MORE from our HomeTeam writers.
Friday’s football games
All at 7:30 p.m. unless noted
Sickles (3-1, 1-0) at Armwood (4-1, 2-0)
Last year: Armwood, 35-0
Breakdown: A Class 6A, District 8 game. …In the teams’ past three meetings, Sickles has scored one TD — on a trick play. …Armwood’s defense has allowed 51 points this season. In 10 regular-season games last year, it allowed 34.
Joel Anderson’s pick: Armwood, 31-7
Joey Knight’s pick: Armwood, 21-10
Plant (3-1, 0-0) at Wharton (3-1, 0-0)
Last year: Plant, 37-19
Breakdown: A Class 8A, District 6 game. …The Panthers will play without starting QB Aaron Banks, who’s nursing a shoulder injury. That means junior Colby Brown will have to deal with Wharton’s Rocky Enos and Vernon Hargreaves III. …Plant’s defense will need to play above and beyond against Chase Litton and Co. to compensate for the loss.
Anderson: Wharton, 20-17
Knight: Plant, 24-21
Tampa Catholic (5-0, 1-0) at Clearwater Central Catholic (4-1, 0-0)
Last year: CCC, 24-17
Breakdown: A Class 3A, District 5 game. …Even CCC coach John Davis will admit the Crusaders defeated themselves (penalties, turnovers) in last year’s rain-soaked meeting. …Crusaders FB Justin Vertino, a 230-pound load, should return from a shoulder injury this week after missing the past two games.
Anderson: CCC, 31-28
Knight: TC, 28-26
Jefferson (1-3, 0-1) at Hillsborough (4-0, 2-0)
Last year: Hillsborough, 49-20
Breakdown: A Class 6A, District 8 game. …Which Jefferson will show up? The one that took a 21-0 lead over top-ranked Armwood last Friday or the one that surrendered 35 straight points in the loss? If the Dragons settle somewhere between the extremes, Hillsborough will still find itself in a battle.
Anderson: Hillsborough, 35-27
Knight: Hillsborough, 31-21
Plant City (3-1, 1-0) at Durant (4-0, 1-0)
Last year: Plant City, 43-12
Breakdown: A Class 7A, District 8 game. …The Cougars’ defense has allowed only three TDs and should be bolstered by the return of senior DB J.J. Garrett, who’s missed the first four games with a broken arm. … Plant City has won three straight in this series, but that streak will be difficult to extend without Bennie Coney.
Anderson: Durant, 27-7
Knight: Durant, 28-14
Gaither (3-1, 1-0) at Steinbrenner (1-3, 0-1)
Last year: Gaither, 37-7
Breakdown: A Class 7A, District 7 game. …The Cowboys had the week off after a 30-7 win over Wiregrass Ranch on Sept. 21. …The Warriors have lost two straight by a single score. …In their two previous matchups, Gaither held Steinbrenner to a touchdown in each game. No reason to see why that should change now.
Anderson: Gaither, 28-7
Knight: Gaither, 27-13
Berkeley Prep (5-0, 0-0) at St. Petersburg Catholic (2-2, 0-1)
Last year: Berkeley Prep, 45-0
Breakdown: A Class 3A, District 5 game. …The Buccaneers catch the Barons at a convenient time; FSU-bound TB Ryan Green (torn labrum) was lost for the season early last month. Still, SPC put up 49 in a one-point loss to 4-1 Englewood Lemon Bay last week.
Anderson: Berkeley Prep, 41-7
Knight: Berkeley Prep, 34-14
Middleton (1-4, 1-3) at Blake (1-4, 0-4)
Last year: Blake, 41-19
Breakdown: A Class 5A, District 8 game. …Both teams enter this historic rivalry with only one win and coming off lopsided defeats the previous week. … Middleton has scored 10 points in its five losses, while Blake has a single TD in four losses. One prediction seems fairly safe: don’t expect a lot of offense.
Anderson: Blake 12-6
Knight: Blake, 12-6
Alonso (2-2, 0-0) at Bloomingdale (3-2, 0-0)
Last year: Alonso, 20-14
Breakdown: A Class 8A, District 6 game. … Few running backs shoulder the offensive burden of Bloomingdale’s Eugene Baker, who has 131 carries (595 yards) through five games. That should play into the hands of the Ravens, who have only allowed 13 points in the past two games — both wins.
Anderson: Alonso, 20-17
Knight: Alonso, 27-7
Freedom (2-3, 1-0) at Chamberlain (1-3, 0-1)
Last year: Freedom, 14-7
Breakdown: A Class 7A, District 7 game. …This is Chamberlain’s homecoming contest. …The Patriots will be without DB Nate Godwin (22 tackles, one INT), serving a one-game suspension for what the FHSAA deemed an “unnecessary” and “flagrant” tackle against Alonso.
