2. CENTRAL (6-1)
11. CAROL CITY (5-2)
7:30 p.m., Friday, Traz.
Miami-Dade County’s deepest district is getting down to its most crucial matchups.
One thing that still doesn’t appear in doubt is who will likely win the title. Central has looked more dominant than it has all season in recent weeks, blowing out Norland and Northwestern with relative ease.
Carol City won’t be that easy to wipe out.
Senior quarterback Trayone Gray simply won’t let it happen. Gray continues to have a career season, accounting for three touchdowns last week in a pivotal win against Homestead that put the Chiefs within one victory of clinching a playoff spot.
But I’ll repeat what I’ve said over and over. Central plays on another level that maybe only one other team in the state can equal (Booker T.) when its running backs, Joe Yearby and Dalvin Cook, get going.
Prediction: Central 35, Carol City 17.
8. SOUTH DADE (7-0)
VS. KILLIAN (3-4)
7 p.m., Sat., Tropical.
A healthy Killian dominating Coral Gables a couple of weeks ago was a warning sign to the rest of the district that the Cougars were back.
All they needed was one little bit of help to get back into playoff contention.
The Cougars got it last week when Southridge upset Coral Reef, opening the door for Killian to make a run at one of the playoff berths in District 16-8A.
Regardless of whether or not Killian can beat district front-runner South Dade, it may only be a matter of time before the recovered Cougars find their way into the playoffs.
South Dade gets closer to the district title this week, but gets pushed hard by a Killian team that looks playoff-bound.
Prediction: South Dade 20, Killian 14.
MATER ACADEMY (6-1)
VS. M. SPRINGS (5-2)
7:30 p.m., Fri., Milander.
Winning one game or avoiding getting blown out were goals two seasons ago at Miami Springs.
Times have changed.
Miami Springs opened last week’s game against American with a chance to win a district championship. The Golden Hawks opened that game scoring the first 13 points and looking like they would end the school’s long playoff drought that dates to 1995.
But the Hawks couldn’t hold off American from coming back to win 16-13.
This has put Springs back in must-win mode going into another tough game against a team trying build tradition in Mater Academy.
If Mater wins, the District 16-7A championship chase becomes a two-team race between the Lions and American. If Springs wins, it comes down to Mater’s game against American next week.
This game will be a battle of solid rushers.
Miami Springs’ Malik Thomas showed once again last week how good he is with a 187-yard performance against the Patriots.
But what has given Mater Academy a true chance to contend for its first-ever playoff berth is a duo of running backs. Jamal Adjamah and Joseph Barrocas combined for another big game to remain undefeated in district play last week against Mourning.
Prediction: Mater Academy 30, Miami Springs 28.