Citra North Marion (5-5) at Pasco (10-0)
Winner gets: Anclote/Gainesville Eastside winner in the Class 5A region semifinals
About North Marion: The Colts are in the playoffs for the 13th year in a row but have their worst record since 2004. Sophomore James Allen has rushed for 953 yards and averages almost 9 yards per carry. North Marion's offense has scored only 264 points and was held to single digits against Ocala Vanguard and Jacksonville Bolles. DB/WR Reggie Wilkerson has orally committed to Georgia.
Who's hot: Pasco's defense, which had four interceptions last week and a fumble recovery by UF commit Joey Ivie. Morgan Flournory added three sacks to boost his season total to 141/2. Janarion Grant has accounted for 16 TDs in four games since returning from a hand injury and reminded scouts why he's one of Tampa Bay's most electric talents.
Matt Baker's pick: We'll find out in the next two weeks if this Pasco team is as good as last year's. But it's clear North Marion isn't as strong as in 2011, and the Pirates will take advantage. Pasco, 35-17
Derek J. LaRiviere's pick: This is where Grant separates himself from the pack when it comes to the Player of the Year discussion. After missing a chunk of the season, he has made a home in the end zone. Grant should hit pay dirt at least three times. Pasco, 38-28
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Ocala Vanguard (5-5) at Springstead (9-1)
Winner gets: Gainesville/Hernando winner in the Class 6A region semifinals
About Vanguard: The Knights are back in the postseason for the fourth year in a row and are better than their record suggests. They knocked off Citra North Marion and lost to Lake City Columbia by only eight points. Vanguard's key is a defense that has allowed fewer than seven points four times. Kyle Sandner leads the way with 130 tackles. QB Adam Robles has thrown for 1,700 yards and 19 touchdowns, including a school-record six last week.
Who's hot: Springstead's defense, which allowed more than seven points only twice. Kickoff returner Latavious Hannah averaged 31 yards per return against Nature Coast and has racked up more than 500 all-purpose yards. QB Tyler Mahla has rushed for 100 yards in his past two games, and RB Daniel Wright has had a breakout sophomore season, running for nine scores.
Baker: Springstead has proved this year that it won't beat itself. And Vanguard is strong, but not powerful enough to beat the Eagles at home. Springstead's home winless streak in the postseason ends behind a big night from Luke McLeod and the defense. Springstead, 28-24
LaRiviere: Springstead will rest on its stellar defense. With two weeks to prepare, coach Bill Vonada should have the team prepared. If Mahla can take care of the football, this contest should be the Eagles' for the taking. Springstead, 30-17