Hold on tight everybody. We’re down to the last two weekends of regular season high school football and there are some wild scrambles everywhere as teams vie for district championships and wild card playoff seedings.
One team that helped itself last weekend was Carol City. Everyone knows by now about the Chiefs’ brutal schedule, arguably the toughest in the country.
Last week was one more very difficult contest when they had to travel to Homestead to take on undefeated South Dade. Sitting squarely on the playoff bubble on No. 6 in Region 4-4A where only six teams get in, the 4-5 Chiefs turned in a monster effort.
Not only did they defeat the Bucs but beat them rather soundly, 33-17. With that, they virtually locked themselves in to a playoff berth jumping up to the No. 5 spot despite having a losing record.
If ever there was a team that needs and deserves a week off to rest, it’s the Chiefs. They will enjoy their bye week this week before finishing off the regular season with what should be an easy win over American.
Then watch out. Because just like Northwestern went 5-5 last year and wound up winning the state title, don’t think Carol City, even though 4-4A is a mine field littered with great teams, won’t be able to do the same.
THIS WEEK’S TOP 20
▪ 1. St. Thomas Aquinas; 2. Plantation American Heritage; 3. Northwestern; 4. Central; 5. Palmetto; 6. Dillard; 7. Western; 8. Booker T. Washington; 9. South Dade; 10. Chaminade-Madonna; 11. Cardinal Gibbons; 12. Gulliver Prep.; 13. University School; 14. Carol City; 15. Deerfield Beach; 16. Douglas; 17. Champagnat; 18. Edison; 19. Plantation; 20. Blanche Ely. Knocking on the door: Calvary Christian, Monarch, McArthur, Killian, Westminster Academy, Fort Lauderdale.
THIS WEEK’S TOP GAMES
▪ No. 17 Champagnat (6-2) at No. 12 Gulliver Prep. (8-0), Friday, 4: One of the best matchups of the week. The undefeated Raiders, fresh off a nice road win over previously unbeaten Calvary Christian, host a Champagnat team that knows nothing but playing games on the road. This one definitely could come down to the final possession and is what I like to call your classic coin flip game (I really do flip a quarter). Heads Champagnat, tails Gulliver. It was heads. BD’s Pick: Champagnat 21-20.
▪ No. 5 Palmetto (7-1) vs. No. 9 South Dade (7-1), Thursday, 7, Harris Field: While both teams are going to the playoffs, this will settle the District 16-8A title and still have big implications. That’s because the winner will enjoy being a No. 1 or 2 seed and home field in the playoffs while the loser will likely be the No. 5 and play on the road. Interestingly, that could set up a possible second round rematch between these two. Palmetto has won the last three in this series and the Bucs will be looking to bounce back after losing to Carol City last week. I say they get it done. BD’s Pick: South Dade 20-17.
▪ No. 4 Central (7-2) at No. 10 Chaminade-Madonna (6-2), Friday, 7: Another terrific matchup and great example of top tiered teams willing to play each other. The Rockets have everything wrapped up district-wise but are still trying to wrestle the No. 1 seed slot away from Naples and a win here would go a long way towards doing that. Meanwhile the Lions suffered a big setback last week losing up at Vero Beach and are battling to be the top seed in their region as well. Look for a high quality performance on both sides. BD’s Pick: Central 27-24.
REST OF THE TOP 20
▪ 1. St. Thomas Aquinas (7-0) vs. Fort Lauderdale (5-2), Friday, 7: Following nice win over Deerfield last week, Raiders have everything in cruise control. BD’s Pick: Aquinas 41-16.
▪ 2. Plantation American Heritage (7 -1) vs. Hallandale (4-4), Friday, 7: The Pats are in “getting prepped for the playoffs” mode. BD’s Pick: Heritage 41-15.
▪ 3. Northwestern (6-2) vs. Jackson (3-5), Friday, 7:30, Traz Powell: The annual Soul Bowl doesn’t figure to be much of a battle this year as the Generals have struggled this season. Bulls will not let up here and should roll. BD’s Pick: NW 44-12.
▪ 6. Dillard (9-0): Idle
▪ 7. Western (6-1) vs. West Broward (1-8), Friday, 7: A “name-your-score” game for the Wildcats as they tune up for their big one with St. Thomas next week. BD’s Pick: Western 48-6.
