MORE from our HomeTeam writers.
Friday’s football games
All at 7:30 unless noted.
Robinson (7-0, 6-0) at Lakewood (7-0, 6-0)
Last year: Robinson, 20-13
Breakdown: A Class 5A, District 8 game. …The winner is district champion; loser is runnerup and must travel for at least the first two rounds of the playoffs. …Lakewood’s short passing game flourished at Jesuit, mainly because the Tigers gave a 6- to 8-yard cushion to the Spartans receivers. Look for the Knights to cover the pass more aggressively.
Joel Anderson’s pick: Robinson, 31-21
Joey Knight’s pick: Robinson, 28-14
Armwood (6-2) at Plant (6-1)
Last year: Armwood, 21-0
Breakdown: Yes, the Hawks were shut out for the first time in 10 seasons in last week’s surprising loss to Hillsborough. Yes, the Hawks are in the midst of an overhaul of an offense that has been wildly inconsistent. And yes, Plant has looked much more formidable since its early-season loss to nationally-ranked John Curtis. But the Panthers haven’t scored against the Hawks since 2009 and Plant coach Robert Weiner still calls their defense “outstanding.” Trust him.
Anderson: Armwood, 20-17
Knight: Plant, 27-17
Indian Rocks Christian (6-1, 6-1) at Carrollwood Day (7-1, 5-1)
Kickoff: 4 p.m.
Last year: IRC, 58-55
Breakdown: A Class 2A, District 5 game. …IRC clinches the district title with a victory; CDS clinches at least a playoff berth with a victory and a win next week at Calvary Christian. …Sophomore Kalle Wilwant, the Patriots’ No. 2 tackler, won’t play (concussion). … IRC has four players with at least 248 rushing yards, led by freshman Zeke McGaughy (745, seven TDs).
Anderson: CDS, 28-24
Knight: CDS, 34-21
Strawberry Crest (3-4, 1-3) at Sickles (4-3, 2-2)
Last year: Sickles, 37-0
Breakdown: A Class 6A, District 8 game. …Verrrry interesting matchup. Now that Sickles has been eliminated from playoff contention, what kind of Gryphons team will we see? …Crest has thrown for at least 200 yards against every opponent except Leto, when it ran for 316.
Anderson: Sickles, 28-13
Knight: Sickles, 24-20
Durant (7-0, 3-0) at East Bay (3-4, 2-1)
Last year: Durant, 45-28
Breakdown: A Class 7A, District 8 game. …With a win, the Cougars could clinch their first district title in 10 years. But it would be a mistake to overlook East Bay, which pulled off a 24-12 upset of Plant City last week. …Durant FB Jamarlon Hamilton will look to duplicate last year’s 160-yard, two-TD performance against the Indians, who have had trouble stopping the run in all four of their defeats.
Anderson: Durant, 42-18
Knight: Durant, 35-14
Chamberlain (3-4, 2-1) at Gaither (6-1, 3-0)
Last year: Gaither, 27-20
Breakdown: A Class 7A, District 7 game. …Gaither clinches a playoff berth with a victory, while a Chiefs win sets up a potential district tie-breaker scenario. … The last three meetings have been decided by a total of 16 points. … Gaither seniors Vu Le and Shug Oyegunle each have more than 200 rushing and receiving yards. Senior DL Ernest Suttles has 10 sacks.
Anderson: Gaither, 21-13
Knight: Gaither, 28-14
Hillsborough (6-1, 4-1) at King (2-5, 2-2)
Last year: Hillsborough, 28-0
Breakdown: A Class 6A, District 8 game. …We’d deem this a trap game for the Terriers — coming off a 3-0 win against Armwood — if it weren’t so crucial. A victory gives Hillsborough the district title and home-field advantage for at least the first two rounds of the postseason. A loss, and the Terriers could be staring at a tie-breaker for the district’s second playoff spot. …Rangy Terriers sophomore QB Dwayne Lawson totaled 241 yards against the Hawks last week, most of them on runs directly up the gut.
Anderson: Hillsborough, 30-14
Knight: Hillsborough, 28-12
Freedom (2-6, 1-2) at Tampa Bay Tech (5-2, 3-0)
Last year: Tampa Bay Tech, 69-0
Breakdown: A Class 7A, District 7 game. …Only Freedom stands between the Titans and a highly-anticipated showdown next week for the district championship against Gaither. Tech shouldn’t have too many problems here, with its already stout defense facing an offense that averages about 11 points and 166 yards per game.
Anderson: TBT, 34-7
Knight: TBT, 34-8
Tampa Catholic (6-1) at Alonso (4-3)
Last year: Alonso, 31-15
Breakdown: After giving up nearly 380 yards in a 10-point loss to Plant, the Ravens have to rebound against another talented offense coming off a bye week. The Crusaders rolled up 402 yards in their win over Northeast on Oct. 12. …But Alonso counters with a multidimensional attack, bolstered by QB Brandon Hawkins (61 percent completion, 1,044 yards 10 TDs, 0 INTs) and RB Ish Witter (834 yards) that has moved the ball in all games this season except vs. Plant.
