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Pinellas playoff football capsules

Region quarterfinals

All games at 7:30 tonight

5A, Freedom (7-2) at Countryside (9-1): The Cougars have one of the most prolific offenses in the area, scoring more than 30 points seven times this season. The big weapon is running back Alton Taylor, who leads the county with 26 rushing touchdowns. Freedom has a stingy defense, allowing more than 20 points in a game only once this season.

5A, East Lake (7-3) at Tampa Bay Tech (8-1): After an 0-2 start, the Eagles rebounded to win seven of their past eight to make the playoffs as district runnerup. East Lake will need to find a way to contain TBT running back Maurice Hagens, who has 14 rushing touchdowns.

5A, Bradenton Manatee (9-1) at Gibbs (6-4): The Gladiators, under the guidance of coach Donnie Abraham, won six of their past seven games and the school's first district title. Josh Rembert has come on as a quarterback and Jarvis West is always capable of a big play. Manatee is a traditional playoff contender and has plenty of speed on both sides of the ball.

5A, St. Petersburg (9-1) at Venice (9-1): The Green Devils have been the county's hottest team, winning their past four games, all by at least 40 points. St. Petersburg grinds it out on offense with a heavy emphasis on the running game. Venice has won nine straight and is led by quarterback Trey Burton, a Florida recruit.

4A, Hillsborough (6-3) at Largo (8-2): The Packers have overcome injuries and inexperience to win their fifth straight district title and a home playoff game. Largo receiver Myrick Gwyn will start at running back for the first time. On defense, the Packers will try to avoid missed tackles to prevent the Terriers' array of skill players from making big plays.

4A, Lake Weir (8-2) at Tarpon Springs (8-2): The Spongers are in the playoffs for the fifth straight year and are hosting a postseason game for the first time since 2005. Tarpon Springs has relied on running backs Adrian Golden and Darius Daniels most of the season but showed more balance in the past few weeks.

3A, Lakewood (8-2) at Pasco (9-1): Two offenses with quick-strike capabilities square off in what could be a high-scoring affair. The Spartans will continue to blitz and press to put pressure on Pirates quarterback D.J. Clower. Lakewood's biggest playmakers are Bernard Reedy and Jermiel Douse.

Region semifinal

B, Admiral Farragut (5-3) at Sarasota Out-of-Door (8-1): The Blue Jackets won five straight to make the playoffs for the first time since 2003. AFA is led by quarterback Josh Burch, who also is a threat to score in the return game.

Pinellas playoff football capsules 11/19/09 [Last modified: Thursday, November 19, 2009 11:19pm]
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