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Hillsborough: Friday night football picks

Friday's matchups

All games at 7:30 unless noted.

Jefferson (2-1) at Armwood (4-0)

Jefferson does, as some predicted, appear to be a program on the rise. But Armwood is simply too good and too experienced. The Hawks aren't just the area's best team this fall, by the time it's all said and done they might be the best ever. Pick: Armwood.

Middleton (1-3) vs. Blake (0-4) at Raymond James Stadium

Don't be fooled by Middleton's record — this is not a bad team. Behind the running of Rodney Johnson and Gregory Hickman, look for the Tigers to roll again in a series they've owned. Pick: Middleton.

Jesuit (4-0) at Gaither (1-3)

Is Jesuit as good as its record? We should find out in this one. Gaither, despite a mediocre start, has enough talent across the board to give the Tigers trouble. And we all know what a healthy Jarvis Giles is capable of doing. Pick: Jesuit.

Chamberlain (4-0) at East Bay (3-1)

Keep an eye on the battles up front, where both programs are loaded. For our money, there's no better defensive tackle duo in Florida than at Chamberlain, where Eric Hammond and Dontavious Pyron rule the middle. Pick: Chamberlain.

Alonso (3-1) at Freedom (1-2)

Freedom is getting better each week, but the Patriots will have their hands full with an Alonso offense that averages 27 points per game. Freedom receiver Rodney Lyons is a rising star and his big-play potential could be the difference. Pick: Freedom

Bloomingdale (3-1) at Sickles (0-4)

Thus far, it has been a Bull market at Bloomingdale. But will the bubble burst this week? Doubtful. The Bulls have the perfect bailout plan: a very good defense. Pick: Bloomingdale

Brandon (1-3) at Durant (2-2)

Brandon has been this season's hard-luck team, but you know what? The Eagles aren't without talent. Durant, led by running back Ryan Rice, has a sound running game, but Brandon appears to have a slight edge in overall athleticism. Pick: Brandon

Riverview (0-3) at Hillsborough (3-1)

After getting worked by Chamberlain, the Terriers were a bit sluggish last week. If this group can refocus, a big season is still possible. Facing a Sharks squad that allows 42 points per game could give them a jump start. Pick: Hillsborough

Newsome (2-2) at Robinson (1-3)

If you've been playing close attention, you've noticed that Robinson has been playing some pretty good football lately. That trend should continue tonight as the Knights' athleticism could give them an edge. Pick: Robinson.

Lennard (3-1) at Leto (1-3)

Is Bloomingdale the area's biggest surprise? Or is it Lennard? The Longhorns have been sound on both sides of the ball and that balance has been key to their success. This week, they'll be challenged by a speedy Leto group hungry to end a three-game slide. Pick: Leto

Spoto (0-4) at Tampa Bay Tech (4-0)

Last year, unbeaten TBT was stunned at Spoto. Don't expect a similar result. Spoto, which had to forfeit three wins, is a much improved squad. But so is TBT, which wants this one badly. Pick: TBT

Keswick (1-3) at Cambridge (0-4)

A tough early-season schedule battered Cambridge. But now that the Lancers have seen it all, they should be prepared for just about anything. Pick: Cambridge.

Mount Dora Bible (2-2) at Carrollwood Day School (1-3), 4:30

The teams have one common opponent: Hernando Christian, which beat Mount Dora Bible 29-7 and CDS 29-6. What does that mean? Absolutely nothing. Pick: CDS

Berkeley Prep (2-1) at Lake Highland Prep (3-1)

This is one of the state's better small-school matchups. When they met in the spring, the teams looked even, so expect a close one. Give Berkeley Prep a slight edge; the Bucs haven't allowed a point since Sept. 5. Pick: Berkeley Prep

Tonight's matchup

Plant City (2-2) at Wharton (2-2)

For Plant City, offense is the issue. The Raiders have scored only 26 points this season, which simply won't cut it. Wharton seems to be hitting its stride and it is possible the Wildcats could be on the verge of putting together a pretty lengthy winning streak. Pick: Wharton.

Hillsborough: Friday night football picks 10/02/08 [Last modified: Thursday, October 2, 2008 12:28pm]
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