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Hillsborough football picks

Friday's games

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

Plant City (5-3, 2-1) at Durant (6-1, 2-0): A huge Class 5A-6 game. Durant clinches a playoff berth with a win; Plant City is eliminated from postseason contention if it loses and Newsome tops Riverview. The Raiders have won four in a row, but the teams they have beaten during that streak own a combined 4-25 record. A victory over Durant and its stingy defense would qualify as a statement win.

Eduardo: Durant, 28-21

Joey: Durant, 21-13

Winter Park Trinity Prep (3-5) at Berkeley Prep (4-2): Trinity Prep is coming off a 15-point loss to Clearwater Central Catholic, the same team Berkeley defeated by four touchdowns. We'll go with simple math on this one.

Eduardo: BP, 31-21

Joey: BP, 30-12

Mulberry (2-4, 1-1) at Tampa Catholic (6-0, 2-0): A 2B-5 game. The Crusaders' march to a district title again goes through Mulberry. And even though this contest doesn't appear intriguing given the records, these teams always play each other tight. Tampa Catholic, however, seems to be peaking at the right time with a balanced offense that includes many weapons.

Eduardo: TC, 28-17

Joey: TC, 28-6

Jesuit (5-2, 3-1) at Middleton (5-2, 4-1): A 2A-5 game. For all intents, this contest, which didn't look like much a few weeks ago, is a playoff game. Middleton clinches the district runnerup spot (and accompanying postseason berth) with a victory; Jesuit needs to win Friday and against St. Petersburg Catholic on Nov. 6 to clinch its first postseason appearance in three years.

Eduardo: Middleton, 20-17

Joey: Jesuit, 27-12

Wharton (2-5) at East Bay (4-4): The Indians' 44-41 win over King halted a three-game skid. Brian Thornton's squad started out the season 3-1, but haven't been the same since their strength of schedule intensified. Wharton can't seem to get its offense going; the Wildcats have been shut out twice and scored only one touchdown two other times.

Eduardo: East Bay, 21-14

Joey: East Bay, 24-14

Leto (1-6) at Freedom (4-2): There's no way around it, Leto has struggled. The Falcons have been outscored 86-12 in their past three games. They might be able to hang with the Patriots for a while, but we're predicting another lopsided game.

Eduardo: Freedom, 35-7

Joey: Freedom, 28-7

Lakewood (5-2, 2-1) at Blake (1-6, 1-2): A 3A-8 game. Blake won its first game of the season last week against Dixie Hollins. Now the Yellow Jackets can play spoiler to a Lakewood team that needs this week to set up a meeting with Spoto that can decide the district's second playoff spot.

Eduardo: Lakewood, 30-7

Joey: Lakewood, 27-8

King (2-4) at Bloomingdale (0-7): The Bulls have three more games to avoid an 0-10 season. The Lions will prove to be a tough challenge. Their record doesn't indicate how close their games have been. They lost to East Bay by three last week and fell to Robinson in overtime.

Eduardo: King, 28-10

Joey: King, 27-14

Lennard (1-5, 0-4) at Strawberry Crest (1-4, 1-3): A Class 2A-5 game. The Longhorns have been outscored 135-36 in four district games, but with first-year programs Strawberry Crest and Steinbrenner on the horizon the next two weeks, Ruskin should be worried if the Longhorns don't win their next two contests.

Eduardo: Lennard, 35-10

Joey: Lennard, 20-6

Jefferson (5-1, 3-0) at Dixie Hollins (0-7, 0-3): With the chip on the shoulder the Dragons seem to constantly wear, we don't think they're going to get caught sleeping against a winless Dixie Hollins squad. This is a 3A-8 district game Jefferson needs to win to fulfill its dream of a district title. It could get ugly early.

Eduardo: Jefferson, 51-0

Joey: Jefferson 34-0

Chamberlain (1-7) at Brandon (1-6): Chamberlain is coming off its first win of the Joe Severino era, a 13-6 victory at Gaither, and spirits are up. "We try to keep working hard but the intensity is up," Severino said. "I guess they see they can get it done." Severino thinks his team can compete with Brandon, which has a few more skill players than Gaither. Among them is senior Sean Watson, who scored all of the Eagles' points in their 36-16 loss to Tampa Bay Tech.

Eduardo: Brandon, 24-12

Joey: Sean Watson, 20-8

Riverview (2-5, 0-2) at Newsome (4-2, 2-0): A 5A-6 game. If Newsome wins and Durant tops Plant City, the Wolves clinch a playoff berth. The Wolves have lost injured leading rusher Conner Powers for the season, but last week's win over Bloomingdale showed there are plenty of backs in their stable.

Eduardo: Newsome, 27-24

Joey: Newsome, 17-13

Carrollwood Day (7-0) at Bishop McLaughlin (1-6), 7: Carrollwood Day has been mostly unchallenged this year; it has defeated five of seven opponents by 32 or more points (one of its other wins came via forfeit). Look for another romp tonight.

Eduardo: CDS, 48-3

Joey: CDS, 41-6

Cambridge Christian (3-4) at Winter Haven All Saints' (2-5), 7: Based on recent common opponents, the Lancers should be favored. They own a 34-14 win over Santa Fe Catholic, which topped All Saints' by nearly the same score (35-14) in mid-September. Then again, both teams were shut out by Carrollwood Day.

Eduardo: Cambridge, 21-12

Joey: Cambridge, 14-12

Hillsborough football picks 10/29/09 [Last modified: Thursday, October 29, 2009 7:06pm]
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