W e've got some good games with playoff implications on this side of the county tonight. The winners of Newsome-Plant and Bloomingdale-Riverview will help to clear up 8A-6, while East Bay-Strawberry Crest might decide the district winner in 7A-8. Seffner Christian will attempt to get back on track after dropping its first game of the season last week, and Armwood should breeze through another opponent to remain the county's lone unbeaten team. All games kick off at 7:30 p.m.
East Bay (5-2) at Strawberry Crest (5-2)
Last week: East Bay defeated Bloomingdale 13-12; Strawberry Crest defeated Riverview 24-7.
Why you should go: This game will go a long way in determining the 7A-8 winner. The Chargers and Indians are both undefeated in district play. For Strawberry Crest, a win tonight and next week against Plant City gives them the district title. East Bay, having already downed Plant City, would need wins against Brandon and Durant to capture the title.
Newsome (4-3) at Plant (5-1-1)
Last week: Newsome defeated Durant 9-3; Plant defeated Sickles 24-20.
Why you should go: How about to show some love for the kicker? Newsome's Austin Cobb connected on field goals of 24, 18 and 41 yards against Durant, accounting for the Wolves' only points last week. Of course, Newsome will need to score more if it hopes to upset Plant.
Plant City (4-2) at Spoto (0-6)
Last week: Plant City lost to Tampa Bay Tech 38-21; Spoto did not play.
Why you should go: After a pair of tough losses to East Bay and TBT, the Raiders get a bit of a breather before a big matchup with Strawberry Crest next week. The Raiders' defense continues to be opportunistic. Defensive back Sawyer Dawson returned a fumble 20 yards for a touchdown against the Titans.
Windermere Prep (4-3-1) at Seffner Christian (5-1)
Last week: Windermere Prep lost to Foundation Academy 38-6; Seffner Christian lost to International Community School 20-19.
Why you should go: Marcus Richardson had a huge game in the Crusaders' first loss of the season last week. Richardson had a handful of tackles behind the line of scrimmage, a sack and a pair of blocked extra points.
Bloomingdale (3-3) at Riverview (2-4)
Last week: Bloomingdale lost to East Bay 13-12; Strawberry Crest beat Riverview 24-7.
Why you should go: A week after a tough one-point loss to East Bay, can the Bulls rebound? A playoff spot is still within reach, but it starts tonight with a rough three-game district stretch against Riverview, Newsome and Wharton. Interesting side note: This will be Bloomingdale's second game at Riverview. It played on the Sharks' field earlier this season because of wet conditions on its own field, and lost to Plant City.
Brandon (3-3) at Durant (1-6)
Last week: Brandon did not play; Newsome beat Durant 9-3.
Why you should go: The scrappy Eagles have won two in a row and had two weeks to prepare for Durant. Sophomore Robert Enmon leads the Eagles with eight tackles for loss, and Brandon still has a chance to make the playoffs if it can win out, starting tonight.
Armwood (6-0) at Lennard (0-7)
Last week: Armwood beat Leto 74-0; Lennard lost to Jefferson 55-13.
Why you should go: Wow. The Hawks get to tee up Lennard a week after pulverizing Leto. Prediction for two-week score: Hawks 144, opposition 0.
Brandon Wright can be reached at [email protected]