In My Opinion | Andre C. Fernandez

Playoff feel for Coral Gables, Coral Reef

 

a1fernandez@MiamiHerald.com

16. CORAL GABLES (3-0)

VS. 19. CORAL REEF (3-1)

7 p.m., Thurs., FIU.

Coral Reef quarterback Nico Pierre dove into the end zone and moments later joined the wild celebration with his teammates this past Friday night.

The Barracudas had just rallied for a huge overtime victory over Killian at Southridge Stadium.

Just a little while later at Tropical Park, Coral Gables was running out the clock and celebrating its first win against Columbus since 2006.

The victories put both teams in the driver’s seat for potential playoff spots in their districts.

But do they have enough in the tank for what should be a highly competitive game?

The teams match up well, with Pierre leading a strong passing game for Coral Reef and Gregory Howell’s power running leading the Cavaliers.

Each team has a solid defense that can shut down opponents and force turnovers.

Gables might have a slight edge when it comes to the offensive line. The Cavaliers did a great job against Columbus, helping Howell finish with 209 yards rushing and allowing for Gables to make some big plays in the passing game.

If it can do the same to Coral Reef’s defensive front, expect the Cavs to remain unbeaten.

Prediction: Coral Gables 14, Coral Reef 13.

NORTH MIAMI (3-0)

VS. MIAMI BEACH (3-0)

7 p.m., Fri., Memorial Field.

After more than a year of renovations, Memorial Field in Miami Beach will reopen and welcome back the home Hi-Tides, who are off to a 3-0 start.

It just so happens the first game back pits Miami Beach against another undefeated upstart in North Miami, which is hoping to ride the momentum to a potential playoff spot in District 13-8A.

The Pioneers haven’t allowed a point this season — a streak that began with a surprising 3-0 win against American and two routs against Hialeah-Miami Lakes and Hialeah Gardens.

Miami Beach has been prolific on offense behind some playmakers such as junior Markel Anderson and senior Brent Baker. The Hi-Tides shut out Miami High last week in their district opener and have wins against Ferguson and Mourning, two potential playoff teams.

The road will be tough for Miami Beach, with Coral Gables and Columbus in District 14-8A, but if the Hi-Tides can make some more big plays, they should be able to celebrate their stadium’s reopening.

Prediction: Miami Beach 22, North Miami 21.

BOOKER T. (4-0)

AT MSGR. PACE (3-0)

7:30 p.m., Friday.

Undefeated Pace is much improved on both sides of the ball and has one of the better quarterbacks in the county in Kelly Benson.

But Booker T. Washington is in a different orbit these days.

The Tornadoes dismantled another talented team last week, nearly blanking Jackson 35-6.

For Booker T., the district seems to be a formality. This team is out to break records.

Prediction: Booker T. 48, Pace 6.

KILLIAN (1-3) VS.

15. HOMESTEAD (2-1)

7:30 p.m., Fri., Harris Field.

After two weeks of plenty of explosive offense, Homestead suffered a costly setback against Norland, letting a 17-7 lead slip away late.

Superstar receiver Ermon Lane returned a kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown but was held without a catch.

Killian’s defense is stronger, with Jaquan Johnson back in the lineup. But the Cougars just dropped a draining game against Coral Reef that has put them in a tough spot the rest of the season.

Prediction: Homestead 22, Killian 14.

Read more Miami-Dade High Schools stories from the Miami Herald

  •  
 <span class="cutline_leadin">In good form:</span> Columbus High's Rafa Martinez hits a chip shot out of the sand trap on the 18th hole Tuesday, en route to a 69 to lead the Explorers to a 12-shot win at the Youth Fair Golf Tournament.

    Boys’ Golf

    Rafa Martinez leads Columbus boys’ golf team to Youth Fair win

    The Columbus golf team’s depth has been the big difference in its surge back to the top in Miami-Dade County the past couple of years.

  • On the recruiting trail

    Jordan Cronkrite reverses, won’t go to UM

    The University of Miami’s crowded backfield situation in the 2015 recruiting class got a bit more roomier after Westminster Christian running back Jordan Cronkrite announced Saturday morning on Twitter that he was withdrawing his commitment from the Hurricanes.

  • Roundup

    American boys’, girls’ bowling sweep HML

    The American High standout bowling tandem of Stephanie Wong and Trace Reid proved too potent for Hialeah-Miami Lakes on Tuesday.

Miami Herald

Join the
Discussion

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category