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Class 3A football capsules

A look at Friday's region semifinals.
Tampa Catholic receiver  Ahmarean Brown had success against CCC earlier this season. (Scott Purks, Special to the Times)
Tampa Catholic receiver Ahmarean Brown had success against CCC earlier this season. (Scott Purks, Special to the Times)
Published Nov. 8, 2017

All games at 7:30 p.m. Friday.

No. 4 Tampa Catholic (7-3) at No. 1 Clearwater Central Catholic (9-0)

Players to watch: CCC's Jerzahn Newton is the featured back with 849 yards rushing on the season, including 101 in the first meeting against TC. Countryside transfer Rory Hicks has taken over at quarterback and has been efficient, throwing 12 touchdowns and just one interception. Matt Tauber (125 tackles) and Deandre Fitz-Henley (112 tackles) lead CCC's talented linebacking unit. Crusaders quarterback Charlie Dean has thrown for more than 1,400 yards in his first year as a starter. His favorite target is Ahmarean Brown, who has more than 500 yards receiving, including 90 against the Marauders earlier this season. Dorien Gooch, son of former Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Jeff Gooch, has a team-leading 8.5 sacks for TC.

Notable: This is just the second time the rivals have met in the playoffs. The Marauders won 10-7 in the first meeting in 2012. The Crusaders have been shut out three times in the past four years, two of those losses coming against CCC.

Coach says: "Anytime you play a team twice you're going to see improvement the second time around. Plus it's a rivalry game. The score the first time we played (25-0) was unusual. We expect it to be close. We'll have a great game plan on offense, and we'll fly around on defense. It'll just come down to who takes care of the football." — CCC coach Chris Harvey


Rodney Page: CCC 30-7

Bob Putnam: CCC 17-13

No. 3 Calvary Christian (6-2) at No. 2 Lakeland Christian (8-1)

Players to watch: Senior Alex Laccabue has been a weapon for Calvary, throwing for more than 1,100 yards and 17 TDs against just two interceptions. One of his favorite targets is CCC transfer Amari Burney, a Florida commit who caught a 60-yard TD in last week's 35-7 win over Indian Rocks. Junior Kendrick Maynor Jr. leads Calvary with four interceptions. The Warriors should keep an eye out for Lakeland Christian's Cade Denhoff. The 6-foot-4 freshman has a knack for getting to the quarterback with six sacks. His season high was three against Class 6A's Land O'Lakes.

Notable: Lakeland Christian dual-threat quarterback Tate Whatley, a Southern Miss commit, left a win over Avon Park two weeks ago with a knee injury and didn't return. Whatley could come back Friday, and Calvary Christian is preparing as if he will start.

Coach says: "We've really started to put it together and jell at the end of the season. We've become a good mix of pass and run and we're not quite as one-sided as we were early. We've been able to get the ball into our playmakers' hands much more.'' — Calvary Christian coach Todd Yoder


Page: Calvary Christian 24-17

Putnam: Calvary Christian 27-21