5. NORTHWESTERN (3-0)
VS. 14. CAROL CITY (2-1)
7:30 p.m., Friday, Traz.
It’s good to see this traditional rivalry with some excitement again.
The Chiefs bounced back from a season-opening loss to Booker T. Washington with strong victories against Krop and Jackson.
Last week, Akeem Jones served a two-quarter suspension for violating team rules and then returned to spark Carol City to the comeback win. Jones and his talented backfield led by Tyrone Gray and Diquan Johnson are one of the most explosive in the county this season.
Northwestern’s defense, however, has quelled every dynamite combination it has faced in the regular season so far. The Bulls’ starting defense has not allowed a touchdown in three games.
And the Bulls’ tandem of Darius Tice and Fabian Johnson are among the leaders in Dade after three solid performances to open the season.
Both are big reasons Northwestern is favored to come away with a win in this important game that starts the quest to win District 16-6A – arguably the toughest and most talented statewide – for both teams.
Andre’s pick: Northwestern 20, Carol City 14.
13. KILLIAN (3-0)
VS. SOUTHRIDGE (1-2)
7 p.m., Saturday, Harris.
Southridge has surprised many in the young season for the wrong reasons.
A team with its sights on contending for the Class 8A title this season is quickly losing momentum after a pair of tough defeats to Homestead and Columbus.
Here comes what could be the most important game in its district schedule this week.
Killian enters the game playing great defense after back-to-back shutouts over South Miami and Edison. It will be tested this week against Dade County’s current leading rusher in Jamal Adajamah.
The junior has been the offensive bright spot for the struggling Spartans running for 429 yards in three games. But Adajamah alone hasn’t been able to turn things around.
This matchup could play a big key in Saturday’s matchup as Southridge needs to score early to start feeling good about themselves.
But the Cougars and their all-around star Jaquan Johnson haven’t given anyone an inch of late. Johnson has also been stellar on the offensive side of the ball.
Expect him to make a big play that could tip the balance in this low-scoring game.
Andre’s pick: Killian 7, Southridge 6.
ORLANDO JONES (3-0)
VS. 2. BOOKER T. (2-1)
7 p.m., Friday, Traz.
Booker T. made a nice recovery from its loss to Central in the Lone Star state this weekend.
After trading scores initially with Cedar Hill, the Tornadoes opened the game up in the second half with their speedsters for a big road win.
Treon Harris had four touchdowns and 328 yards combined rushing and passing and once again D’Von Ballard set the tone for the offense with another solid output.
Booker T. is back home this weekend, but the slate doesn’t get any easier.
Jones is much improved from the squad the Tornadoes blanked 29-0 in Orlando last season. The Tigers have beaten a pair of state title contenders so far (Lake Wales and Daytona Mainland), and have aspirations of making it to Orlando this season.
Being that it is a Class 4A opponent, it should be a solid measuring stick game to see where both sides matchup in case of an eventual rematch.
While Jones has improved, Booker T. is still a dominant team that barring mental lapses has the speed to overwhelm anyone in the state this season.
A closer game than last year’s meeting is possible, but the Tornadoes should prevail.
Andre’s pick: Booker T. 34, Jones 24.