1. Archive


(All games begin at 7:30 tonight except as noted)

Lakewood (3-4) at Dunedin (4-3)

Just when they thought the playoffs were within reach, the Spartans and the Falcons were zapped out of their respective district pictures for good with losses last week. A Dunedin win ensures its first non-losing season since it went 6-4 in 1991. The Falcons haven't won more than four games since. Lakewood figured to be much improved this year, but needs to win the rest of its games to equal last year's record. The Spartans have won this game the past two years. Times' pick: Lakewood by 3.

Dixie Hollins (5-2) vs. Tampa Catholic (4-2) at King

Dixie was shut out of the Class 5A, District 10 playoffs last week when Northeast shut it out, so this one is for pride. DeAndrew Rubin is the top athlete on the team, but limped out of last week's game with a twisted knee. He likely won't play. Tampa Catholic can win the three-team Class 3A, District 10 crown with a victory next week over 1-7 Mulberry. Defensive end Andy French scored Tampa's only touchdown on a fumble return. Times' pick: Tampa Catholic by 1.

Seminole (4-3) at East Lake (6-1)

This would be a decent cross country matchup, but things are different with the pigskin. Seminole probably has been the best chameleon around, changing its colors on a weekly basis. East Lake has been true blue the entire season. While both teams are fighting for their playoff lives, this game offers a nice break from those worries until next week. Times' pick: East Lake by 7.

St. Petersburg Cath. (4-4) at Northside Chr. (5-3)

Northside Christian still is undefeated (1-0) in its three-team district, and has two more weeks to gear up for the Shorecrest game, which will likely decide the district champion and runner-up. St. Petersburg Catholic already has finished its district slate, and must wait for next week's Berkeley Prep-Clearwater Central Catholic matchup to judge where it stands. Times' pick: Northside Christian by 2.

St. Petersburg (5-2) at Countryside (2-5)

Finally. If ever a team deserved a playoff spot it's the Green Devils. They were too good to be shut out a third straight year after being so close. St. Petersburg returns to the post-season for the first time in 10 years. After its first playoff season last year, the Cougars have gone downhill. This series resumes after a six-year layoff. Countryside won the last two games, back in 1989 and 1990. Times' pick: St. Petersburg by 13.

Northeast (7-0) at Largo (2-5)

This is one of the biggest mismatches this year. Northeast has won 20 consecutive regular season games and No. 21 seems only a formality _ like filling out a check. But before the Vikings deposit any money, they can't get too relaxed. This is after all, a huge game _ in terms of school history anyway. Northeast can make coach Jerry Austin Pinellas County's all-time winningest coach with a win. Times' pick: Northeast by 21.

Palm Harbor University (3-4) at Jesuit (4-2)

The Hurricanes met Big Boy No. 1 last week when Robinson ran all over them 43-6. Now they get Big Boy No. 2 as the Tigers come to town with the playoffs on their mind and although they have three district games left, a win makes their title hopes easier. Palm Harbor has beaten teams with a combined record of 3-19. While the Hurricanes can be feisty at times and can move the ball, the potent Tigers have the potential to make this one ugly. Times' pick: Jesuit by 17.

Clearwater (2-5) at Boca Ciega (3-4)

Neither of these teams is going to the playoffs, but it still makes for an interesting matchup. The Pirates boast running back Anthonio Newton, who has averaged 7 yards on his 56 carries, and Nick Spearman, who has passed for 440 yards and four scores. Clearwater's James Miller has one touchdown in 74 carries, and has 327 yards this year. Times' pick: Boca Ciega by 9.

Osceola (2-6) at Wharton (1-6)

Wharton is still winless on the field, its lone victory came when Blake forfeited its game. Osceola has managed to pick on first-year schools Sickles and Blake for its only wins so Wharton doesn't figure to be much different. In its six losses, the Warriors have averaged 11 points a game. Against the rookies they have scored 96 of their 158 points. If Osceola wins, it would match its win total from the past two seasons combined. Times' pick: Osceola by 14.

Shorecrest (4-3) at Temple Heights (1-6), 4

This afternoon marks Shorecrest's last tuneup before before it plays its only two district games _ Indian Rocks Christian next Friday, and Northside Christian the Friday after that. Shorecrest is led by Tony Lazzara, who has 535 yards and seven touchdowns on the ground this year. Temple Heights is coming off a 48-0 crushing by Northside Christian. Times' pick: Shorecrest by 15.

Plantation American Heritage (3-4) at Admiral Farragut (0-8), 1:30 Saturday

Today marks Admiral Farragut's last game of the season, and its last chance for a win. It'll be tough. The Blue Jackets are last in the county in offense and scoring, and second-to-last in defense. Spike Mendlesohn is 20-of-43 with three TDs this year, while Sean Moyle has eight catches for 193 yards. Times' pick: American Heritage by 10.

Last week: 12-3 Overall: 70-30