Assuming Hurricane Irma doesn’t wreak havoc on this weekend’s football schedule, some teams will have a chance to continue their strong starts to the 2017 season.
Here’s a look at who in the latest Miami Herald South Florida Top 20 rankings is moving up and who may earn a spot soon if they keep winning.
ON THE RISE
Palmetto: Coming off their first playoff appearance since 2008, the Panthers had high expectations. So far, so good for Palmetto as it probably secured the most eye-opening win of week 2 with a 37-23 road triumph at perennial powerhouse Naples.
Never miss a local story.
Western: The Wildcats, like Palmetto, ended a long playoff drought (2010) last year. They’ve picked up where they left off so far with wins over South Broward and Dillard.
Cardinal Gibbons: The state title contender that many need to add to their radar if they haven’t already put together another solid performance last week. The Chiefs followed a dominant win over Southridge by overwhelming Delray American Heritage 44-0. Gibbons takes on Dillard next.
ON THE CUSP
North Miami Beach (2-0): The Chargers entered as favorites in District 13-8A and have not disappointed through the first two weeks with lopsided wins over Coral Reef and Killian. Things get tougher this week with Belen, but a solid running game and defense has NMB dreaming big this year.
Plantation (2-0): The return of longtime coach Steve Davis appears to have reinvigorated the Colonels, who have scored a pair of impressive wins over West Broward and Blanche Ely so far. After a bye this week, a big test against Miramar awaits.
Jackson (2-0): The Generals won three games in 2016. One more victory this week against North Miami would match that win total for a squad that has posted back-to-back shutouts over Mourning and HML to open the season.
Miami Central, ranked No. 16 in the latest USA Today rankings, heads west to take on defending national champion and seventh-ranked Bishop Gorman in Las Vegas on Friday. A win could put the Rockets in striking distance of a national title. But Gorman just had its 55-game win streak snapped by No. 1 Mater Dei (California).
1. St. Thomas Aquinas (2-0) vs. Flanagan (1-1), 7, Friday, Aquinas.
Andre Fernandez’s pick: St. Thomas 49, Flanagan 2. Another cakewalk for the Raiders, who are now among the nation’s top three.
2. Plantation American Heritage (2-0) vs. 20. Miramar (0-1), 7:30, Friday, Heritage.
Andre’s pick: American Heritage 14, Miramar 7. Defense will dictate who wins the battle of the Patriots.
3. Northwestern (2-0) vs. 12. South Dade (2-0), 7, Saturday, Traz.
Andre’s pick: Northwestern 28, South Dade 6. The Bulls looked good for three quarters against a solid Columbus team last week.
4. Central (2-0) at Las Vegas Bishop Gorman (1-1), 10, Friday.
Andre’s pick: Bishop Gorman 27, Central 20. Tough place to win on the road and Gorman just lost its 55-game win streak.
5. Cardinal Gibbons (2-0) at Dillard (0-2), 7, Friday.
Andre’s pick: Cardinal Gibbons 30, Dillard 14. Chiefs are serving notice they are state title contenders.
6. Deerfield Beach (1-1) at Blanche Ely (0-2), 7, Saturday.
Andre’s pick: Deerfield Beach 27, Blanche Ely 6. Rough road trip for the Bucks, but a chance to rebound.
7. Carol City (0-1) vs. 14. Columbus (1-1), 7, Saturday, Tropical.
Andre’s pick: Carol City 13, Columbus 10. Both teams could use a bounce back win.
8. Booker T. Washington (1-1) at 13. Southridge (1-1), 7:30, Friday.
Andre’s pick: Booker T. 20, Southridge 7. The Tornadoes want to get over their frustrating loss to Central as quickly as possible.
9. Chaminade-Madonna (1-1) at Northeast (1-1), 7, Friday.
Andre’s pick: Chaminade 42, Northeast 7. A chance for the Lions to show off their high-powered offense.
10. Norland (1-0) vs. Edison (0-2), 7:30, Friday, North Miami.
Andre’s pick: Norland 38, Edison 3. The Vikings gear up for the district slate with a comfortable win.
