Thursday, September 20, 2018
Prep Sports Report

Class 6A playoff football capsules

Games Friday at 7:30 p.m.

No. 6 Naples Barron Collier (5-5) at No. 3 Largo (7-2)

Players to watch: Barron Collier quarterback Jacob Kuhlman has thrown for 2,009 yards and 18 touchdowns. The senior has plenty of targets. Nine receivers have more than 100 yards and at least one touchdown on the season. Largo relies heavily on its running game with Jaquan Hiers handling the bulk of the load. The senior has rushed for more than 100 yards in four of the past six games. Logan Doublin, an Appalachian State commit, has more than 100 tackles for the Packers. Up front, D.J. Bullard has put up big numbers for Largo with nine sacks.

Notable: The Cougars, who are in the playoffs for the second straight season, have lost their last nine first-round appearances. This season, shootouts have been common for Barron Collier. The Cougars lost 48-40 to Immokalee and won 43-42 against St. Cloud. Largo is in the playoffs for just the second time in Marcus Paschal's four seasons as coach, the first as a district champion.

Coach says: "Barron Collier is a well-coached team. They're big up front and the quarterback likes to throw it around. They have a lot of targets and they try to pick you apart up and down the field. We're going to have our hands full. We should have a big crowd. We only had two home games and we're back in the playoffs so I'd expect a lot of people to show up." — Largo coach Marcus Paschal.

Predictions

Rodney Page: Largo 32-20;

Bob Putnam: Largo 28-24

No. 8 Clearwater (6-4) at No. 1 North Fort Myers (8-0)

Players to watch: Clearwater's biggest playmakers on offense are running back Jarius Williams (895 yards, 13 touchdowns) and receiver Brannan Demeter (468 yards, seven touchdowns). Brandon Gary has made an impact in his first year as a starting linebacker for the Tornadoes with 88 tackles and four interceptions. North Fort Myers quarterback Toby Noland has been efficient with 14 touchdown passes and four interceptions. Teammate Fa'najae Gotay has 12 rushing touchdowns on offense and three interceptions on defense.

Notable: Clearwater is in the playoffs for the third straight season, the second-longest streak in school history. Former Florida and Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Earnest Graham has led the Red Knights to their first playoff appearance since 2006.

Coach says: "(North Fort Myers) is a good team but they aren't unbeatable. They don't have playoff experience and we do, so I think that will help. We are not going to be surprised by anything because we have been through it. We're back to being healthy. I just think it's a matter of how we execute."  — Clearwater coach Don Mesick

Predictions

Page: North Fort Myers 28-7

Putnam: North Fort Myers 27-20

No. 7 Chamberlain (8-2) at No. 2 Mitchell (10-0)

Players to watch: Chiefs quarterback Tyler Riddell has been one of the best in the area, throwing for 2,375 yards, 30 touchdown and four interceptions. Three Chamberlain receivers have more than 300 yards, led by Jevon Williams with 482. Antonio Hendry and Donte Taylor each have eight sacks for the Chiefs. Mitchell running back Mychael Hamilton has 1,298 yards and 18 touchdowns. He is the school's career leader in rushing yards with 3,798. Jakob Mattos, who signed to play baseball at Coastal Carolina on Wednesday, threw for 17 touchdowns in his first season as the Mustang starting quarterback. Mitchell's Adam Rogers has five interceptions and Kym-mani King has returned three kicks for scores, including two last week.

Notable: This is the first meeting between the teams in the postseason. Chamberlain is in the playoffs for the first time since 2008, the final season of legendary coach Billy Turner's 30-year tenure with the program. Mitchell is coming off its first undefeated regular season and is hosting a playoff game as a district champion for the third straight year.

Coach says: "This is a great matchup. Mitchell is very similar to us. Their running back is one of the best in the area and team has really rallied around their quarterback." — Chamberlain coach Jason Lane.

Predictions

Page: Chamberlain 24-21

Putnam: Mitchell 20-16

No. 8 Sebring (6-2) at No. 1 Armwood (10-0)

Players to watch: The Blue Streaks' strength is up front with a massive offensive line that features a pair of 300-pounders in guard Zack Yanis (6-1, 310) and center/tackle Anthony Healy (6-7, 345). Armwood has all kinds of playmakers, many of whom are already committed to major Division I-A schools. Brian Snead, an Ohio State recruit, has more than 1,000 yards rushing and 14 touchdowns. Jerome Ford, a speedster who recently became a four-star prospect, has 128 rushing and 536 receiving for the Hawks. Lineman Fitzroy Gardner, a Lennard transfer, leads Armwood in sacks with 13.

Notable: Sebring's last playoff appearance was a 44-7 loss to Armwood in the first round in 2015. This is Evan Davis' first season as coach of the Hawks and his first playoff game in that position. He was the school's offensive coordinator before being promoted. Armwood had the highest average point total of any team in the state and will host in the playoffs leading up to the championship game provided it keeps winning.

Coach says: "Sebring is going to play hard. They're really big up front on offense and they fly around on defense. That's a credit to their coaches. We know we've got a test on our hands. We're definitely not overlooking them." — Armwood's Davis

Predictions

Page: Armwood 56-0

Putnam: Armwood 35-6

No. 5 Hillsborough (7-3) at No. 4 Lake Gibson (6-3)

Players to watch: On offense, Hillsborough put up the biggest numbers on the ground with running backs who have gained for more than 400 yards this season. Tyrese Spain, a transfer from Jefferson, leads the way with 730. Terence Doston is the Terriers' big-play threat in the passing game with 500 yards and seven touchdowns. The player Hillsborough has to worry about most is Lake Gibson running back Travell Jones, who has a team-leading 1,073 yards and 15 touchdowns.

Notable: This is a rematch of last year's region quarterfinals. Hillsborough was leading 14-7 late in the third quarter. The Terriers lost a fumble on a kick return that led to the tying score and ended up losing 21-14. The Braves went on to upset Armwood the following week and eventually reached the Class 6A state championship game.

Coach says: "We feel like we're going to need 24 points to win. The game's at their place, but the good news is we played there last year so we know the lay of the land. We're not going to be in awe. We've got to take care of the football. In our seven wins, we've only had two turnovers" —Hillsborough's Earl Garcia

Predictions

Page: Hillsborough 21-17

Putnam: Hillsborough 17-13

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