As exciting as last week’s action was, with six top-20 matchups, lets just say this weekend might be the complete opposite.
To be polite, marquee matchups are pretty much on the “thin” side with Palmetto/Southridge on Friday night at Tropical Park the only real marquee matchup.
But that’s OK. It’s about time all the big shots who have been playing each other virtually every week take a break from beating up each other.
Central and St. Thomas Aquinas just about lived up to the hype, a great game that the Rockets only pulled away at the end to make the score look a little more lopsided than the game actually was. Plantation American Heritage, amidst all of the chatter of a “rebuilding” year, is rebuilding awfully fast as the Patriots came up with a quality road win over Chaminade while South Dade clearly established itself as a major player in 8A by blowing out Jackson.
The irony of all of last week’s “big-time” matchups is that the biggest news may have come out of Ives Estates Park on Thursday. We would be remiss if we didn’t use up a little bit of space to give a big shout-out and congrats to the Wildcats of Westland Hialeah. In knocking off Mourning 6-0, Westland, just one week after setting a state record 47th consecutive loss, saw that miserable streak end with their first win in five years.
How could anybody not possibly have been rooting for those kids who have spent the last five seasons being mocked on social media and the punchline to every joke? Great job by second-year coach Matt Van Dusen, who has clearly “taught” the kids the basics of football and even though they’re not likely to win again this season, nobody will be able to take away “their moment” last week.
This week’s top 20
1. Carol City; 2. Central; 3. Deerfield Beach; 4. Plantation American Heritage; 5. St. Thomas Aquinas; 6. South Dade; 7. Columbus; 8. Palmetto; 9. Southridge; 10. University School; 11. Chaminade-Madonna; 12. Plantation; 13. Cardinal Gibbons; 14. Northwestern; 15. McArthur; 16. Booker T. Washington; 17. Western; 18. Coral Gables; 19. Jackson; 20. Taravella.
MOVING IN: Taravella; DROPPING OUT: Monsignor Pace; KNOCKING ON THE DOOR: Piper, Dillard, Hialeah, Coconut Creek, Ft. Lauderdale, Doral
Games of the week
No. 8 Palmetto (4-0) vs. No. 9 Southridge (4-1), Friday, 7:30 (Tropical)
The first of three key matchups in District 16-8A. Even though Coral Gables is certainly a quality team, Palmetto struggled last week and proved to be vulnerable before surviving in overtime against the Cavs. Southridge went on the road and turned in a quality win over Rockledge, the state’s No. 3 ranked team in 5A. That trend tells me that the Spartans, still stinging from a last second loss to Booker T. three weeks ago, are headed back in the right direction and should be able to pull this one out.
BD’s PICK: Southridge 23-17.
No. 3 Deerfield Beach (5-0) vs. No. 20 Taravella (3-1), Thursday, 7 (Coral Springs)
The Trojans are a fringe Top-20 team and back in the rankings this week, but don’t look for them to stay there long. Deerfield Beach is building more momentum as each week goes along. The only thing working for Taravella is that the Bucks could be vulnerable of looking ahead to next week’s big matchup with St. Thomas Aquinas and maybe not at their sharpest. But even semi-sharp should easily be enough to carry them past the Trojans.
BD’s PICK: Deerfield Beach 34-16.
Coconut Creek (3-1) at No. 13 Cardinal Gibbons (3-2), Friday, 7
The Cougars spent a little bit of time in the Top 20 and will have a golden opportunity to surge back in there if they can find a way to pull off the upset this week. But don’t count on it. After a brutal two weeks to start the season with a pair of lopsided losses, Gibbons is starting to roll in anticipation of a huge Oct. 12 matchup with American Heritage.
BD’s Pick: Cardinal Gibbons 38-20.
The rest of the top 20
1. Carol City (4-0) vs. Hialeah-Miami Lakes (0-5), Thursday, 7 (Milander): The Trojans can only hope the Chiefs ease up and pump the brakes, which is not likely. BD’s Pick: Carol City 56-0.
2. Central (4-1) vs. Norland (1-4), Friday, 7:30 (Traz Powell): The Rockets might be a little hung over from huge win over St. Thomas last week and Norland won’t be afraid to put up a fight. Central should still cruise. BD’s Pick: Central 33-12.
