Week 11 of the high school football season features a relatively light schedule, with a number of teams having already wrapped up their seasons.
But then there's the Tampa Catholic-Jesuit battle. If you're not aligned to either side and want to see the personification of rivalry, be at Jesuit tonight. But get there early or you might not get in. This is a pretty hot ticket.
Four City Times-area teams wrapped up their regular seasons last week, and only Plant has more ahead. The Panthers will host Orlando Boone when the postseason kicks off next Friday.
King defeated Leto to end with a 6-4 overall mark; Robinson lost to Hillsborough to wind up 4-6; and Blake saw its season end with a 2-8 mark.
Here's what's on tap for Friday night. Games kick off at 7:30 p.m.
Tampa Catholic (8-1) at Jesuit (6-3)
Last week: TC defeated Bishop McLaughlin 56-10; Jesuit defeated Middleton 35-0.
Why you should go: In case you're not caught up, the Crusaders are ranked No. 1 in the state and have state title aspirations. But before that, there's the small matter of not having beaten Jesuit for 13 straight years. Jesuit, meanwhile, has put together a string of impressive victories. This will be much more like a playoff game than about half of what the state will put out next Friday when the postseason actually begins.
Steinbrenner (3-6) at Jefferson (8-1)
Last week: Steinbrenner lost to Gaither 35-30; Jefferson defeated Blake 56-0
Why you should go: This might be the last chance to see the Dragons at home. Jefferson has the talent to make a deep playoff run, but the 6A-Region 2 bracket is a beast, and Jefferson faces a tough opener at Largo.
Hillsborough (6-3) at Tampa Bay Tech (6-3)
Last week: Hillsborough defeated Robinson 40-10; TBT lost to Sickles 35-8.
Why you should go : This may be the best matchup in the state pitting teams not going to the playoffs. Really, it's a bowl game. It's stunning that TBT, the only team to beat Plant, is not going to the playoffs. But credit must go to Gaither for knocking off the Titans in Week 9. Steinbrenner nearly gave the Titans some unexpected help last week, but fell to Gaither 35-30.
Bloomingdale (5-4) at Middleton (2-7)
Last week: Bloomingdale lost to Wharton 30-23; Middleton lost to Jesuit 35-0.
Why you should go: It's a chance for the Tigers to finish the season with a win against an 8A team. The Bulls had to be the most sorrowful of all the squads that went into Week 10 knowing a win would get them into the playoffs. Bloomingdale was beating Wharton 23-8 heading into the fourth quarter and managed to lose it. So will that letdown carry over into tonight's matchup? The Tigers hope so.