Rematches are oh so juicy.
Six teams will all get another crack at each other tonight, this time with a trip to the region finals on the line.
There are star players all over the field tonight, including Tampa Bay Tech's Cludner Lecount, Jesuit's Tommy Eveld and Robinson's Byron Pringle.
And let's not forget Armwood's Alvin Bailey, who threw the Hawks — and their state title hopes — on his back last week against Lakewood Ranch.
After the game, Armwood coach Sean Callahan called Bailey, "the best football player in the state."
We're pretty sure that the Mustangs agree.
Tonight's kickoffs are scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
CLASS 8A REGION SEMIFINAL
Orlando Dr. Phillips (10-1) at Plant (10-1)
LAST WEEK: Dr. Phillips defeated Wharton 35-14; Plant defeated Orlando Boone 54-21.
THE SKINNY: Dr. Phillips, winners of four straight games, is trying to return to a state title game and win its first in school history. Dr. Phillips is led by QB Nick Patti, a Boise State commit. Patti hands off to standout tailback Eric Harrell (159 yards and two TDs last week) and throws to standout WR Trey Griffey (son of former baseball star Ken Jr.). For Plant, meanwhile, its shutout loss to Armwood on Oct. 28 was a long time ago. Plant has played three games since then, scoring more than 50 points in each. The Panthers may be peaking at the right time.
CLASS 7A REGION SEMIFINAL
Gaither (8-3) at Tampa Bay Tech (8-3)
LAST WEEK: Gaither beat Durant 38-30, and TBT defeated Brandon 37-0.
THE SKINNY: If the first meeting between these two teams is any indication of what's in store tonight, this should be a good one. TBT defeated Gaither 17-14 Nov. 4, with the Titans winning thanks to a 24-yard Aaron Miller field goal on their final possession. TBT's defense, which shut out Brandon last week, picked off Alex McGough three times in the first meeting with Gaither. McGough was superb last week, leading his team back form a 23-7 halftime deficit. TBT tailback Cludner Lecount is coming off a 159-yard, two TD game against the Eagles.
CLASS 6A REGION SEMIFINAL
Hillsborough (9-2) at Armwood (11-0)
LAST WEEK: The Terriers defeated Largo 29-23, and Armwood beat Lakewood Ranch 35-31.
THE SKINNY: The Hawks were taken to the wire by the Mustangs, but managed to hold on in last week's first-round game. This, however, may prove to be beneficial for a team that normally doesn't run into adversity until later in the postseason. Thankfully for the Hawks, Alvin Bailey came to the rescue. The junior quarterback accounted for all five Hawks touchdowns — three passing and two rushing — including the 65-yard game winner against Lakewood Ranch when Armwood trailed for the only time all season. That's pretty clutch. Hillsborough got a big game from Jeremiah Green, who moved to tailback from safety at halftime against Largo. Green ran for 119 yards and a pair of scores, including a 78-yarder that proved to be the difference. The Hawks beat the Terriers 38-16 on Oct. 20 in the team's first meeting of the season.
CLASS 5A REGION SEMIFINAL
Robinson (9-2) at Jesuit (10-1)
LAST WEEK: The Knights beat Orlando Bishop Moore 30-10, and Jesuit defeated Port Orange Atlantic 42-14.
THE SKINNY: Jesuit and Robinson both rolled last week, setting up the team's second meeting of the season. The Tigers pulled away in the second half for a 21-7 win Sept. 16. Jesuit's defense didn't allow a Robinson first down in the final 24 minutes as the Knights ran just 14 plays from scrimmage during that stretch. Jesuit's Tommy Eveld (12 of 13 for 176 yards) tossed a pair of TD passes last week and Kevin Newman ran for two more. Robinson's defense forced four turnovers, including a 35-yard interception return for a TD by Vic Rivera to seal the win against Bishop Moore. The Knight's Byron Pringle also had a big game, hauling in six passes for 131 yards and a TD reception.
CLASS 3A REGION FINAL
Fort Meade (9-2) at Berkeley Prep (11-0)
LAST WEEK: Fort Meade defeated Clearwater Central Catholic 13-10; Berkeley Prep defeated Frostproof 41-6.
THE SKINNY: Fort Meade enters the game with nine straight victories this season and the memory of two against Berkeley Prep last year. The Miners are a run-first group and lean heavily on De'Vante Clark, who ran for 146 yards and a score last week in its win against CCC. Berkeley Prep will counter with standout RB Nelson Agholor, who has piled up a little more than 1,700 yards this season and 26 TDs. But this Berkeley team has not been all about offense. Led by LB Schyler Miles (80-plus tackles this season), the Bucs' D has allowed just 74 points and posted four shutouts along the way.
Times correspondent Rod Gipson contributed to this report. Brandon Wright can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.