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TONIGHT'S MATCHUPS

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All games start at 7:30 p.m. unless noted

Matchup The skinny Our pick
Chamberlain (7-0) at Alonso (6-1) TV: BHSN In this key Class 5A, District 6 game, can the Ravens slow a balanced Chamberlain offense that is as diverse as any around? Between them, QB Dontae Aycock and RB Kenny Allen have produced 2,402 yards. Chamberlain
Armwood (7-0) at Hillsborough (5-2) The Armwood defense doesn't just look like the area's best this year, it looks like its best of all time. Consider: Armwood has 18 points this season - that's 2.57 per game for the mathematically challenged. Armwood
Berkeley Prep (4-2) at Sarasota Cardinal Mooney (4-3) A Bucs win coupled with a Frostproof victory over Clearwater Central Catholic would clinch a playoff spot for Berkeley Prep. Each of the Bucs' past three games have been close, so expect more of the same. Berkeley Prep
Jefferson (3-3) at Blake (1-6) A win (Plant has to beat Leto) likely will get Jefferson into the playoffs. Blake's defense is not to be taken lightly, but Jefferson, with playmakers like receiver Andre Davis, should have more than enough to get by. Jefferson
East Bay (3-3) at Bloomingdale (4-2) A month ago, how many would have thought the Bulls would enter this game with the better record? Bloomingdale has won with defense, but it's worth noting the Bulls have two pretty good RBs in Anthony Amos and Derek Johnson. East Bay
Cambridge (0-7) at Leesburg First Academy (1-5) First Academy has the better record, but only because it earned a win via forfeit. Neither team has played well, but the Lancers have faced better competition and that should, at long last, pay off. Cambridge
Durant (4-3) at Sarasota Riverview (4-3) In their biggest games recently, it seems as if the Cougars have been a bit snakebit. A win puts Durant in a good position to make the playoffs; a loss could prove fatal. Sarasota Riverview
Freedom (1-5) at Middleton (2-4) Freedom is significantly improved from last year, but that hasn't translated into wins. Three of the Patriots' losses have been by a field goal or less. This game features two solid young QBs, Josh Grady of Freedom and Greg Windham of Middleton Middleton
Gaither (3-4) at Wesley Chapel (3-4) A Gaither win very likely would send the Cowboys to the postseason, but a victory here certainly isn't a gimme. The Gaither offense, thanks largely to injuries, has yet to click for an entire game. It should, however, thrive against a Wesley Chapel defense that runs hot and cold. Gaither
Palmetto (5-1) at Jesuit (4-2) Jesuit hasn't won since Sept. 26. In back-to-back losses, the Tigers scored only 14 points. The last thing a slumping offense wants to see is a Palmetto defense that has allowed 16 total points in its past five games. Palmetto DE Kedric Johnson is a Florida commit. Palmetto
King (2-4) at Sickles (1-6) Athletic teams seem to give Sickles the most trouble and that could bode well for King. Despite the Lions' record, they've been competitive in most of their losses, largely because they play pretty good defense. King
Lennard (3-4) at Lake Placid (1-4) A week ago, Lennard failed to score. The good news? Lake Placid has allowed 40 points per contest over its past three games. Look for WRs Blake Kennedy and Brandon Stephens to have big nights. Lennard
Plant (5-1) at Leto (2-5) All eyes will be on Plant sophomore Phillip Ely, who is replacing the injured Aaron Murray at QB. But keep an eye on Leto QB Jeremy Deering, who almost certainly will be a Division I-A running back. Plant
Newsome (5-2) at Plant City (3-4) In a key 5A-7 game, Plant City's sometimes anemic offense (74 points scored) will meet Newsome's sometimes overpowering defense (94 points allowed). Don't underestimate the Raiders. When on, they can be very good. Just ask East Bay. Newsome
Sarasota (2-4) at Riverview (0-6) Believe it or not, Riverview still has a shot at the playoffs. But the truth is, the rebuilding Sharks have struggled thus far on both sides of the ball. If RBs Ronnie Johnson and Eric Lampe can help control the clock, who knows, they could pull this out. Sarasota
Sarasota Booker (4-2) at Spoto (1-5) Booker, which has lost only to 6A Sarasota Riverview and 4A Bradenton Southeast, is very good. But Spoto's defense gives the Spartans a chance. Booker
Mulberry (4-3) at Tampa Catholic (4-2) With both teams unbeaten in 2A-5, the winner takes sole possession of first. The TC defense, led by players like DB Ralph Grover, should be tested. Mulberry has scored 40 or more points four times TC
Wharton (5-2) at Mitchell (4-2) Nobody in the county has had a better turnaround than Wharton, which once was 0-2. QB Andrew Clifford has picked up his game, but don't underestimate the contributions of RB Shane McEwen, who averages nearly 9 yards per carry. Wharton
Saturday's game
Carrollwood Day (2-5) at Bradenton Chr. (3-4), 11 a.m. What has happened to the Patriots offense? In the team's past five games, CDS has scored a combined 40 points - and 34 came in one game. Bradenton Christian

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