High School Sports

Andre C. Fernandez: Hallandale stays alive in 15-6A

17. COCONUT CREEK AT 7. HALLANDALE

7 p.m., Friday.

Hallandale entered this season with high expectations to make it to the postseason.

Coconut Creek is one of the most improved teams in Broward County and proved it last week in a 46-16 win against Dillard that pushed it into the thick of the race in crowded District 15-6A.

With Boynton Beach posing a dangerous threat to all, these early district games are imperative to win.

If Creek wins, it is sitting pretty, and Dillard and Hallandale would be left almost eliminated. Hallandale keeps things interesting for a few more weeks.

Andre’s pick: Hallandale 34, Coconut Creek 33.

4. AMERICAN HERITAGE AT DAYTONA MAINLAND

7 p.m., Friday.

The game with the most national attention this week involving a South Florida team will come down to Heritage’s offense against a tough Mainland defense.

These two dueled to a 6-0 outcome last year, won by Heritage in Plantation.

When Torrance Gibson is effective, the Patriots are a tough obstacle against any opponent nationwide. Mainland’s defense has allowed only nine points in four games.

We will find out this week how much of a contender Mainland will be in Class 6A when the Patriots visit Daytona.

Andre’s pick: American Heritage 15, Mainland 14.

12. NORLAND (2-0) VS. 9. COLUMBUS (3-1)

7:30 p.m., Friday, Tropical.

A week after winning its most important district game, Columbus was thoroughly dismantled by defending Class 6A state champion Central last week 42-14.

The Explorers aren’t facing a district opponent in Norland, but they are taking on a team with one of the toughest defenses in Miami-Dade County.

The Vikings survived a physical struggle against Homestead last week to secure their own district victory.

If it comes down to which offense can execute a bit more, count on Columbus’ running game to deliver the slight edge in this one.

Andre’s pick: Columbus 14, Norland 7.

20. DOUGLAS VS. 6. MONARCH

7 p.m., Fri., Deerfield Beach.

Douglas coach Willis “Peanut” May has done a great job turning around his program, which last week scored its first victory over Deerfield Beach since 2001.

Upending Monarch would put Douglas in the driver’s seat in District 11-8A.

The Knights might not have the services of star players Calvin Ridley and Shawn Burgess-Becker anymore but are still formidable.

Andre’s pick: Monarch 28, Douglas 21.

GULLIVER (2-2) AT 16. W. CHRISTIAN (3-1)

4 p.m., Friday.

Two of the top private school football teams in Dade collide in this nondistrict but nonetheless entertaining game.

Gulliver has played a tough early schedule that has put a couple of blemishes on its record. Westminster took its first loss last week against a potential state-title contender in Boynton Beach.

The Warriors have a slight edge at home.

Andre’s pick: Westminster Christian 31, Gulliver 30.

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