VS. 2. CENTRAL (5-1)
7:30 p.m., Friday, (Traz).
Northwestern put a major scare into Booker T. Washington last week with an intense pressure defense that totaled six sacks.
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Except for not actually winning the game, it was a performance more reminiscent of Bulls teams of recent memory.
But is it too late for a Northwestern turnaround?
We might not know this week because Central presents another major obstacle.
The Rockets will likely give the Bulls bigger issues than Booker T. did last week because of their powerful running game.
So what will two of the country’s best backs in Joseph Yearby and Dalvin Cook do if they get that same kind of traction?
Northwestern needs to win and get help to keep its slim playoff hopes alive.
But it won’t happen this week.
Prediction: Central 34, Northwestern 17.
9. C. GIBBONS (6-0)
VS. 17. JACKSON (3-3)
7 p.m., Saturday, Traz.
Jackson has lost two games in a row, including one to district front-runner Plantation American Heritage, leaving it on the verge of playoff elimination with a loss.
Cardinal Gibbons can deliver the knockout blow if it can continue to play solid defense and have its potent offense thrive like South Dade and American Heritage did the past two weeks.
But the Generals bring a defense that should be tougher than any of Gibbons’ previous opponents.
If it can clean up its errors, Jackson should be able to salvage its season.
Prediction: Jackson 30, Cardinal Gibbons 28.
16. HOMESTEAD (4-2)
VS. 13. C. CITY (4-2)
7:30 p.m., Friday, Harris.
Homestead must win to keep its playoff hopes alive in the ultra-competitive District 16-6A.
Carol City can put itself in prime position to at least earn one of the two playoff berths with a victory.
Homestead will likely have to get it done without receiver Ermon Lane, who was ejected last week in a game against Palmetto. His absence could hurt the Broncos’ offense against a tough Carol City defense.
Chiefs quarterback Trayone Gray continues to show his value with another great game last week against North Miami Beach.
If Gray can give one more masterful performance this week, figure the Chiefs will score a crucial district win.
Prediction: Carol City 16, Homestead 14.
MIAMI SPRINGS (5-1)
VS. AMERICAN (3-3)
7 p.m., Thursday, Traz.
Miami Springs is two years removed from a winless season and its worst in the school’s history.
But coach Darryel Bethune’s squad is making that year a distant memory,
Following an opening week loss to Hialeah, Springs has won five in a row, including district wins against Westland, Hialeah-Miami Lakes and Goleman by a combined score of 106-21.
As a result, Springs finds itself in a three-way tie atop District 16-7A with American and Mater Academy.
The Patriots have played a tough schedule that included two close early season losses to North Miami and South Dade.
That experience should help them find a way to keep their spot at the top.
Prediction: American 30, Miami Springs 27.