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Teams still battling for playoff spots

Here's a look at tonight's prep football games featuring schools from the City Times area.

Kickoffs are at 7:30 p.m. unless otherwise noted.

Tampa Bay Tech (6-2, 3-1 in District 7A-7) at Sickles (7-1, 4-0)

Last week: TBT lost to Gaither 14-10; Sickles defeated Wiregrass Ranch 35-7.

Why you should go: The Titans need to win to be assured of having their playoff hopes extended, which is crazy for a team that defeated Plant. And having to beat Sickles can be problematic since the Gryphons are one of the best teams around.

Middleton (2-6, 0-1 in 5A-9) at Jesuit (5-3, 1-1)

Last week: Middleton lost to Spoto 24-0; Jesuit was idle.

Why you should go: Frankly, it seems like Jesuit has had this district title sewn up since the teams were announced, but Middleton can still win it. A stretch, sure, but Middleton can score some points, and so the Tigers (of Jesuit) still have to show up. Problem for Middleton is it didn't score any points last week in a shocking loss to previously winless Spoto. Maybe that Spoto team should have gotten a little more credit considering its schedule was strong. But whatever the case, the Tigers (of Middleton) now have to beat Jesuit just to have a chance at the playoffs. Should Middleton pull the upset, the district's three teams would convene at Jesuit Monday to decide the two playoff spots.

Plant (7-1-1, 4-0 in 8A-6) at Alonso (5-3, 2-2)

Last week: Plant defeated Wharton 46-13; Alonso defeated Riverview 42-13.

Why you should go: This could be interesting. Plant has locked up the district title, while Alonso is right now playing as well as any team in the group not named Plant. But a narrow loss to Bloomingdale three games ago has the Ravens on the outside of the playoff picture — unless they can stun the Panthers, and get help from Wharton beating Bloomingdale. That second part seems a little more likely as Wharton itself must win to get into a three-way tie for second. So for Plant, the playoff "feel" begins.

Robinson (4-5, 4-3 in 6A-8) at Hillsborough (5-3, 5-2)

Last week: Robinson defeated Blake 33-7; Hillsborough lost to Durant 32-30.

Why you should go: The winner will claim third place in the district, which is saying something. Actually it's saying something like, "we would be a playoff team in most other districts, especially in 6A." The Terriers will be ornery after a penalty-filled loss to Durant.

Jefferson (7-1, 6-1 in 6A-8)) at Blake (2-7, 2-5)

Last week: Jefferson defeated Chamberlain 28-24; Blake lost to Robinson 33-7.

Why you should go: The Dragons were the latest team to get a severe test from Chamberlain and narrowly beat the Chiefs. That victory locked up second place in the district and means the Dragons can start watching game tape on Largo, which looks sure to be the first-round playoff opponent — and already the marquee matchup in the bay area two Fridays from now.

Leto (0-7, 0-8 in 6A-8) at King (5-4, 2-4)

Last week: Leto lost to Lennard 68-0; King lost to Armwood 28-0.

Why you should go: It's the last chance to see the Lions, who look certain to wrap up a winning season. Last week's showing was about as close as anyone has played Armwood all year.

Bishop McLaughlin (1-7, 0-4 in 3A-4) at Tampa Catholic (7-1, 4-0) 7 p.m.

Last week: McLaughlin lost to Berkeley Prep 51-7; TC defeated Lakeland Christian 41-0.

Why you should go: To get a look at some of the Crusaders' bench players. Surely they'll get some time against an overmatched team from Pasco County.

Teams still battling for playoff spots 10/30/13 [Last modified: Wednesday, October 30, 2013 5:39pm]

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