11. Palmetto (2-0) vs. Ferguson (0-1), 7, Thursday, Tropical.
Andre’s pick: Palmetto 49, Ferguson 7. Panthers flexed their muscle on the road last week.
15. Miami High (2-0) vs. Southwest (1-1), 7, Thursday, Traz Powell.
Andre’s pick: Miami High 45, Southwest 7. The Stingarees should flip the result of this the past couple of years.
16. Champagnat Catholic (2-0) vs. Braddock (0-1), 3:30, Thursday, Tropical.
Andre’s pick: Champagnat Catholic 36, Braddock 6. The Lions remain on track through their early-season slate.
17. University School (2-0) vs. Boca St. John Paul II (0-2), 7, Friday, University.
University 40, St. John Paul II 7. The Sharks shouldn’t have trouble remAndre’s pick: aining unbeaten.
18. Western (2-0) vs. Hallandale (1-1), 7, Friday, Western.
Andre’s pick: Western 37, Hallandale 6. Wildcats brace for their district schedule starting next week.
19. Coral Gables (1-1) vs. Killian (0-1), 7:30, Friday, Tropical.
Andre’s pick: Coral Gables 24, Killian 7. Cavs build momentum prior to showdown with Miami High next week.
THURSDAY: Miami-Dade: Belen vs. North Miami Beach (N. Miami), 7; NMB 26-21; Miami Beach vs. Coral Reef (Southridge), 7; Reef 17-14; Homestead at Coral Park, 3:30; Homestead 33-8; Reagan at Miami Springs, 3:30; Reagan 27-6; Palm Glades Prep vs. Keys Gate (Harris), 7; PGP 21-19; Somerset Silver Palms at Florida Christian, 7; Somerset 35-7; Palmer Trinity at Scheck Hillel, 7; Palmer 28-7. Broward: McArthur at Everglades, 7; Everglades 36-10.
FRIDAY: Miami-Dade: North Broward Prep at Gulliver, 4; NBP 32-24; Everglades Prep at Pines Charter, 7; Everglades 40-10; Hialeah vs. HML (Milander), 7:30; Hialeah 24-6; North Miami vs. Jackson (Traz), 7:30; Jackson 34-14; Doral vs. Westland Hialeah (HML), 4; Doral 50-3; Varela at Hialeah Gardens, 3:30; Varela 21-10; Mourning at Goleman, 4; Goleman 47-7; South Miami at Mater Academy (Pace), 7:30; Mater 27-10; Krop at Vero Beach, 7:30; Vero Beach 34-20; La Salle at N. Palm Benjamin, 7; Benjamin 28-20; Monsignor Pace at Naples Gulf Coast, 7; Gulf Coast 23-20; Ransom Everglades at Westminster Christian, 4; WC 21-7; Pinecrest Prep at Miami Christian, 7; Miami 41-7. Broward: North Broward Prep at Gulliver, 4; NBP 32-24; Everglades Prep at Pines Charter, 7; Everglades 40-10; Coconut Creek at Douglas, 7; Creek 24-21; South Plantation vs. West Broward (Flanagan), 7; West Broward 17-7; Boyd Anderson at Piper, 7; Piper 19-16; Taravella at Nova, 7; Nova 35-7; South Broward vs. Stranahan (South Plantation), 7; Stranahan 30-19; Hollywood Hills vs. Monarch (Coconut Creek), 7; Hills 17-14; Coral Glades at Pompano Beach, 7; Glades 10-7; Coral Springs vs. Coral Springs Charter (Coral Glades), 7; C. Springs 21-17; Pine Crest at Calvary Christian, 7; Calvary 33-14; Melbourne Central Catholic at Archbishop McCarthy, 7; MCC 35-24; Highlands Christian at Somerset, 4; Somerset 40-6; Key West at Westminster Academy, 7; Key West 35-6; International School of Broward at Buford (Ga.), 7; Buford 47-6.
SATURDAY: Broward: Fort Lauderdale at Cooper City, 7; FTL 27-17.
Dade — Last week: 20-4; Season: 42-10; Broward: 21-5; Season: 38-11.