8. SOUTH DADE (6-0)
VS. 11. JACKSON (3-2)
7:30 p.m., Friday, Curtis.
South Dade is a team eager to show it can contend for the Class 8A state championship.
Jackson is a state title contender in some disarray following a damaging 26-22 loss to Plantation American Heritage.
So which story line will continue Friday night?
History would say the Generals recover in this game a week before a must-win district clash with Fort Lauderdale Cardinal Gibbons.
Historically, the north end of Dade County has been the stronger and still has two of the nation’s elite teams this season.
But this South Dade team has the potential to be one of the best in recent memory and has already gained some confidence in recent weeks with blowout wins over neighborhood rivals following wins against American, Carol City and Columbus.
The Bucs have plenty of firepower, especially on offense, with Khalil Render directing a squad powered by the running of Johnnie Hankins and several talented receivers such as C.J. Worton and Tyre Brady.
The Generals need more than just quarterback Quinton Flowers making big plays through the air. If they can control the tempo and sustain long drives scoring early, they can put this game out of reach.
But the more South Dade stays in the game, the more difficult it will be for a Jackson squad teetering on the brink of a disastrous season to get back on track.
Prediction: South Dade 20, Jackson 19.
WESTMINSTER CHR. (5-1)
AT 16. GULLIVER (6-0)
4 p.m., Friday.
A matchup between two of Dade’s best private school teams this season has the potential to be entertaining.
Westminster Christian won its district last week by beating Hollywood Chaminade-Madonna in impressive fashion.
Outside of a loss to Class 2A Champagnat Catholic, the Warriors have played well in a season in which they are hoping to make a run at the Class 3A state championship.
Put Gulliver in Class 3A, however, and you’re talking a definite state-championship contender this season.
Unfortunately, the No. 1-ranked team in the nation is in the Raiders’ district. But that’s a column for another day soon. This week, I’m writing about Gulliver’s torrid start that has it a victory from making the playoffs again.
Dionte Mullins, Cedrick Wright, Mitch Davis, Dominic Sheppard, Cornelius Floyd are just a few of the talented athletes who have kept the Raiders on a roll by outscoring their opponents by a combined 220-49.
Westminster Christian quarterback Hunter Boyette, who played for Gulliver before transferring back to the Warriors, has played well in recent games. Boyette will have his hands full against a talented defense that will no doubt try to key on Tim Irvin, Jordan Cronkrite, Devonaire Clarington and the rest of the Warriors’ offensive weapons.
If it does just enough, Gulliver should roll into the Booker T. Washington game undefeated.
Prediction: Gulliver 27, Westminster Christian 17.
CORAL REEF (4-2)
VS. 18. NORTH MIAMI (5-0)
7:30 p.m., Friday, N. Miami.
North Miami continues to prove the doubters wrong.
Even before its latest — and most important — victory to date, beating rival North Miami Beach, the Pioneers had cracked the Miami Herald’s South Florida Top 20 poll.
This week, they prove themselves worthy of that spot again versus another quality opponent in Coral Reef. The Barracudas can bring it with playmakers such as Jacob McCrary and Jordan Edwards.
Prediction: North Miami 20, Coral Reef 17.