4. Plantation American Heritage (4-1): IDLE
5. St. Thomas Aquinas (4-1): IDLE
6. South Dade (5-0): IDLE
7. Columbus (4-1) vs. Miami High, Thursday, 7 (Curtis Park): The Explorers continue to roll with a district win over an opponent that’s a shell of last year’s final four team. BD’s Pick: Columbus 42-7
10. University School (5-0): IDLE.
11. Chaminade-Madonna (3-2) vs. Piper (3-1), Friday, 7: Piper has a nice team, but the Lions are smarting from last week’s tough loss to American Heritage and will look to take it out on the Bengals. BD’s Pick: Chaminade 31-14.
12. Plantation (4-0) vs. Flanagan (1-3), Friday, 7 (PAL Field): The Colonels will not be challenged in this district matchup. BD’s Pick: Plantation 40-13.
14. Northwestern (3-2) at IMG Academy (3-1), Saturday, 7: Bad timing for the Bulls, who will make the trip to Bradenton for the second year in a row and take on a nationally-ranked team stinging from a rare loss last week to Mater Dei (California). BD’s PICK: IMG 30-21.
15. McArthur (5-0) vs. Archbishop McCarthy (1-3), Friday, 7 (McArthur Stadium): The undefeated Mustangs are creeping up the Top 20 poll and should keep their record perfect. BD’s Pick: McArthur 34-14.
16. Booker T. Washington (2-3) vs. Edison (2-3), Friday, 7:30 (Curtis Park): The Tornadoes have to be absolutely exhausted and beaten up from a brutal schedule but can’t take improved Red Raiders lightly. BD’s Pick: BTW 30-17.
17. Western (4-1) IDLE
18. Coral Gables (3-2) vs. Miami Beach (3-1), Friday, 4 (Coral Gables HS): The Cavaliers lost an overtime heartbreaker to Palmetto last week and should get back on the winning track in this district matchup. BD’s Pick: Gables 28-13.
19. Jackson (3-2) at Hallandale (2-2), Friday, 7: The Generals have lost two straight to quality teams (Gibbons, South Dade) and look to get back on the winning track here. BD’s Pick: Jackson 28-20.
Miami-Dade: Sunset vs. Mourning (Ives Estates) 3:30, Sunset 20-7; Ferguson vs. Southwest (Tropical) 7, Southwest 33-14; American vs. North Miami (Ives Estates) 7:30, NM 27-14;
Broward: Fort Lauderdale at Blanche Ely 7, Ft. Lauderdale 30-14
Miami-Dade: Reagan vs. Westland Hialeah (HML), 3:30, Reagan 42-6; Hialeah Gardens at Hialeah, 3:30, Hialeah 40-12; Coal Reef at Belen Jesuit, 4, Belen 35-13; Champagnat at Gulliver Prep., 4, Champagnat 21-20; Krop vs. North Miami Beach (Ives Estates), 4, NMB 34-7; Palm Glades Prep. at Somerset Silver Palms, 4, Somerset 20-16; St. Brendan at Palmer Trinity, 4, PT 42-13; Ransom Everglades at Coral Shores, 7, RE 20-17; Mater Academy at Doral Academy, 7, Doral 34-16; LaSalle at Key West, 7, KW 37-13; Braddock vs. Varela (Southridge) 7:30, Braddock 38-12; Miami Springs vs. Goleman (Milander) 7:30, MS 21-13; Killian vs. Homestead (Harris), 7:30, Homestead 17-14; Monsignor Pace at Cooper City, 7, Pace 24-20
Broward: North Broward Prep. at Pembroke Pines Somerset, 4, NBP 30-13; Coral Springs Charter at Coral Springs, 7, CSC 26-20; Cypress Bay at Miramar, 7, Miramar 30-13; Northeast at Douglas, 7, Douglas 24-10; Everglades at South Plantation, 7, SP 16-14; Hollywood Hills vs. West Broward (Flanagan), 7, WB 26-21; Benjamin at Pine Crest, 7, Benjamin 31-27; Pines Charter at Pompano Beach, 7, Pompano 10-7; Nova at South Broward, 7, Nova 28-13; Monsignor Pace at Cooper City, 7, Pace 24-20.
Saturday: Miami-Dade: Marathon at Westminster Christian, 1, WC 30-14. Broward: Stranahan at Dillard, 7, Dillard 34-13.
Last week top 20: 11-3; Season top 20: 60-15; Last week overall: 33-12; Season overall: 183-59