Broward County’s defending state champions — St. Thomas Aquinas and University School — don’t appear as invincible as they did a year ago.
Instead, Miramar and Deerfield Beach are the only Broward teams to survive the regular season unscathed.
Victories this week would pit the two against each other on the road to state in Class 8A. That wide-open region and Aquinas and University School’s repeat bids are two of the compelling story lines as the playoffs begin this week.Region 3-8A quarterfinal — 8. Flanagan (9-1) at 4. Deerfield Beach (10-0):
Brandon Powell, Aeron McNeal, Justin Morgan, Jason Strowbridge and the rest of the Bucks standouts have a good chance to make some noise in the playoffs.
Flanagan presents a big challenge to Deerfield’s momentum.
The Falcons have one of the most potent offenses in South Florida, led by quarterback Ryan Stanley, and are capable of pulling off a road win in their playoff debut. This is arguably the best opening-round matchup in Broward, and Deerfield’s experience in the postseason and handling the elements gives it a slight edge. Prediction: Deerfield Beach 27, Flanagan 24.Region 3-8A quarterfinal — 19. Monarch (8-2) at 3. Miramar (10-0):
Monarch has put up plenty of points this season but has not faced a defense as tough as Miramar’s. Expect a close one for a little bit, but Miramar will hold the line long enough until its own offense gets going. Prediction: Miramar 27, Monarch 10.Region 4-7A quarterfinal — West Boca Raton (7-3) at Blanche Ely (5-5):