In my opinion

Andre Fernandez: Must-win matchups are here

 

a1fernandez@MiamiHerald.com

19. B. ANDERSON (0-1)

AT 14. CYPRESS BAY (0-0)

7 p.m., Friday.

Boyd Anderson is probably glad it is not playing a Miami-Dade opponent.

The Cobras struggled to contain two of Dade’s best the past two weeks, losing to Carol City in the preseason and Homestead last week.

The biggest concern for Cobras coach Wayne Blair was the way Boyd Anderson gave up 28 points early and was forced to fight uphill just to get within striking distance before Homestead put the game away.

The Cobras catch a Cypress Bay team that will be without coach Mark Guandolo, who is serving the second week of a two-week suspension following the incident in which he hit quarterback Lucas Tellefson on the helmet during the Lightning’s preseason loss to American Heritage.

Even without Guandolo, expect the motivated Lightning to be prepared for its season opener.

Cypress Bay graduated a lot of key players but still runs an offense that can create problems. Its defense, coached by coordinator Earl Little, should still be one of the tougher ones in Broward this season.

Boyd Anderson won’t look as overmatched early as it did last week, but Cypress Bay has a lot it hopes to prove with a victory.

Pick: Cypress Bay 24, Boyd Anderson 21.

7. DEERFIELD BEACH (1-0)

AT BLANCHE ELY (0-1)

7 p.m., Saturday.

Deerfield Beach is expected to be one of the most improved teams in South Florida this season.

The Bucks didn’t do anything to disprove that last week after routing Northeast 37-0.

This week will be a little tougher challenge against Blanche Ely.

The Tigers, however, had a rough outing in Georgia, losing 41-15 to MLK High in the Battle of the Borders this past Saturday.

This rivalry is usually one of the more entertaining in Broward, but the Bucks appear to be a little more complete right now and should establish control early behind running back Brandon Powell. Expect one of the key players in this game to be Deerfield quarterback Danarious Graham, who transferred from Ely in the offseason. If Graham has a big night against his former team, the Bucks should cruise to a 2-0 start.

Pick: Deerfield Beach 34, Blanche Ely 14.

18. MIA. NORLAND (0-1)

VS. 4. UNIV. SCH. (1-0)

7 p.m., Saturday, Nova.

University never let Taravella have a hope of contending last week.

University has a chance to do something similar this week against one of Dade’s better squads.

Norland, however, didn’t get off to a great start Saturday, losing 29-13 to Stephenson (Ga.) on the road. Norland would have to force some turnovers early and capitalize to have a chance of staying with University’s explosive offense.

But that’s easier said than done.

University quarterback Sean White threw four touchdown passes last week, and the Suns ran two turnovers back for touchdowns.

This is not a good week for the Vikings to bounce back.

Expect University to overwhelm Norland with its depth and its array of weapons on offense.

Pick: University 35, Norland 14

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