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TONIGHT'S MATCHUPS

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All games at 7:30 unless noted.

Matchup The skinny Our picks
Gulf (7-0, 3-0) at Zephyrhills (3-4, 2-1) A victory assures Gulf of the second playoff berth in program history, but coach Jay Fulmer doesnÕt think it will come easy. HeÕs fearful of the undersized BulldogsÕ speed, especially when they get out on the edge. The last nasty running back Zephyrhills had to deal with was PascoÕs Jamall Haynes, and he carved up the BulldogsÕ offense to the tune of 218 yards and two touchdowns. Gulf running back Adrian "Bubba" Golden is averaging 229 per game. Izzy Gould: Gulf, 35-6 Joey Knight: Gulf, 36-14
Ridgewood (3-4, 1-2) at Springstead (5-2, 2-1) The Eagles were on the losing end of one of the worst upsets in North Suncoast history last week after falling to River Ridge 31-14. A playoff berth once looked like a sure thing. Now Springstead is in a three-way district tie with Tarpon Springs and Land OÕLakes with tonightÕs game and next weekÕs against the Spongers still at hand. The Rams have an excellent running back in Sterling Ross (1,347 yards) but few other threats on offense they lean on. IG: Springstead, 21-20 JK: Springstead, 34-13
Wiregrass Ranch (0-7, 0-3) at Pasco (6-1, 3-0) The Pirates have posted back-to-back shutouts and look primed for next weekÕs Class 3A, District 8 title showdown with Gulf. First, the Pirates must deal with Wiregrass Ranch and coach Ricky Thomas, a Pasco alumnus making his return to Dade City as the BullsÕ varsity coach. The BullsÕ offense has struggled most of the season, scoring seven or fewer points in six of seven losses, and has been shut out twice. Pasco must win to keep its district title hopes alive. IG: Pasco, 27-0 JK: Pasco, 28-6
Hernando (3-4, 1-1) at Nature Coast (7-0, 3-0) Nature Coast, ranked for the first time in program history, clinches the Class 3A, District 6 title with a win. It also can match the programÕs longest win streak (eight games). ... For all their struggles this year, the Leopards remain in playoff contention, but not if they lose tonight. IG: Nature Coast, 28-6 JK: Nature Coast, 35-8
Tarpon Springs (5-2, 2-1) at Central (3-4, 1-2) A win tonight, and the BearsÕ mathematical playoff hopes get a huge boost. "WeÕve still got life, so that helps things," Central coach Cliff Lohrey said. LohreyÕs biggest concern about the Spongers? Quarterback Danny Reyes, who led his team to a 4-0 start. "He can make just about any throw that youÕd like to see from a high school quarterback," Lohrey said. IG: Tarpon Springs, 28-14 JK: Tarpon Springs, 27-13
River Ridge (1-6, 1-2) at Land OÕLakes (5-2, 2-1) River Ridge proved it can compete with nearly anyone around last week by shocking Springstead 31-14, but coach Tim Stevens doesnÕt want his players to consider that win their "Super Bowl." Now the Royal Knights coach faces his old team and mentor in Land OÕLakes. The Gators have a three-game winning streak going and the playoffs and perhaps a district title in their sights. IG: Land OÕLakes, 34-7 JK: Land OÕLakes, 30-13
Hudson (2-5, 1-2) at Sunlake (1-6, 0-3) HudsonÕs receivers, sure-handed but not terribly fast, couldnÕt make plays in space last week at Gulf because the Bucs defenders didnÕt provide them any. That shouldnÕt be a problem tonight. In a game being waged purely for pride, look for Zack Wynn to connect often with Dylan Buono, Hunter Newton and Stephen Geidel. IG: Hudson, 35-7 JK: Hudson, 33-7
Mitchell (4-3) at Clearwater Central Catholic (4-4) Mitchell defeated CCC 27-0 in 2007. ...The Marauders, who upset an injury-riddled Tampa Catholic team in early September, have dropped three of their past four. ... Mustangs sophomore Ricky Trinidad needs 121 rushing yards to reach 1,000 for the season. IG: Mitchell, 28-20 JK: Mitchell, 30-14
Bishop McLaughlin (3-4) at Carrollwood Day (2-6), 4:30 p.m. The Hurricanes are coming off a tough three-point loss to St. StephenÕs. And perhaps thereÕs no better remedy than facing Carrollwood Day, a team that is on a three-game losing streak and has been outscored in those games 151-12. IG: BM, 14-10 JK: BM, 22-12
SaturdayÕs game
St. Petersburg Canterbury (4-3) at Hernando Christian (8-0), 7 p.m. According to HCA coach David Raley, a win gives the Lions the South Division crown in the Sunshine State Athletic Conference, and a berth in the Nov. 15 conference title game at The Villages. ... The Crusaders are coming off a one-point win over Mount Dora Bible, a team the Lions topped by 22. IG: HCA, 35-15 JK: HCA, 34-16

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