JACKSONVILLE BOLLES (4-1) AT 7. AMERICAN HERITAGE (5-1)
7:30 p.m., Friday.
American Heritage did its best to make sure all seven nondistrict opponents on this season’s schedule would be challenging.
Two weeks after surviving a defensive struggle against Daytona Beach Mainland, the Patriots face another upstate powerhouse in Jacksonville Bolles.
But just like Miami Jackson last week, this is an opponent the Patriots are itching to earn some payback against.
American Heritage scored its most important victory to date behind its ability to strike quickly with its playmakers. Isaiah McKenzie is one of the most versatile players in the state and showed it again with his skills as a receiver and in the kick return game.
Not much needs to be said about Sony Michel, who again provided a highlight-reel run when he broke loose for an 84-yard touchdown in the second quarter.
But quarterback Torrance Gibson was the giddiest player on the field after the game and with good reason.
Gibson showed tremendous poise as the leader of the offense. He made good reads while rolling out, evaded Jackson’s pass rush and ran the ball effectively, as well.
Bolles is still one of the better teams in the state, but it hasn’t played up to standards so far.
The Bulldogs still run a solid offense that is powered by a tough offensive line. But its defense has given up a combined 96 points in past two games and hasn’t held any opponent under double-digits in scoring this season.
The one thing American Heritage must do more often is sustain long drives. Last week, the Patriots scored three times after Jackson put them at midfield on short kickoffs.
That won’t always be the case.
But Heritage has some huge offensive linemen who will help it score another huge victory against a team it hasn’t been able to beat in recent years.
Prediction: American Heritage 34, Bolles 17.
TARAVELLA (2-3) VS. 20. MONARCH (6-0)
7 p.m., Friday, Coral Springs.
The Knights almost saw their great start spoiled two weeks ago against Douglas before escaping with a one-point overtime win.
Monarch made sure it would win quickly last week against Coral Springs in a 42-7 rout.
This week, the Knights can move closer to their first playoff appearance and set up a potential district championship showdown with Deerfield Beach next week. Monarch and Deerfield Beach are both 3-0 and at the top of District 11-8A entering the week.
Monarch quarterback Michael Harris has been one of the best in Broward, passing for 1,582 yards and 13 touchdowns to only one interception. Calvin Ridley and Ellex Davis, his favorite targets, have combined for 52 catches for 1,278 yards and eight touchdowns.
Taravella has stumbled compared to previous seasons, losing 63-16 last week against Deerfield Beach.
Monarch stays perfect with a victory.
Prediction: Monarch 31, Taravella 17.
BOYNTON BEACH (6-0) AT DILLARD (3-2)
7 p.m., Friday.
Dillard has bounced back from a pair of tough losses to start the season and is tied with Hallandale and Boynton Beach for the top spot in District 15-6A.
This game will start clearing up the playoff picture as two teams that are very similar in offense and defense clash in Fort Lauderdale.
Senior Lamar Jackson, an athletic quarterback/running back, has helped the Tigers rout several South Florida opponents and remain perfect so far this season.
Prediction: Boynton Beach 34, Dillard 23.