▪ 8. Booker T. Washington (7-2) vs. No. 18 Edison (5-3), Thursday, 7, Curtis Park: Tornadoes final regular season game and even though they are safely in the postseason, still trying to get a No. 2 seed and first round bye. BD’s Pick: BTW 34-16.
▪ 11. Cardinal Gibbons (6-2) vs. Piper (0-8), Friday, 7: This one will get out of hand very quickly. BD’s Pick: Gibbons 55-6.
▪ 13. University School (6-2) at Fort Myers Bishop Verot (7-1), Friday, 7: Sharks smarting from lopsided loss in Clearwater last week and this one is no gimme by any means as BV is a very good team. BD’s Pick: University 28-20.
▪ 14. Carol City (4-5): Idle
▪ 15 Deerfield Beach (5-3) at Monarch (6-2), Friday, 7, Coconut Creek HS: Bucks need a win to secure District 12-8A title but it might not come easy as Knights could challenge here. BD’s Pick: Deerfield Beach 31-20.
▪ 16. Douglas (7-0) at Coral Glades (3-6), Thursday, 7: Eagles have district wrapped up but in a battle for No. 1 seed so still a very important game. BD’s Pick: Douglas 37-13.
▪ 19. Plantation (6-1) vs. Cypress Bay (4-4), Friday, 7, PAL Field: Believe it or not, Cypress is on the playoff bubble so big game for Lightning. But Colonels, fresh off a bye week, likely will not be challenged. BD’s Pick: Plantation 35-12.
▪ 20. Blanche Ely (7-1) at Delray Beach Atlantic (5-2), Friday, 7: Even though there are no quality wins on their resume to speak of, the Tigers have quietly gone about their business this season, winning seven of eight and earned their way into the Top 20. That might end on Friday though as a showdown for District 13-7A title should go to Eagles. BD’s Pick: Atlantic 34-21.
▪ Wednesday: Miami-Dade: Coral Reef vs. Southwest (Tropical), 7: SW 26-13.
▪ Thursday: Miami-Dade: Miami Beach at Hialeah, 3:30: Hialeah 55-8; Coral Park at Reagan, 3:30: Reagan 26-21; Krop at Hialeah Gardens, 3:30: Krop 33-13; North Miami vs. Mater Academy (Milander), 3:30: NM 44-0; Norland vs. South Miami (Tropical), 7: Norland 34-7; Mourning vs. Westland Hialeah (Milander), 7: Mourning 8-7; Varela vs. Ferguson (Southridge), 7: Ferguson 15-14; Stranahan vs. North Miami Beach (Traz), 7: NMB 17-15.
▪ Friday: Miami-Dade: Braddock vs. Miami Springs (Milander), 3:30: MS 14-12; Westminster Academy at St. Brendan, 3:30: WA 24-22; Everglades Prep. at Somerset Silver Palms, 4: Silver Palms 34-7; Boca Raton Christian at Palmer Trinity, 4: PT 30-7; Westminster Christian at Ransom-Everglades, 7: WC 21-16; Pembroke Pines Somerset at Florida Christian, 7:30: FC 20-17; Coral Gables vs. Columbus (Tropical), 7:30: Columbus 30-14; Sunset vs. Miami High (Curtis), 7:30: MHS 33-15; Homestead at Doral Academy, 7:30: Doral 40-12; Southridge at Belen Jesuit, 7:30: Belen 34-17; Goleman vs. Hialeah-Miami Lakes (Milander), 7:30: Goleman 34-14; Killian at Key West, 7: KW 23-21; Broward: McArthur at Everglades, 7: McArthur 34-6; Hollywood Hills at Northeast, 7: Hills 20-19; Taravella at Coral Springs, 7: Taravella 24-20; American at South Broward, 7: SB 30-12; Calvary Christian at LaSalle, 7:30: Calvary 38-13; North Broward Prep. at Pine Crest, 7: PC 31-23; Cooper City at Miramar, 7: Miramar 24-6
▪ Saturday: Miami-Dade: Belle Glade Glades Central at Monsignor Pace, 7: Pace 23-20; Broward: Archbishop McCarthy at Delray Village Academy, 5: AM 19-13.
▪ Last week: 39-8 (overall); 12-3 (top 20).
▪ Season: 327-70 (overall); 120-18 (top 20).
Bill Daley can be reached at: email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter: @Billykid11
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