Anderson: Chamberlain, 20-14
Knight: Chamberlain, 15-13
Jesuit (3-2, 3-1) at Lennard (0-5, 0-3)
Last year: Jesuit, 78-0
Breakdown: A Class 5A, District 8 game. …After an abysmal start, Jesuit need only defeat the winless Longhorns and top 2-3 Dunedin next week to set up home showdown with Lakewood that might determine a playoff berth. … George Edington, Lennard’s coach when the Tigers inflicted last year’s 78-0 clubbing, is now a running game assistant at Jesuit.
Anderson: Jesuit, 42-12
Knight: Jesuit, 34-6
Leto (0-5, 0-2) at King (1-4, 1-1)
Last year: King, 73-8
Breakdown: A Class 6A, District 8 game. …The Lions got a sparkling effort from left-handed senior QB Kenyatta Young (12-for-20, 235 yards, three TDs) in last week’s 28-16 victory against Strawberry Crest. … After Friday, the Lions embark on the toughest final stretch in the county (Jefferson, Hillsborough, Armwood, Durant).
Anderson: King, 45-0
Knight: King, 40-6
East Bay (1-3, 0-1) at Riverview (2-2, 0-1)
Last year: East Bay, 38-6
Breakdown: A Class 7A, District 8 game. …A couple teams that come into Friday on a pair of losing streaks: East Bay has lost three and Riverview has dropped two. But East Bay seems on the verge of a breakthrough, keeping it close in defeats to Bloomingdale and Newsome.
Anderson: East Bay, 27-14
Knight: East Bay, 26-20
Brandon (0-4, 0-1) at Newsome (2-3, 1-0)
Last year: Brandon, 34-0
Breakdown: A Class 7A, District 8 game. …The Wolves have won two straight after starting 0-3. Credit the legs and arm of Will Worth, who leads Newsome in rushing, passing, scoring and tackles. …That’s more than enough to beat Brandon, which has been outscored 28-148.
Anderson: Newsome, 26-7
Knight: Newsome, 35-6
Tampa Bay Tech (3-2, 1-0) at Wiregrass Ranch (0-4, 0-1)
Last year: TBT, 40-7
Breakdown: A Class 7A, District 7 game. …TBT nearly notched a landmark win against Plant, losing 21-14 after taking an early 14-0 lead. … But even if they have trouble rebounding from that defeat, the Titans shouldn’t have a problem against winless Wiregrass Ranch.
Anderson: TBT, 35-6
Knight: TBT, 34-0
Dunedin (2-3, 2-2) at Spoto (1-3, 1-2)
Last year: Spoto, 14-7
Breakdown: A Class 5A, District 8 game. …Spoto, arguably east Hillsborough’s most snake-bitten team to this point, learned Wednesday it will be without TB Eric Moate (foot) at least another two weeks. On the positive side, WR/OLB Julius Robinson (foot) should return.
Anderson: Dunedin, 27-6
Knight: Dunedin, 20-12
Canterbury (1-4, 1-3) at Carrollwood Day (4-1, 2-1)
Kickoff: 4 p.m.
Last year: Canterbury, 26-20
Breakdown: A Class 2A, District 5 game. …Patriots coach Lane McLaughlin said TB Robert Davis, who tweaked his knee in last week’s loss at Admiral Farragut, will be a game-time decision. If he can’t go, look for 225-pound TE/LB Dominiq Sicardo to take several handoffs.
Anderson: Carrollwood Day, 34-17
Knight: Carrollwood Day, 28-6
Calvary Christian (2-2, 2-1) vs. Cambridge Christian (3-2, 2-2) at Skyway Park
Last year: Calvary, 48-35
Breakdown: A Class 2A, District 5 game. …The Lancers will try to rebound from a 53-14 loss to Indian Rocks Christian last Friday. Bad news: Calvary Christian beat Indian Rocks 38-21 in its season opener.
Anderson: Calvary Christian, 45-14
Knight: Calvary Christian, 34-21
Seffner Christian (3-1) at Haines City Landmark Christian (5-0)
Kickoff: 7 p.m.
Last year: Did not play
Breakdown: On paper, this shapes up as a daunting challenge for the Crusaders. Landmark has allowed 17 points all season and is averaging 50.4 points through five games. …Three Crusaders — Skyler Clark, Seth Lewis and Marcus Richardson — have more than 200 rushing yards.
Anderson: Landmark Christian, 42-24
Knight: Landmark Christian, 33-20
For the season
Anderson: 37-14 (13-4 last week)
Knight: 71-18 (14-3 last week)