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NORTH OF TAMPA TONIGHT

All six north Tampa football teams play tonight. All games are at 7:30 p.m.

CHAMBERLAIN CHIEFS

(6-3) visit Gaither (2-7).

Last Week: Beat Jefferson 36-12. Gaither lost to Brandon 42-0.

The Chiefs seem headed to a tie for the Class 6A, District 5, title but can't afford to look past traditional rival Gaither. Special teams and defense helped erase some offensive mistakes last week.

GAITHER COWBOYS

(2-7) host Chamberlain (6-3).

Last week: Lost to Brandon 42-0. Chamberlain beat Jefferson 36-12.

Cowboys need to circle the wagons tonight against the potent Chiefs' offense. Gaither needs a boost from home field advantage and the adrenalin of the Big Rivalry factor. Starting its second decade, this north Tampa grudge match is the kind for which sportscasters like to say, "You can throw out the record books when these two teams play."

LAND O'LAKES

(4-4) host River Ridge (3-5).

Last week: Lost to Zephyrhills 28-17. River Ridge was idle.

This is a must-win district game for the Gators if they want to clinch a district playoff spot.

LETO FALCONS

(6-3) play Hillsborough (6-3).

Last week: Beat Plant 37-14. Hillsborough beat East Bay 31-14.

Leto remains alive, mathematically at least, for a playoff chance. An upset win over the Terriers, coupled with upset losses by Chamberlain and East Lake, would set up a four-way tie for the district crown. But don't bet your calculator batteries on that. Despite a pretty strong season, the Falcons probably can't withstand Hillsborough's season-closing surge.

SICKLES GRYPHONS

(1-6) travel to Palm Harbor University (3-5).

Last week: Lost to Blake 21-13. Palm Harbor lost to Jesuit 42-0.

Sickles continues to improve, having led Blake 13-0 before losing last week. The Hurricanes, another struggling new program, are the Gryphons' last best chance for a two-win season.

WHARTON WILDCATS

(1-7) visit King (2-6).

Last week: Lost to Osceola 39-6. King lost to Haines City 20-7.

Their record doesn't reflect moral victories, but the Wildcats will take them this year. For example, getting a touchdown against Osceola after a shutout loss the week before. But it will take defense to beat the Lions, whose offense has picked up a bit behind QB Rodney Waites and RB Brent Alexander. King is a much better team than its record indicates.

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