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  1. HomeTeam

HomeTeam 25: Football rankings for Tampa Bay

1. Armwood (9-0)

Up next: at Durant

Skinny: Last week's win over Hillsborough wrapped up the Class 6A, District 7 title for the Hawks. But there still is something to play for in the season finale. Armwood already has racked up a lot of points in the new playoff system and could have the No. 1 seed and home field through at least the first three rounds of the postseason. The defense should keep the Hawks undefeated. Armwood has allowed seven points or fewer in eight straight games.

2. Plant (8-1)

Up next: vs. Newsome

Skinny: The Panthers beat Wiregrass Ranch for their 13th straight district title. Already on top in Class 7A-8, Plant is focused on trying to earn the top seed in the region and gain momentum heading into the playoffs. The Panthers had 10 players combine for 258 yards rushing last week. Depth has been a strength. After all, five players have attempted at least one pass, 20 have at least one carry and 14 have at least one reception.

3. Tampa Bay Tech (8-1)

Up next: at Gaither

Skinny: Since losing the season opener to Armwood, the Titans have won eight straight, all by double digits. The offense is averaging 46 points per game. And it keeps getting better. TBT has scored 50 or more points in six of its past seven games and put up a season-high 62 in last week's win over Plant City.

4. Clearwater Central Catholic (9-0)

Up next: Idle

Skinny: Because their game with Tarpon Springs was canceled, the Marauders will end up with nine games. CCC beat Sarasota Cardinal Mooney to finish the regular season undefeated for just the second time in school history. As it stands, the Marauders are the top seed in their region but will have to wait for this week's results to see if that stands.

5. Mitchell (9-0)

Up next: vs. Mitchell

Skinny: The Mustangs have already clinched their third straight Class 6A, District 6 title so what is there to play in the regular season finale? Actually, there is a lot. Mitchell is trying to secure not only its first undefeated regular season but the first from a West Pasco school. And the No. 2 seed — and a more favorable matchup in the postseason — still is up for grabs.

6. Lakewood (6-1)

Up next: vs. Largo

Skinny: With games against Delray Beach American Heritage and Ocala Vanguard canceled earlier this season, the Spartans will squeeze in the eight games necessary to qualify for the playoffs. They have already secured the Class 5A, District 9 title with last week's victory over Tarpon Springs that extended their win streak to five games.

7. Largo (7-1)

Up next: at Lakewood

Skinny: It was an emotional week for the Packers and coach Marcus Paschal, who persevered through years of hardship to win the school's first Class 6A, District 9 title since 2013. The defense and the running game have been strong for Largo throughout its seven-game win streak.

8. Wiregrass Ranch (7-2)

Up next: at Auburndale

Skinny: Despite the loss to Plant, the Bulls should still be in good shape to make the playoffs. Last week, Wiregrass Ranch was projected as the No. 5 seed in Class 7A, Region 2 based on its 38-point average. Last week's loss should not drop the Bulls enough to fall out of the top eight.

9. Clearwater (6-2)

Up next: vs. East Lake; at Braden River (one half on Saturday).

Skinny: Last week's loss to Largo snapped the Tornadoes' two-year reign as district champions. Not all is lost. Clearwater still is in position to make the playoffs as a wildcard but it will likely need a win, if not two, this week to guarantee a spot. The Tornadoes play surging East Lake on Friday, then will make up the second half of a game they were trailing 21-7 against Braden River on Saturday.

10. Hillsborough (6-3)

Up next: vs. Lennard

Skinny: In the Terriers' three losses, they have scored 14 points or fewer. The offense should get back on track this week against winless Lennard. Hillsborough was projected as the No. 5 seed in Class 6A, Region 2. A win and the Terriers will clinch a playoff spot and could end playing Mitchell in the first round.

11. Jefferson (7-2)

Up next: vs. Jesuit (Monday)

Skinny: The Dragons took care of business last week, beating Brandon and Robinson to extend their win streak to four. The win against the Knights keeps Jefferson undefeated in Class 5A, District 10 play and sets up a showdown with Jesuit in the regular-season finale for the title.

12. Zephyrhills (8-1)

Up next: vs. Pasco

Skinny: The Bulldogs renamed their field in honor of former coach Tom Fisher. Zephyrhills will get to play at least two more games at home, starting with Friday's rivalry game against Pasco in the 9-Mile War. After that, the Bulldogs will get ready to host in the first round of the playoffs.

13. Chamberlain (7-2)

Up next: at Strawberry Crest

Skinny: Wins against Riverview and Brandon last week assured the Chiefs of their best record since 2008. That also was the last time Chamberlain made the playoffs. The Chiefs likely can end that drought with a win against Strawberry Crest in the regular-season finale.

