4. CYPRESS BAY (4-1)
AT MANATEE (5-0)
7:30 p.m., Friday.
Cypress Bay had a couple of days to enjoy its big district win against Miramar before beginning its preparations to face one of the nations best high school football teams.
The Lightning has not fared very well at Manatee, losing 21-0 last season in Bradenton.
To have any chance, coach Mark Guandolos squad will have to limit turnovers and run the football well behind its talented backs. Matt Dayes, Josh Kaiser, Jaranta Lewis, Marquese Dudley-Gordon and Dylan Rupert have combined for 1,021 yards so far this season.
Manatee, ranked No. 2 in the country by ESPN, will be a another level of opponent than the Lightning has faced so far.
Back in Week 1, the Hurricanes took apart the same Miramar team Cypress Bay barely beat a couple of weeks ago. Their offense has a stout offensive line that protects quarterback Cord Sandberg well and their defense has four legit FBS recruits on their line.
Cypress Bay might be able to hang in there if it gets off to a good start. But Manatees wins against Miramar and Miami Central have proven it is on a mission to repeat in Class 7A and may be too much for the Lightning this week.
Andres pick: Manatee 35, Cypress Bay 21.
13. MIRAMAR (3-3)
AT BOYD ANDERSON (3-1)
7 p.m., Friday.
Talk about turning around your season.
While I thought Miramar in the long-term would still contend for the Class 8A title this season, it gave everyone a big wake-up call by stunning St. Thomas Aquinas at home last week to beat the Raiders for the second season in a row in overtime.
Although many have buzzed about the final play where running back Alex Lee appeared to fall a bit shy of the goal line, theres no doubt he had a great game to energize an offense that desperately needed a spark in recent weeks.
Lees 143 yards on 18 carries and three touchdowns gave Miramar what it didnt have against Northeast and Cypress Bay. Quarterback Nick Jeanty was also able to manage the game better and avoid any costly errors, throwing a nice touchdown pass to Khalil Webster.
Miramar cant get caught up in the excitement, however. Here comes a Boyd Anderson squad looking for that same type of victory this week at home.
Since a strong start, the Cobras have struggled following a loss to Northeast and a poor outing against Deerfield Beach. Boyd Anderson must find a way to get quarterback Greg Hankerson the ability to make plays and give the Cobras a chance.
But if Miramars defense shows up again the way it did against Aquinas, it could be a long night for the home team.
Andres pick: Miramar 21, Boyd Anderson 14.
COOPER CITY (2-3)
AT 19. WESTERN (5-0)
7 p.m., Friday.
The Hog Bowl features an undefeated Western squad with playoff aspirations, and a Cooper City squad that appears to be overcoming a slow start.
Last season, Cooper City was the surprise team in Broward, upending St. Thomas Aquinas for the District 15-7A title. This year, three tough losses brought the Cowboys crashing to earth.
But last week, Cooper City showed signs of recapturing the winning formula it had the past two seasons. Zachary Tasse led a strong rushing attack with 132 yards on 18 carries and two touchdowns and a strong defense forced Nova quarterback Michael Flood into throwing three interceptions in a 31-8 win over Nova.
This week, however, Cooper Citys pass defense will face a tougher challenge in Western quarterback Wade Freebeck. He has thrown for 11 touchdowns and 887 yards so far this season in leading the Wildcats to a perfect start.
Westerns defense could be the key in this one. The Wildcats havent allowed points the past two games and have surrendered only 33 in five games.
Andres pick: Western 20, Cooper City 17.