Friday's playoff football games | All at 7:30 p.m.
Plant (10-1) at Orlando Dr. Phillips (11-0)
Winner faces: East Lake-Vero Beach winner on Nov. 30
Last week: Plant defeated Orlando Freedom, 48-31; Orlando Dr. Phillips defeated Wharton, 28-15
Breakdown: Plant gets a crack at the state’s top-ranked Class 8A team, which prevailed over Wharton last Friday despite being outgained by 132 yards, had 18 fewer first downs and more penalties. The Panthers, who beat Dr. Phillips 49-13 in the region semifinals last year, are much more likely to seize upon the opportunities that Wharton squandered in Orlando. And if Plant jumps out to an early lead, Dr. Phillips is ill-equipped to mount a comeback.
Joel Anderson’s pick: Plant, 31-14
Joey Knight’s pick: Plant, 27-21
Newsome (7-4) at Durant (11-0)
Winner faces: Ridge Community-Kissimmee Osceola winner on Nov. 30
Last week: Newsome defeated Gaither, 52-7; Durant defeated Tampa Bay Tech, 34-7
Breakdown: Durant, the county’s only undefeated team, surprised TBT with its efficient passing game in the playoff opener. QB Trey VanDeGrift went 10-of-15 for 133 yards, giving the Cougars’ spread-option the sort of balance it didn’t have earlier in the season. Newsome counters with a wing-T offense that rolled up more than 500 rushing yards against Gaither. But Durant isn’t likely to allow the Wolves to repeat that performance or even match the 399 they gained in their regular-season matchup, won by the Cougars.
Joel Anderson’s pick: Durant, 28-14
Joey Knight’s pick: Durant, 34-28
Tampa Catholic (8-3) at Clearwater Central Catholic (10-1)
Winner faces: Fort Lauderdale University-Delray Beach American Heritage on Nov. 30
Last week: Tampa Catholic defeated Fort Meade, 24-23; Clearwater Central Catholic defeated Frostproof, 35-0
Breakdown: The Crusaders must - and probably will - fare better against CCC than they did in the regular season, when they fell behind 24-0 and finished with only 79 yards of offense. But will it be enough against a Marauders’ defense that has shut out its past four opponents? On the other side of the ball, Tampa Catholic must force a couple turnovers and prevent the big plays that CCC has thrived on this season.
Joel Anderson’s pick: CCC, 24-7
Joey Knight’s pick: CCC, 28-7
Armwood (8-3) at Hillsborough (9-1)
Winner faces: Gainesville-Ocala Vanguard winner on Nov. 30.
Last week: Armwood defeated Largo, 10-6; Hillsborough defeated Osceola, 42-7
Breakdown: Armwood committed three consecutive personal-foul penalties on the only scoring drive of the teams’ first meeting, a 3-0 Terriers triumph. Hillsborough sophomore QB Dwayne Lawson flourished that night (241 total yards), gashing the Hawks with simple isolation runs behind a blocker. One has to imagine Armwood will adjust this time around.
Joel Anderson’s pick: Hillsborough, 14-13
Joey Knight’s pick: Armwood, 17-7
Lakewood (10-1) at Robinson (10-1)
Winner faces: Pasco-Gainesville Eastside winner on Nov. 30
Last week: Lakewood defeated Orlando Bishop Moore, 37-13; Robinson defeated Port Orange Atlantic, 41-8
Breakdown: Because Robinson has scored first in all 11 of its games, the dynamic of this contest can change entirely if Lakewood strikes first. Don’t be shocked if Lakewood puts as many as four people behind center to keep the Knights guessing. When senior Rodney Adams did his wildcat stint in the first matchup - a 19-8 Knights win - he ran for 79 yards on 10 carries.
Joel Anderson’s pick: Robinson, 24-14
Joey Knight’s pick: Robinson, 28-17
Carrollwood Day (10-1) at Naples First Baptist (11-0)
Winner faces: Belle Glade Glades Day-Miami Dade Christian winner on Nov. 30
Last week: First Baptist defeated Indian Rocks Christian, 42-21; CDS defeated Moore Haven, 24-12
Breakdown: First Baptist, winner of a suspect district, possesses good size for a 2A program (five linemen of 220 or more pounds) but not nearly the speed of Moore Haven. We see Robert Davis, who ran for 245 yards last week, darting around the edge and through seams at will.
Joel Anderson’s pick: Naples First Baptist, 31-28
Joey Knight’s pick: CDS, 35-3