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I’ve never covered a district tiebreaker like the one tonight between Fivay, Anclote and Zephyrhills, so I don’t know what to expect.
So take the following lightly:
I think Fivay will win.
The Falcons have been in big games before. They made the playoffs last year. They have the best quarterback (Tyler Degen) and some of the best athletes.
They also have a first-round (err, first quarter) bye. I don’t know if that’s good or bad. I could see Anclote (or Zephyrhills) getting into a rhythm after winning the first quarter. The adrenaline will be high, and so will the confidence. Fivay has to come in cold and match that intensity immediately or risk falling behind for good.
But the bye is also good. Obviously, it means you have to win once instead of twice. In what I think was the last North Suncoast tiebreaker, Wesley Chapel had the first game off and beat Pasco in the second, 8-6, to win the district title in 2004. The delay didn’t affect the Wildcats. I don’t think it’ll hurt Fivay, either.
The Falcons have a quick-strike offense. Remember Degen’s two early TDs that put Fivay up 13-7 on Pasco? And consider this: Fivay has scored 102 points in the first quarter this season. That’s more than Zephyrhills (98) and Anclote (30).
Assuming RB Willie Williams and WR/DB Jordan Roberts do not play tonight because of eligibility concerns, I don’t think Zephyrhills can beat Anclote. The Sharks won the first game and have the athletes to match the Bulldogs’ speed. Take away two of Zephyrhills’ big-play threats, and Anclote’s chances look even better.
As I wrote in yesterday’s paper, Anclote can pound the ball and control the clock with RB Willie Barrett. That keeps the ball away from Zephyrhills, and I think the Sharks’ defense makes a big play late to take the first game (err, quarter).
Fivay’s defense is good enough to stop Anclote early, and I can see the Falcons getting a long score on offense or special teams to make the playoffs for the second season in a row.
What do you think? Who you got tonight?