14. Gaither (7-2)

Up next: vs. Tampa Bay Tech

Skinny: The Cowboys extended their win streak to six games with last week's win over Wharton. Jeromy Reid ran for more than 100 yards against the Wildcats and now has 1,057 for the season. A win against Tampa Bay Tech would assure a playoff berth as a wildcard, but Gaither might have a high enough point average to get in regardless of Friday's outcome.

15. Tampa Catholic (7-2)

Up next: at Jesuit

Skinny: The Crusaders have won six straight and posted four straight shutouts. That should give Tampa Catholic the confidence needed to end a 17-game losing streak to rival Jesuit. A win also could move the Crusaders into one of the top two seeds and a potential home playoff game in Class 3A, Region 3.

16. Calvary Christian (5-2)

Up next: at Indian Rocks Christian

Skinny: Much like Lakewood, the Warriors will just get in the eight games needed to qualify for the playoffs. Calvary Christian is the fourth and final seed in Class 3A, Region 3. The Warriors have a 36.33 average in points, less than a point difference ahead of Ocala Trinity Catholic and Berkeley Prep for a postseason berth. That means Calvary will most likely need to beat Indian Rocks Christian on Friday to hold on to a playoff spot.

17. Pinellas Park (7-2)

Up next: at Dixie Hollins

Skinny: The Patriots have already won the Class 7A, District 10 title and are guaranteed a home playoff game in the first round. But last week's loss to Countryside was not the outcome Pinellas Park wanted to close out district play. The 42 points the Cougars scored were the most the Patriots have allowed all season.

18. Durant (6-3)

Up next: vs. Bloomingdale

Skinny: The Cougars' playoff hopes were dealt a serious blow with last week's loss to Bloomingdale. Durant will need to beat undefeated Armwood to have a shot and the Cougars' likely will have to do it without Cameron Myers (fractured collarbone).

19. River Ridge (6-3)

Up next: vs. Sunlake

Skinny: There is plenty at stake for the Royal Knights in the regular-season finale. Coach Ryan Benjamin has never beaten Sunlake. In fact, the Royal Knights' only win in the series came in 2007, the year Sunlake opened. River Ridge's loss in the series two years ago kept the Royal Knights from their first undefeated regular season.

20. Nature Coast (6-2)

Up next: vs. Springstead

Skinny: The Sharks beat Hernando last week, extending their win streak to six against their county rival. It also kept Nature Coast's Class 5A, District 7 hopes alive. The Sharks are in a three-way tie with the Leopards and Citrus at the top of the standings. A win against Springstead will only help Nature Coast boost its average total in points to win a tiebreaker.

21. Jesuit (4-3)

Up next: at Jefferson (Monday); vs. Tampa Catholic

Skinny: Normally, the Tigers would be devoting the entire to their rivalry game against Tampa Catholic. But Monday's game against Jefferson is actually more important. That is the one that decides the Class 5A, District 10 title. After that, Jesuit can put its energy into maintaining its 17-game win streak against the Crusaders.

22. Hernando (6-1)

Up next: vs. Lecanto (Tuesday); at Springstead (Saturday)

Skinny: The Leopards' hopes for their first undefeated season ended with a loss to rival Nature Coast. This was supposed to be Hernando's bye week but it has turned to be a busy one with makeup games against Lecanto and Springstead that were postponed last month because of weather-related concerns.

23. East Lake (4-5)

Up next: vs. Clearwater

Skinny: Since a 1-5 start due to forfeits, the Eagles have won three straight, outscoring opponents by a combined 107-18 during their streak. On the field, East Lake has beaten three teams in the top 25 (Pinellas Park, Tarpon Springs and St. Petersburg). A win against Clearwater in the regular-season finale might be enough for the Eagles to move into the eighth and final playoff spot in Class 7A, Region 3.

24. Tarpon Springs (5-2)

Up next: at Mitchell

Skinny: The Spongers have dropped two of their past three, including a loss to Lakewood last week that ended their hopes of a Class 5A, District 9 title. Now Tarpon Springs might need a win against undefeated Mitchell to maintain a high enough average in points for a wildcard spot in the playoffs.

25. St. Petersburg (5-3)

Up next: at Seminole (Monday); vs. Braden River

Skinny: A victory against winless South Sumter last week snapped the Green Devils' two-game losing streak. The Green Devils are holding on to the eighth and final spot in Class 7A, Region 3. They have two games this week, including a tough one Friday against Braden River in the regular-season finale.

On the bubble: Newsome (6-2), Springstead (7-2), Bloomingdale (6-3), Anclote (6-3), Superior Collegiate (6-2), Cambridge Christian (7-2), Indian Rocks Christian (8-1), Wesley Chapel (6-4), Zephyrhills Christian (6-2), Berkeley Prep (4-4)

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