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Region semifinals: High school football predictions for Tampa Bay

Rodney Page and Bob Putnam offer up their thoughts on tonight’s second-round matchups.
Will the home crowd push Mitchell past Bradenton Manatee and through to its first-ever region final in football? [SCOTT PURKS | Special to the Times]
Published Nov. 15

Our staffers’ predictions for the second round of the playoffs. All games at 7:30 tonight.

Class 2A, Region 3

No. 3 Seffner Christian at No. 2 Northside Christian

Rodney Page: Seffner Christian 35-28. The Isaiah Knowles to Mike Trigg combination is too much for the Mustangs to stop.

Bob Putnam: Seffner Christian 42-40. The Crusaders, who have won eight straight, continue their momentum.

No. 4 Admiral Farragut at No. 1 Cambridge Christian

Rodney Page: Admiral Farragut 28-21. The Blue Jackets are playing better and will avenge an early-season loss to the Lancers.

Bob Putnam: Admiral Farragut 27-24. This time, the Blue Jackets apply pressure to get back to the region final.

Class 3A, Region 3

No. 5 Clearwater Central Catholic at No. 1 Berkeley Prep

Rodney Page: Berkeley Prep 26-23. The Bucs have had a week off to prepare. The key is stopping the CCC run attack.

Bob Putnam: CCC 20-14. The Marauders have improved quite a bit since the season opener.

Class 4A, Region 3

No. 4 Clewiston at No. 1 Lakewood

Rodney Page: Lakewood 34-7. The Spartans have too much on both sides of the ball, and it helps playing at home.

Bob Putnam: Lakewood 42-6. The Spartans treat this as a tuneup for what could be a long playoff run.

No. 3 Tampa Catholic at No. 2 Delray Beach American Heritage

Rodney Page: Tampa Catholic 30-28. The Crusaders have enough offense to pull off a slight upset on the road.

Bob Putnam: American Heritage 20-16. Tough task for the Crusaders, who are 2-4 on the road this season.

Class 5A, Region 3

No. 8 Chamberlain at No. 4 Jesuit

Rodney Page: Jesuit 18-16. Chamberlain is playing awfully well, but the Tigers pull out a close one thanks to their defense.

Bob Putnam: Chamberlain 21-19. The Chiefs are playing their best football at the right time.

Class 5A, Region 2

No. 4 Nature Coast at No. 1 Orlando Jones

Rodney Page: Jones 31-14. The Sharks will have a hard time keeping with the Jones (sorry).

Bob Putnam: Jones 28-13. The Sharks might be outmanned in this one.

Class 6A, Region 2

No. 5 Clearwater at No. 1 Gaither

Rodney Page: Gaither 32-30. This is two good offenses squaring off. The Cowboys have just a bit more.

Bob Putnam: Gaither 21-20. The outcome could come down to which team has the ball in the final seconds.

No. 3 Lake Minneola at No. 2 Largo

Rodney Page: Largo 24-16. The Packers will rely on their defense while the offense does just enough to advance.

Bob Putnam: Largo 14-13. Defense will be the difference as the Packers pull through.

Class 7A, Region 3

No. 3 Manatee at No. 2 Mitchell

Rodney Page: Manatee 21-17. Manatee handled Pinellas Park last week, but will have a harder time against the Mustangs defense.

Bob Putnam: Manatee 28-20. The Hurricanes have the advantage in the trenches.

Class 7A, Region 2

No. 5 Bloomingdale at No. 1 Armwood

Rodney Page: Armwood 17-7. The Hawks defense has been lockdown and likely will be again this week.

Bob Putnam: Armwood 21-0. The Hawks post their seventh straight and second against the Bulls this season.

No. 6 Tampa Bay Tech at No. 2 Lakeland

Rodney Page: Lakeland 35-13. This is a tough ask for any team. Tech hangs around early but Lakeland has too much talent.

Bob Putnam: Lakeland 28-6. Dreadnaughts prevail to set up showdown with Armwood in the region final.

Class 8A, Region 2

No. 4 Steinbrenner at No. 1 Sarasota Riverview

Rodney Page: Riverview 31-21. The Rams have lost two games by a total of 11 points. The home team grabs the momentum late and pulls it off.

Bob Putnam: Steinbrenner 21-20. The dream season continues for the Warriors who knock off the top seed in the region.

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. Tampa Prep's Grace Langston (50), left, works to disrupt a shot attempt by Wesley Chapel's Mia Nicholson (12) during the game on Friday. DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD  |  TImes
    The Wildcats lead early, then hang on to improve to 5-0 on the season.
  2. Cambridge Christian coach Bob Dare and wife Beth at the 2015 state championship in Orlando. BOB DARE  |  Special to the Times
    The longtime Lancers coach, who led the program to the state title game in 2015, will no longer be a coach or teacher at the school.
  3. River Ridge senior Brandi Willard is among the area leaders in points per game so far this season. SCOTT PURKS  |  Special to the Times
    Our offensive and defensive leaders for Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco and Hernando counties.
  4. Academy of the Holy Names senior Madison Kurtz, right, gets congratulated by sophomore Nicole Sakre after scoring a goal in a 4-0- victory over Steinbrenner early this season. SCOTT PURKS  |  Special to the Times
    The Jaguars, who came up short at state a year ago, expect to remain energized and focused all the way to a title.
  5. Jalen Cooper is among a group of seniors on the Anclote roster who have been playing together since middle school. SCOTT PURKS  |  Special to the Times
    A three-point loss in last season’s playoffs spark the Sharks to strive for more.
  6. Seffner Christian doesn't shy away from tough competition, taking on a team that reached state last season in its season opener. DIRK SHADD  |  Times
    The defending state finalist Crusaders rally from a 20-point deficit only to watch host Lakewood Ranch sink a free throw as time expires.
  7. Kanesha Hall, the first 1,000-point scorer in school history, on the court during Monday's practice at Northeast. DIRK SHADD  |  Times
    The senior recently broke the 1,000-point barrier to become the school’s all-time leading scorer in girls basketball.
  8. Marcellus Crutchfield of Tampa Catholic runs down the court  during the Class 5A state semifinals last season in Lakeland. LUIS SANTANA  |  Times
    With a brutal schedule this season, will Tampa Catholic’s reign at the top last long?
  9. Carrollwood Day, an annual state contender, remains one of the top teams in Tampa Gay. MONICA HERNDON  |  Tampa Bay Times
    Eight teams in our top 10 are undefeated.
  10. Lakewood's Artez Hooker (8) consoles Cornelius Mckenzie (10) after the Spartans fall 9-7 in the Class 4A state semifinals to Miami Booker T. Washington. OCTAVIO JONES  |  Times
    One thing is certain: South Florida remains a hurdle for teams all over the state to clear.
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