MORE from our HomeTeam writers.
Friday's region football finals
5A: Pasco (12-0) at Robinson (11-1), 7:30
Winner faces: Tallahassee Godby/Jacksonville Bishop Kenny winner in Dec. 7 state semifinals. Pasco or Robinson would host.
How they got here: Pasco d. Citra North Marion 34-10, d. Gainesville Eastside 52-0. Robinson d. Port Orange Atlantic 41-8, d. Lakewood 22-19
Breakdown: The wildcat formation, known to give the Knights fits, could be employed liberally by Pasco, which runs 72 percent of the time. …Robinson RB Martin Ruiz is seeking his fourth 100-yard rushing effort in his past five contests. …Pasco senior ATH Janarion Grant, arguably the top athlete on the field Friday, is averaging 149 total yards in six games since returning from a hand injury.
Joel Anderson’s pick: Robinson, 28-24
Joey Knight’s pick: Pasco, 28-24
6A: Armwood (9-3) at Gainesville (12-0), 7:30
Winner faces: Navarre/Lake City Columbia winner in Dec. 7 state semifinals. Navarre or Columbia would host.
How they got here: Armwood d. Largo 10-6, d. Hillsborough 9-7. Gainesville d. Hernando 60-3, d. Ocala Vanguard 21-10
Breakdown: A rematch of last season’s region final, in which Armwood rallied for a 17-14 win courtesy of a late Hurricanes fumble. …The top-ranked Hurricanes have held eight opponents to 14 or fewer points, which doesn’t bode well for a TD-challenged Hawks offense with a quarterback (Alvin Bailey) battling turf toe. …Hurricanes senior Ralph Webb ran for 174 yards in the victory against Vanguard, in which Gainesville committed four turnovers.
Anderson: Gainesville, 14-7
Knight: Gainesville, 21-10
7A: Newsome (8-4) at Kissimmee Osceola (12-0), 7:30
Winner faces: Oviedo/Tallahassee Lincoln winner in Dec. 7 state semifinals. Newsome or Osceola would host.
How they got here: Newsome d. Gaither 52-7, d. Durant 21-14. Kissimmee Osceola d. Lakeland 16-2, d. Ridge Community 29-28.
Breakdown: This game will mostly be played between the hashes, as Newsome and Kissimmee Osceola prefer to grind it out with their wishbone offenses. …The Wolves have been one of the area’s best teams since their Oct. 18 loss at then-undefeated Durant, winning five straight by a combined score of 196-41. …Osceola should pose an even stiffer test, having outscored opponents 463-95 this season. The Cowboys won their region semifinal when Ridge Community failed to convert a two-point attempt in the fourth quarter, prevailing in their closest game of the year. Osceola is led by RB Stafon McCray, a three-star recruit who holds offers from North Carolina State, Boise State and Boston College, among others. McCray has rushed for 1,545 yards and 20 TDs.
Anderson: Osceola, 35-28
Knight: Osceola, 33-20