 2-1 after starting the schedule with a heavy burden thanks to two tough games already. Booker T. will be in the Lone Star State to play Cedar Hill from Texas on Saturday as they seek to rebound from last week’s loss to the Rockets in which the Tornadoes held a 19-3 lead before Central rode a 33-8 run to come away with the win.
Other games on the schedule include Columbus matching up with Southridge, Jackson knocking heads with Carol City, and Taravella looking to stay undefeated against Blanche Ely.
Week 2 Recap
The recap of week 2 is finished, and now it’s time to look back at the games that took place. The #1
ranked Tornadoes were knocked off by Miami Central as the Rockets hung 33 on Booker T. in the
second half after trailing 19-3 at halftime. Joe Yearby, and Devontae Phillips were the key
players in the Rockets’ adjustments as Central made a thrilling comeback to take one away from
the Tornadoes. Deatrick Nichols, and Tavius Brown Jr. had crucial interceptions in the Rockets’ 36-27
victory, but the Rockets’ challenging schedule continues next week with a trip to Bradenton to play the
defending 7A state champions in Manatee on Friday. The Hurricanes are ranked No. 1 nationally by
MaxPreps. “We’re going to evaluate it this week,” Lockette said. “We still have two quarterbacks that
can play, but we had to make a change early. But it’s good to know we still have that ace in the hole.” In
Broward County, St. Thomas Aquinas, and Cypress Bay were in a dog-fight for the first half in front of a
packed crowd in Weston, but the Raiders outscored the Lightning 29-3, and ran away with a 43-17 win,
and more than likely will be the new #1 in the new top 20 poll. Meanwhile, the Bulls shut-down the
defending 5A state champion Vikings 24-6, and are now 2-0 while Belen Jesuit who was crushed by
Miami Columbus are now 0-2. Miramar rebounded from last week’s thumping at the hands of
Bradenton Manatee as they defeated Blanche Ely 42-20 to improve 1-1 next week, but so is Northeast
who fell to Hallandale 23-12, but Miramar, and Northeast will go against one another next week.
American Heritage was in a tough battle with one of the state powers in Jacksonville Bolles, but the
Patriots fell short after falling 30-27, but their running attack played very well with Sony Michel leading
the way. Next week’s game of the week features one of the national powers from the eastern part of
the country in New Jersey’s Don Basco Prep as they will play against St. Thomas Aquinas in a matchup
of national juggernauts. Other Week 3 games include a battle of top 10 teams in Broward as South
Plantation travels to Hallandale, Columbus taking on Southridge as well as the U-School facing up with
2012 Season Preview
It’s another season for high school football in Dade & Broward County, and with the first week just
about getting underway, there are high expectations for many teams around the area as well as
question marks for others seeking a chance to make their way to Orlando’s Citrus Bowl for the state
Class 8A- Miramar made it to the final round last season, but was upended by powerhouse Tampa Plant,
now the Patriots seek to avenge themselves, but Cypress Bay, and Miami Columbus are heavy threats to
wrecking Miramar’s chances to return. The Explorers bring back a talented group of players to challenge
for the title, but so does Cypress Bay and with Southridge, Coral Reef, Palm Beach Gardens, Seminole
Ridge all looking to edge their way as well, it’s sure to be an exciting playoff run for the south in 8A.
Rising teams such as Flanagan, Killian, South Plantation, Dr. Krop, South Miami, and Palmetto look to be
a potential thorn in someone’s backside come November.
Class 7A-St. Thomas Aquinas was one game away from getting their rematch with Manatee, but was
knocked out in a field goal duel thanks to Dwyer, but the Raiders look reloaded, and ready for another
deep playoff run, but Manatee, and Dwyer are still tough obstacles to overcome, and will give fits to
anyone in their way. How will Cooper City fare after a great season last year in where they advanced to
the second round. Can Plantation get their defense back, and return to the postseason, and how will
District 14-7A shape out for defending district champion Northeast, Ely, and Boyd Anderson. Dade
County has a district in 16-7A where Hialeah American looks to defend their district as well, and reach
the second round of the playoffs for the first time since 1997.
Class 6A-After having their potential undefeated season wiped away, the Rockets start clean with a new
season, but with a much challenging schedule that starts in Georgia, and has matchups with Booker T.,
and Manatee along with it, but their district is where it will ultimately count as Central will test their
mettle against Belen Jesuit, Northwestern, Homestead, and a Carol City team that looks better than
many people project, and could find themselves with a chance at a playoff berth. Can the Rockets be
able to redeem themselves, and get back in Orlando, or will someone else in that deadly district come of
that bracket to have the chance to represent the south in 6A. Each game will be crucial in that district,
but we will also see what will happen with the contenders that look to knock them out up north as well
as the Broward teams in Stranahan, Hollywood Hills, and Pembroke Pines Charter.
Class 5A- The Norland Vikings are the champions for now, but lofty expectations are on the rise for
Plantation American Heritage with the return of Sony Michel, and Miami Jackson who were in a couple
of shoot-out battles last season with the Vikings in the regular season, and playoffs. Cardinal Gibbons is
another contender that should make the playoffs. This playoff race in 5A should be the most
competitive since you have 7 to 8 teams in the south region that have a legitimate shot at making it to
Orlando to play for the title when you add in other teams such as Glades Central, Immokalee, and
Class 4A- Miami Booker T. deserves the hype, and are the paper favorites to win 4A along as the pre-
season’s top team in the area, but their road to the Citrus Bowl will not be an easy one as Cocoa proved
that to the Tornadoes last season in Booker T.’s overtime victory as well as the defending state
champions in Bolles, but Booker T. has all the pieces in their puzzle to make another title run, and with a
talented group of players that has their chances ruined in the final moments of last year’s title game, the
Tornadoes look to be the only ones ruining everyone’s parade come December. Gulliver Prep, and
Miami Pace will seek to derail those title aspirations, but it will be tough. Teams on the rise include
North Broward Prep, and Miami Edison who will have a regular season test with University School later
on in the season.
Class 3A-The U-School Suns have been bounced out of the playoffs to eventual state champions for two
straight seasons, but this year could be the one in which the Suns could raise a championship banner,
but for the Suns to have a chance to do that, they will need to make it out their district, and then avenge
last year’s loss to the current 3A state champions in Delray Beach American Heritage. Last year, the
Suns’ costly mistakes, and inability to stop the Stallions’ offense held them back from reaching Orlando,
but the Suns look like they have the tools in place to finish the task, but can they be able to overcome
the obstacle when it counts. West Palm Beach Cardinal Newman and Chaminade-Madonna are the
other teams that seek to prevent that matchup from happening again.
This Week’s Game of the Week features St. Thomas Aquinas, and Miami Columbus with the opening
week matchup in Sun Life Stadium in which it will be the teams’ first meeting since 1963, and the
start of another great season of high-school football around South Florida. Other great games
on the Week 1 schedule include Central v. Grayson, Booker T. v. Carol City, and a Sunday afternoon
matchup when Miramar travels to Bradenton to face off with Manatee.