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Pinellas: Football predictions, Week 13

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Thu. November 21, 2013 | Rodney Page and Bob Putnam

Region semifinals
7A: Pinellas Park (10-1) at East Lake (11-0)
Last week:
East Lake beat Palmetto 13-12; Pinellas Park beat Sarasota 34-7.
Story line: East Lake’s size against Pinellas Park’s speed. Size won the first time. The Patriots need some long offensive drives to stay in this one.
Rodney Page: Eagles are too big up front, but the Patriots manage to keep it closer this time around. East Lake, 23-14.
Bob Putnam: The Patriots should play better in the rematch, but the Eagles just have too much star power not to move on. East Lake, 28-13.

5A: Tarpon Springs (7-4) at Lakewood (8-3)
Last week: Lakewood beat Hudson 75-19; Tarpon Springs beat Anclote 31-0.
Story line: Which team’s offense is hotter? Both teams have lit up the scoreboard lately, so it might come down to who has the ball last.
Page: Lakewood is rolling offensively, but so are the Spongers. The Spartans have more weapons. Lakewood, 28-24.
Putnam: Expect a closer game, with both offenses putting up plenty of points. The Spartans' ability to create more explosive plays is the difference. Lakewood, 35-31.

Region finals
3A: St. Petersburg Catholic (8-3) at Clearwater Central Catholic (9-2)

Last week: CCC beat Fort Myers Bishop Verot 47-0; SPC beat Sarasota Cardinal Mooney 35-34.
Story line: The Marauders won the first meeting to give them the inside track toward the district title, which they eventually won. But the Barons made it close in the second half and came away confident they could pull off the upset in the rematch.
Page: The Marauders have too much talent and depth. CCC, 32-17
Putnam: The Marauders do a better job of opening running lanes and protecting the quarterback. CCC, 24-10.

2A: Naples First Baptist (10-1) at Indian Rocks Christian (9-2)
Last week:
IRC beat Moore Haven 24-22; First Baptist beat Carrollwood Day 20-0.
Story line: Though the Golden Eagles lost last year, they are better equipped to pull off the upset. The offensive line is much improved, and IRC’s skill players are healthy with Zeke McGaughy coming back from an injury last week and Damian King no longer plagued by migraines.
Page: The Golden Eagles have their hands full against First Baptist, which plays tough defense. First Baptist, 21-14.
Putnam: The Golden Eagles score just enough to make it to the state semifinals. IRC, 21-17

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