7. KILLIAN (7-0) VS. 16. SOUTH DADE (5-2)
7:30 p.m., Friday, Harris.
Although this game was expected to be one of the most pivotal of the season in the District 16-8A championship race, few likely thought South Dade would be in a must-win situation.
But following a loss recently to Southridge, the Bucs are facing the prospect of missing the postseason a year after winning the school’s first state championship.
South Dade has been resilient when it has faced adversity. But Killian comes in with one of the strongest defenses in the state and playmakers such as Jaquan Johnson and Sheldrick Redwine, who appear to be college football ready right now.
Those guys have a tendency to make huge plays in games like this and, until proven otherwise, they have to be given the benefit of the doubt. South Dade is capable of the upset win, but it might need its best performance of the season.
Andre’s pick: Killian 12, South Dade 10.
19. CYPRESS BAY (5-2) AT 12. MIRAMAR (5-3)
7 p.m., Friday.
Miramar fans have to be feeling frustrated. The Patriots can look like a potential state champion at times, as they did in the first 21/2 quarters against Flanagan and even first halves against St. Thomas and American Heritage.
Then, they’ve appeared vulnerable in letting leads against all three powerhouses slip away, resulting in defeats.
No time to sit around and sulk if you are Miramar, however. The season is on the line against a solid Cypress Bay squad that has exceeded expectations in the eyes of some this season.
The winner of this one secures a playoff berth in District 12-8A, and the loser is out. Miramar still looks like the overall better team if it can put together a full four quarters of solid football.
Andre’s pick: Miramar 21, Cypress Bay 10.
SOUTHWEST (6-1) VS. FERGUSON (6-1)
7:30 p.m., Friday, Tropical.
Ferguson is the team I’ve been quietly telling my colleagues to watch out for in this district for weeks.
The Falcons have put themselves in a perfect position to shock the pundits and win the competitive District 15-8A race.
Southwest put itself in a dire spot by blowing a 17-point halftime lead against Belen and now must win this game to stay alive.
This is not a knock against Ferguson because coach Gene Chew, his staff and players have done a great job, and I really think we’re headed for a tiebreaker. That means, Eagles stay alive this week, just barely.
Andre’s pick: Southwest 17, Ferguson 14.
MIAMI SPRINGS (6-1) VS. MATER ACADEMY (5-2)
7:30 p.m., Friday, Curtis.
American looks to me to be clearly the top team in this district. That makes this game basically a play-in game for the postseason and the runner-up berth in District 16-7A.
Miami Springs had the hot start but was humbled by American last week in its first loss.
Mater Academy has suffered two competitive losses against Northwestern and Venice and pounded its district opponents so far behind a stingy defense that has posted three consecutive shutouts and allowed only six points in four wins overall.
Springs will put up some points, but the Lions’ defenders will make big plays when necessary to lift Mater to its first playoff berth.
Andre’s pick: Mater 30, Miami Springs 28.