19. KILLIAN (4-4)
VS. SOUTHRDGE (4-4)
7:30, Friday, Harris.
Killian has made it a habit of overcoming the odds the past few seasons, but it has taken it to a new level this season.
After starting the season 1-4 following injuries to several key players, Killian is one win away from clinching the District 16-8A title.
A victory gets the Cougars into the playoffs.
But what Killian really wants is South Dade to beat Coral Reef. The combination of those two results would give the Cougars the district title and a chance to host the District 15-8A runner-up in the first round.
Southridge needs a win and a Coral Reef win over South Dade for its best-case scenario.
But the way Killian is playing right now, it appears destined to win the district and make a big playoff run.
Prediction: Killian 27, Southridge 6.
11. SOUTH DADE (7-1)
VS. C. REEF (5-3)
7:30, Fri., Southridge.
Two weeks ago, both of these teams looked like sure bets to be the two playoff teams in District 16-8A.
After each suffered an unexpected district loss, they find themselves in a must-win game with no guarantees they will even win the district title with a victory.
South Dade needs a win and a Southridge win to claim the district title.
Coral Reef needs a win and a Killian victory for it to celebrate as district champions.
The Barracudas are hoping their experience in close games, as they had again beating previously unbeaten North Miami two weeks ago, will help against South Dade.
The Bucs had trouble against Killians stingy secondary last week and must find a way to get their passing game going again. The key is running the football with Johnnie Hankins early and often.
That and an improved game from the Bucs defense should put them back in the playoffs.
Prediction: South Dade 32, Coral Reef 20.
MONSIG. PACE (5-3)
AT GULLIVER (6-2)
With Booker T. Washington in their district, both of these teams knew the playoffs began with this game.
This could turn into the same type of game and that could favor the host Raiders with explosive playmakers such as Mitch Davis and Dionte Mullins.
Prediction: Gulliver 28, Pace 24.
MATER ACAD. (6-2)
VS. AMERICAN (5-3)
7:30, Friday, Pace.
Following a tough 35-34 loss to Miami Springs in overtime, Mater Academy is in must-win mode against the district-leading Patriots.
American, the most talented team in this district, can sweep it with a win here and propel Miami Springs into the playoffs.
Mater wins and it, Springs and American would be headed for a tiebreaker next Monday.
Should Mater be able to establish its running game, it will have a chance.
Americans defense bends a bit but makes a few big plays late.
Prediction: American 34, Mater Academy 31.