Hilllsborough football picks

Friday's matchups

All games at 7:30 p.m. unless noted

Plant (4-1) at Spoto (6-0): To this point, the Spartans' most prominent two-way players haven't had to go both ways the entire game. Tonight, they will. That is, if they want to win. Plant has embraced this game's plot line of the two top defenses meeting and want to prove who is No. 1

Eduardo A. Encina's pick: Plant, 38-16

Joey Knight's pick: Plant, 35-13

Strawberry Crest (0-3, 0-3) at Jesuit (4-2, 2-1): A Class 2A, District 5 game. Say this for the Chargers, they have scored on every varsity foe to this point. We're not sure they'll score tonight.

Eduardo: Jesuit, 39-3

Joey: Jesuit, 45-0

Bloomingdale (0-5) at Freedom (2-2): Freedom is still feeling the physical effects of last week's loss to Tampa Bay Tech. Two Patriots offensive lineman (Josh Tanner and Paul McNeal) are questionable with what coach James Harrell called concussion-type symptoms. Additionally, two-way senior Jacari Campbell will be serving the last of a three-game suspension. Bloomingdale has been shut out its past two games.

Eduardo: Freedom, 28-6

Joey: Freedom, 20-7

Leto (1-4) at Newsome (2-2): Newsome is coming off a big upset of Robinson. But in this game between two of the best running backs in the county — Newsome's Conner Powers and Leto's Jeremy Deering — it's Powers that has the better supporting cast.

Eduardo: Newsome, 28-12

Joey: Newsome, 35-13

Clearwater Central Catholic (3-2) at Tampa Catholic (4-0): The Crusaders have lost their past two meetings with the Marauders, including last-year's mud-soaked 9-6 loss without star quarterback Christian Green. This TC senior class wants nothing more than to hand CCC a loss.

Eduardo: TC, 28-14

Joey: TC, 33-13

Steinbrenner (1-2, 1-2) at Middleton (3-2, 2-1): After a humbling loss to Robinson in their Class 2A-5 district game, the Tigers can win their third district game with a win over the first-year Warriors. Considers it a warmup for the next two weeks, when Middleton can decide its playoff fate in games vs. SPC and Jesuit.

Eduardo: Middleton, 37-17

Joey: Middleton, 32-12

Riverview (1-4) at East Bay (3-3): For two ground-oriented offenses, this game represents a stark contrast in styles. East Bay subsists on the wishbone; Riverview diversifies its running game with a plethora of formations. Durant defensive coordinator called preparing for the Sharks a "nightmare."

Eduardo: East Bay 16-12

Joey: Riverview, 13-9

Tampa Bay Tech (4-1) at King (2-2): The Titans have won the past seven meetings in this Sligh Avenue rivalry, which hasn't always been played annually, dating to 1999. King hasn't won since a 3-0 triumph in 1988. Three Titans — Maurice Hagens, Cludner Lacount and Jonathan Williams — have at least 20 carries. All are averaging more than 5.5 yards per handoff.

Eduardo: TBT, 28-14

Joey: TBT, 40-13

Armwood (4-1) at Chamberlain (0-6): If Armwood coach Sean Callahan hasn't emptied his bench by halftime, consider it a moral defeat for the Hawks.

Eduardo: Armwood, 48-0

Joey: Armwood, 49-0

Gaither (1-4) at Plant City (3-3): In the beginning of the year, our number crunching showed the Cowboys having the county's toughest schedule. And that's been the case. Plant City gives Gaither a slight breather, but if the Raiders can limit turnovers, they have the skill players to extend Gaither's misery.

Eduardo: Plant City, 21-14

Joey: Plant City, 27-6

Hillsborough (4-1) at Blake (0-5): Not much to talk about here. Two teams going in opposite directions. Blake will be hard pressed to keep the Terriers' offensive triple-threat of QB Tarean Austin, RB Rodney Johnson and WR Charles Lovett from ending this game with a running clock. Blake coach Harry Hubbard knows the Terriers well from his Middleton days, but he doesn't have to personnel to take advantage.

Eduardo: Hillsborough, 48-0

Joey: Hillsborough, 42-6

Robinson (4-1, 2-0) at St. Petersburg Catholic (5-1, 3-0): A Class 2A, District 5 game. Look for the Knights to be far more physical than they were last week against Newsome, when the Wolves essentially pounded it down their throats. We anticipate a heavy dose of Knights blitzes on prolific Barons quarterback Chris McKay.

Eduardo: Robinson 28-24

Joey: Robinson, 34-14

Durant (5-1) at Sickles (5-1): The Gryphons' offensive line will have a considerable size advantage on Durant's four-man front. Then again, the Cougars have been outsized by everyone to this point and have allowed only 38 points in six games.

Eduardo: Durant, 22-20

Joey: Sickles, 20-14

Lake Wales Vanguard (2-4, 0-2) at Cambridge Christian (2-3, 2-1), 7: Look for the Lancers, who scored all their points in the second half of last week's 34-14 win at Lakeland Santa Fe Catholic, to hit the .500 mark for the season. Vanguard's two wins have come against Posnack Hebrew Day (in Naples) and Florida School for the Deaf. It lost to Santa Fe Catholic by 41.

Eduardo: Cambridge, 41-10

Joey: Cambridge, 34-6

Carrollwood Day (5-0) at Leesburg First Academy (2-4), 7: The astounding factoid of the week comes courtesy of the Patriots defense, which has scored eight touchdowns this season. Four have been on interception returns, four on punt returns (the first-string defense is the punt-return team).

Eduardo: CDS, 51-6

Joey's pick: CDS, 41-0

Hilllsborough football picks 10/15/09 [Last modified: Thursday, October 15, 2009 5:31pm]

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