Anderson: Alonso, 30-21
Knight: Alonso, 17-10
Berkeley Prep (6-1) at Orlando First Academy (7-0)
Kickoff: 7 p.m.
Last year: Berkeley Prep, 35-14
Breakdown: The Buccaneers, whose 19-game regular-season win streak ended against Clearwater Central Catholic last week, will be mightily challenged to start a new streak tonight. Though it hasn’t played the most daunting schedule, First Academy has won its seven games by an average margin of more than 41 points. …The Bucs must neutralize 5-foot-11, 180-pound senior TB Lloyd Hylton (85 carries, 743 yards), an honors student with a 4.5 40 time.
Anderson: Berkeley Prep, 35-24
Knight: First Academy, 27-21
Newsome (3-4, 2-1) at Riverview (2-6, 0-3)
Last year: Newsome, 52-6
Breakdown: A Class 7A, District 8 game. …The Wolves provided a stiffer test than expected against unbeaten Durant in a 38-28 loss last Thursday. They should be able to rebound against a team they’ve beaten four straight years by a combined score of 156-12.
Anderson: Newsome, 34-0
Knight: Newsome, 31-6
Jesuit (5-3, 5-2) at Gibbs (2-5, 2-4)
Last year: Jesuit, 31-0
Breakdown: A Class 5A, District 8 game. …Now that his team’s playoff aspirations (but not its bowl hopes) have been vanquished, look for Tigers coach James Harrell to again start junior QB Vincent Testaverde, but periodically bring in senior Leland Saile. …Jesuit DB/WR Reggie Brown, an FAU commitment, is probable (shoulder).
Anderson: Jesuit, 21-6
Knight: Jesuit, 24-7
Plant City (3-4, 1-2) at Brandon (1-6, 1-2)
Last year: Brandon, 48-36
Breakdown: A Class 7A, District 8 game. …For all practical intents, the loser is eliminated from playoff contention. …The planets may be aligning for the Eagles, who have won the past five meetings in this series. Not only are they coming off their first win of the season (vs. Riverview), but catching Plant City — a loser last week to East Bay — at the right time.
Anderson: Plant City, 20-6
Knight: Brandon, 14-12
Middleton (2-5, 2-4) at Dunedin (3-4, 3-3)
Last year: Dunedin, 29-20
Breakdown: A Class 5A, District 8 game. …Tigers coach Alonzo Ashwood engineered another big win for his program, leading Middleton to an upset of Gibbs last week. The next step is winning a game on the road, where they’re 0-2 this season. …The Falcons, whose only victory at home this year came against Blake on Sept. 14, were off last week.
Anderson: Dunedin, 18-14
Knight: Dunedin, 27-8
Wiregrass Ranch (0-7, 0-3) at Steinbrenner (2-5, 0-3)
Last year: Steinbrenner, 56-0
Breakdown: A Class 7A, District 7 game. …The Warriors are having their struggles but nothing that approaches those of Wiregrass, which is averaging less than a touchdown per game. For both teams, this is likely their best chance at avoiding a winless record in district play.
Anderson: Steinbrenner, 28-6
Knight: Steinbrenner, 26-6
Cambridge Christian (4-4) vs. Seffner Christian (4-3) at Armwood
Last year: Cambridge Christian, 45-31
Breakdown: The Lancers have won both meetings in this series in one-sided fashion, a trend SCA hopes to squelch on its homecoming night. … As senior Robbie Robertson goes (1,097 total yards, 40 tackles, two INTs), so go the Lancers. …SCA has collected at least 200 rushing yards in six of its seven games.
Anderson: Cambridge, 38-21
Knight: Cambridge, 34-27
Lennard (0-8, 0-6) at Spoto (2-5, 2-4)
Last year: Spoto, 44-2
Breakdown: A Class 5A, District 8 game. …The Spartans are without standout TB Eric Moate (foot) for at least one more week. …Look for Lennard, shut out in its past three games, to emerge from its offensive funk, but probably not enough to prevail tonight.
Anderson: Spoto, 21-0
Knight: Spoto, 26-12
Wharton (5-2) at Blake (3-5)
Last year: Wharton, 18-6
Breakdown: The Yellow Jackets have made strides under first-year coach Darryl Gordon, but their three wins have come against some of the area’s weakest teams and they simply don’t have the offensive firepower to keep up with Wharton. The Wildcats’ 6-foot-6 junior QB Chase Litton should have another big day.
Anderson: Wharton, 34-6
Knight: Wharton, 21-6
Jefferson (3-4, 2-2) at Leto (0-8, 0-4)
Last year: Jefferson, 79-0
Breakdown: A Class 6A, District 8 game. …Coming off last Thursday’s upset of Sickles, the Dragons face a school they’ve beaten by a score of 155-7 in the past three games. …Jefferson has been outscored 191-240 this season. It’s safe to assume the Dragons will correct that ratio and reach .500 after Friday.
Anderson: Jefferson, 56-0
Knight: Jefferson, 54-6
For the season
Anderson: 85-21 (14-4 last week)
Knight: 119-25 (13-5 last week)