In My Opinion | Andre C. Fernandez

Preview of top games in Broward this week: Flanagan will beat Miramar


18.FLANAGAN (6-2)

5 p.m., Saturday.

The playoffs begin Saturday for both. The winner is in and the loser is out.

One year after being a win short of its second state championship, Miramar has gone through a season of highs and lows. The Patriots started by getting blown out at Bradenton Manatee and later lost to rival Cypress Bay in a game they should have won. Then, they managed to beat St. Thomas Aquinas.

Not until Monday when Miramar beat Western 27-0 did the Patriots win back-to-back games this year.

Flanagan has played a tough schedule and gradually improved. Early-season losses to Lakeland and Cypress Bay kept the Falcons under the radar.

Flanagan appears to be peaking after four consecutive wins, including a 45-7 blowout win against Western, and the Falcons have one of the county’s best quarterbacks in Ryan Stanley.

Miramar’s defense is the one thing that has been consistent, and it will have to win this game by shutting down another explosive offense.

But Flanagan got close last year against a better Miramar team with many of the same players it still has. The Falcons won’t get a better chance to break through for a while.

Andre’s pick: Flanagan 16, Miramar 13.

5. S. PLANTATION (8-0)


7 p.m., Friday.

First with the debut of history-making female quarterback Erin Dimeglio and later with the great running of University of Miami commit Alex Collins, South Plantation has been one of the most talked-about teams.

The Paladins can wrap up the District 11-8A title with a win. If Deerfield Beach wins, it can force a tiebreaker for the district’s two playoff spots with South Plantation and Taravella should it beat Coral Springs.

South Plantation will find it difficult to beat a Bucks squad that is riding a four-game winning streak. Brandon Powell has emerged as one of the county’s best running backs right behind Collins in rushing yards.

The Bucks have allowed only 22 points combined in their past four games.

The Paladins are my pick to clinch the district, but they are on upset alert in this one.

Andre’s pick: South Plantation 26, Deerfield Beach 20.

4. A. HERITAGE (7-1)


7 p.m., Saturday.

If American Heritage wanted to deliver a statement that it is a state championship contender in Class 5A, mission accomplished.

The Patriots never gave Cardinal Gibbons a chance, jumping out to a 49-6 lead by halftime. Heritage has scored at least 44 points in each of its seven wins this season.

This week, the Patriots can lock up the District 15-5A title if they win. The Panthers need a win to keep their playoff hopes alive.

Dillard has made progress under coach Lorenzo Davis, but Heritage is on another level this year and ready for a big playoff run.

Andre’s pick: American Heritage 34, Dillard 14.

19. GIBBONS (7-1) AT


7 p.m., Friday.

Gibbons needs to recover from the onslaught it endured Saturday against American Heritage. A win clinches the runner-up spot in District 15-5A. Hallandale is an athletic, good defensive team, but the Chiefs have enough weapons to pull out another close one.

Andre’s pick: Cardinal Gibbons 20, Hallandale 14.

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