WESLEY CHAPEL (3-0) AT HUDSON (3-1)
WHERE: Cobra Stadium
SERIES: Wesley Chapel leads 4-1.
NEED TO KNOW: Aside from a 34-20 loss in its inaugural season (1999), Wesley Chapel has dominated the Cobras. Last year, the Wildcats posted their second shutout (28-0) of the series. All of which means nothing. The determining factor, with the top seed in Class 3A, District 9 at stake, is the collective health of Hudson's three injured players: quarterback Kyle Hatcher, fullback Nate Toole and flanker Royce Simonds, who will be game-time decisions. Even healthy, the Cobras would have a tough time against a team that has allowed one touchdown in three games.
FRANK PASTOR'S PICK: Wesley Chapel
BOB PUTNAM'S PICK: Wesley Chapel
STEVE LEE'S PICK: Wesley Chapel
PASCO (1-2) AT JACKSONVILLE TRINITY CHRISTIAN ACADEMY (1-1)
WHERE: Trinity Christian Academy
SERIES: Trinity Christian leads 1-0.
NEED TO KNOW: The Tony Smith era began last week as the sophomore made his first start at quarterback a successful one, throwing for 211 yards and four touchdowns to lead the Pirates to a 62-6 win over Hernando. Things get tougher this week against Trinity Christian, the defending two-time Class A state champion, which owned the state's longest active win streak at 27 games before it was snapped last week against Miami Monsignor Pace. Think Trinity might be a little pumped after losing for the first time since 2001? We think so.
PASTOR'S PICK: Trinity Christian Academy
PUTNAM'S PICK: Trinity Christian Academy
LEE'S PICK: Trinity Christian Academy
MITCHELL (2-1) AT RIDGEWOOD (1-2)
WHERE: Ridgewood Stadium
SERIES: Ridgewood leads 2-1.
NEED TO KNOW: Ridgewood coach Troy Cornwell liked the way his team competed in last week's win over Gulf. Now, he wants the Rams to repeat the effort on a weekly basis. It won't be easy against bigger and faster Mitchell. With 5-foot-10, 180-pound Alex Garrett replacing 6-0, 225-pound Troy Cornwell (dislocated elbow) at tackle, Ridgewood loses size and strength. Stopping Mitchell will mean slowing fullback Spencer Brown, a 6-1, 225-pound wrecking ball. If the Mustangs have an Achilles' heel, it's their susceptibility to the big play, something Ridgewood tailback David Williams could exploit.
PASTOR'S PICK: Mitchell
PUTNAM'S PICK: Mitchell
LEE'S PICK: Mitchell
RIVER RIDGE (1-3) AT LAND O'LAKES (1-2)
WHERE: Gator Stadium
SERIES: Land O'Lakes leads 11-3.
NEED TO KNOW: River Ridge could not have caught Land O'Lakes at a worse time. The Gators are coming off two losses and need a win, not only to get back on track but to take the lead in the 4A-7 race. Mike Gregory has shown poise as the Royal Knights quarterback. His counterpart, Joe Weatherford, will come off the bench behind Ryan Rigau thanks to two missed practices this week because of a flight delay from New York where he watched his brother, Sammy, play for Fordham. The inconsistent Knights will see plenty of bull-rushing Scott Mays. The Gators have won the past seven meetings, a number that likely will be extended to eight.
PASTOR'S PICK: Land O'Lakes
PUTNAM'S PICK: Land O'Lakes
LEE'S PICK: Land O'Lakes
ZEPHYRHILLS (1-2) AT GULF (0-3)
WHERE: W.D. "Des" Little Stadium
SERIES: Zephyrhills leads 12-9.
OUTLOOK: After starting 0-2 for the first time since 1992, the Bulldogs got back on track with last week's win over River Ridge. Zephyrhills will now try to even its record against Gulf, a team it has owned recently. The Bulldogs have won the past seven meetings, the past three by a combined 92-0. That trend could continue with Zephyrhills sophomore Sederrik Cunningham making his second start at quarterback. In his debut, the dual-threat rushed for a game-high 80 yards on nine carries, including a 70-yard touchdown, and completed 2-of-6 for 47 yards and a 35-yard touchdown.
PASTOR'S PICK: Zephyrhills
PUTNAM'S PICK: Zephyrhills
LEE'S PICK: Gulf
PICKS SO FAR
Picks Last wk. All
Lee 4-1 8-2
Putnam 3-2 6-4
Pastor 2-3 5-5
Compiled by Frank Pastor, Bob Putnam and Steve Lee.