7. KILLIAN (5-0) VS. 11. CORAL GABLES (4-1)
7 p.m., Wednesday, Tropical.
It’s rare when the “Game of the Week” in Miami-Dade County falls on a Wednesday. But that’s the case when you have a potential Class 8A playoff preview matchup.
And with Killian and Coral Gables, it’s a case of role reversal from last year’s midseason tilt won by the Cougars.
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Then, Gables was undefeated and Killian was trying to turn its season around after a start that didn’t meet high expectations.
A year later, Killian is undefeated. And Gables, despite being 4-1, lost its most crucial game to date.
Figure this one to be a defensive struggle as both team’s defenses are stellar.
Killian has three shutouts so far this season and has only allowed nine points in its past four games.
Gables will continue to turn things around and make a big playoff push.
But for now, the slight edge goes to playmakers such as Jaquan Johnson and Sheldrick Redwine, who have proven themselves game-changers in big clashes.
Andre’s pick: Killian 10, Coral Gables 7.
COCONUT CREEK (3-2) AT 12. C. GIBBONS (5-0)
7 p.m., Friday.
Gibbons has again cruised through the first half of its season but hasn’t faced a major challenger until now.
Coconut Creek entered the season with expectations of challenging for a playoff spot in District 15-6A with a potent offense. A loss to Hallandale set the Cougars back, but a win can give them momentum with Boynton Beach still on the schedule.
Gibbons can prove its 5-0 start is legit with a victory at home.
Is Creek the team that scored 46 points against Dillard behind quarterback Jhakari Harrison’s six touchdown passes? Or is it the one that was made to look one dimensional a couple of weeks ago at Hallandale?
An always well-coached Chiefs squad looks good enough to pull through this week at home.
Andre’s pick: Cardinal Gibbons 27, Coconut Creek 24.
JACKSON (2-2) VS. 20. SOUTH DADE (4-2)
7:30 p.m., Friday, Harris.
Both teams need to recover quickly from tough district losses.
Jackson, although improved, couldn’t handle an American Heritage squad that is clearly still the front-runner in Class 5A.
The Generals’ path to the playoffs is clear. With a win over Cardinal Gibbons, Jackson can likely assume Heritage also beats Gibbons.
South Dade’s loss hurt more.
The Bucs must now beat Killian or hope Southridge falters in order to return to the postseason.
As far as this matchup goes, Jackson is maturing under coach Earl Little and will eventually be a playoff team.
But South Dade has been resilient every time it has faced adversity under coach Nate Hudson. Playing at Harris Field, expect a hard-fought win for the Bucs.
Andre’s pick: South Dade 19, Jackson 17.
13. NORLAND (3-1) VS. 2. CENTRAL (5-1)
7 p.m., Saturday, Traz.
Norland likely picked up its most important victory of the season Monday by edging Northwestern in overtime.
All the Vikings have to do is beat either Central or Carol City to likely clinch a return trip to the playoffs, assuming the Rockets win out. Let’s assume that Central will do just that, including this game.
So for the Vikings, the season comes down to bouncing back the week they play Carol City.
Andre’s pick: Central 38, Norland 7.