11. NORTHEAST (5-1)
AT BLANCHE ELY (4-2)
7 p.m., Saturday.
Northeast’s “black hole” defense made plenty of noise early in the season leading it to quality wins over Miramar and Boyd Anderson.
And lately, the Hurricanes’ offense has complemented them with some huge numbers.
The result is Northeast in position to take a commanding lead in the District 14-7A race having already beaten Boyd Anderson earlier this season.
Stacey Coley has been a huge playmaker on both offense and defense as expected.
Running backs Jamal Wallace and Timonte King have energized Northeast’s backfield with over 750 yards and 13 touchdowns.
Blanche Ely was putting up a lot of points itself until it hit a wall named Deerfield Beach this past Saturday. The Tigers couldn’t muster much in a 19-0 loss.
Deerfield Beach carved up nearly 300 yards rushing and two 100-yard backs in the game. That’s clearly a good sign for Northeast’s own explosive backfield.
Ely is at home so it may get off to a good start.
But Northeast has proven it belongs among the upper tier teams in Broward County and knows how to win tough, meaningful games.
Andre’s pick: Northeast 27, Blanche Ely 17.
15. WESTERN (6-0)
AT FLANAGAN (5-2)
7 p.m., Friday.
Even after six victories without a blemish on its record, there are some that doubt the validity of Western’s hot start.
Before the Wildcats even play Miramar or Cypress Bay, we’ll all get a good indication of how good they are this week.
Flanagan’s record isn’t as pretty as Western’s, but that’s because it has played a few tough opponents already including Cypress Bay and Lakeland.
Ryan Stanley is one of the county’s top quarterbacks and has again led a high-powered Flanagan offense, throwing for 1,100 yards and 10 touchdowns. The matchup between him and Western’s Wade Freebeck should make for great entertainment for fans of offense.
But a group that hasn’t received much public acknowledgement is Western’s defense, which has yet to allow more than 14 points in a game this season.
This will be its toughest test so far without a doubt. But a couple of big plays at key moments can keep Western’s dream season alive at least one more week.
Andre’s pick: Western 21, Flanagan 14.
AT 17. C. GIBBONS (6-0)
7 p.m., Friday.
So after starting 5-0 for the second consecutive season, Cardinal Gibbons avoided tripping up against Coral Springs like it did in 2011.
Gibbons’ schedule is about to get tougher over the next few weeks.
This game begins a crucial run of three games that has the Chiefs traveling to American Heritage next week and Hallandale following this home date against the young Panthers.
Gibbons has had another great season offensively led by its passing game. Trevon Lee is having another outstanding year with 467 yards and nine touchdowns. David Senior, Michael Ferguson and Marcus Dixon have been great rushing and receiving for Gibbons.
And the quarterback tandem of Peyton Bender and Ryan Giaratano have combined for over 1,500 yards and 18 touchdown passes.
Dillard picked up some momentum in recent weeks beating Hallandale, Boca Raton and Pompano Beach. But a loss to Glades Central stung a young team last week.
It will be hard to recover that steam on the road.
Andre’s pick: Cardinal Gibbons 23, Dillard 21.