High School Sports

Andre C. Fernandez: Coconut Creek an intriguing team, but American Heritage should prevail

Coconut Creek quarterback Jhakari Harrison is a dual threat for the Cougars.
Coconut Creek quarterback Jhakari Harrison is a dual threat for the Cougars. For the Miami Herald

8. COCONUT CREEK (2-1) at 3. AMERICAN HERITAGE (2-1), 7:30 p.m., Friday.

It would be difficult to find two teams that have already been tested this early in the season as much as the competitors in this matchup.

The District 16-5A race this season promises to be one of the most entertaining statewide as almost from top to bottom there is talent in this division.

Coconut Creek is one of the most intriguing teams.

The Cougars have some of the most elite players in the district and one of its most potent offenses as demonstrated last week against Boyd Anderson in a 46-21 win.

Quarterback Jhakari Harrison has an arsenal at his disposal and used it against the Cobras, throwing touchdowns to four different receivers.

Having faced a defense like Flanagan already should help Creek in this game, as Heritage has one of the best around.

The Patriots had some trouble against Northwestern last week facing another prolific quarterback. But Heritage has the experience of winning big games and seems to play its best in the second half.

The winner here can take an early lead in the district race, although neither would have much time to enjoy it too long with Hallandale and Jackson looming later in the season.

Andre’s pick: American Heritage 24, Coconut Creek 20.

4. CENTRAL (2-1) vs. 10. NORLAND (2-1), 7 p.m., Saturday, N. Miami Stadium.

There will be some of the best defensive talent in the country on one field in this game.

The question is which will yield enough to decide a winner.

Central crushed Norland in this matchup last season and took advantage of how one-dimensional the Vikings were a year ago.

Norland is better this season, having found a running game and because of the improvement of quarterback Rodrick Robinson and a solid group of receivers.

But penalties have really hampered the Vikings through three games and contributed to their loss against South Dade last week.

Central seems to be developing some continuity on offense after some early struggles.

I don’t think it will be a rout like last year, but Central appears to have a little more offensive weapons to get through with a victory.

Andre’s pick: Central 14, Norland 7.

14. SOUTHRIDGE (2-1) vs. 15. BOOKER T. (1-2), 7 p.m., Saturday, Traz Powell.

After losing to Jackson for the first time in the modern era, things would look pretty grim for Booker T. Washington if it lost this game.

And that’s a strong possibility given Southridge’s improvement this season. The Spartans nearly knocked off Columbus last week and will make this a close one. But Booker T.’s offense is looking explosive in spite of the negative overall results and should do enough to win.

Andre’s pick: Booker T. 14, Southridge 13.

17. Plantation (2-1) at Miramar (1-2), 7 p.m., Friday.

This matchup could ultimately decide who snatches a playoff berth in District 12-8A. Miramar opened with a brutal two-game stretch against IMG Academy and St. Thomas Aquinas. Last week, the Patriots got their first win convincingly over Monarch.

Plantation was crushed by Aquinas following two big wins to start the year.

It will be close, but I think this is where Miramar finds its stride and starts to turn the corner.

Andre’s pick: Miramar 24, Plantation 21.

Miami-Dade games

THURSDAY’S GAMES, ANDRE’S PICK

Miami Springs at South Miami (Tropical), 4 p.m., Springs 30-6

Belen vs. Ferguson (Tropical), 7:30 p.m., Belen 28-10

Goleman at Sunset, 4 p.m., Goleman 24-21

NMB vs. Krop (N. Miami), 7 p.m., Krop 16-14

North Miami vs. Hialeah (Milander), 7 p.m., Hialeah 10-7

Doral vs. Westland Hialeah (Traz), 7 p.m., Doral 38-3

Palmer Trinity at Scheck Hillel, 7 p.m., Hillel 27-17

FRIDAY’S GAMES, ANDRE’S PICK

American vs. Hialeah Gardens (Milander), 7:30 p.m., American 24-2

Mater Academy vs. Mourning (N. Miami), 7:30 p.m., Mater 41-3

Coral Park vs. Miami Beach (Memorial), 7 p.m., Beach 27-3

Champagnat Catholic at Dade Christian, 7:30 p.m., Dade Chr. 23-20

Monsignor Pace at Gulliver, 4 p.m., Gulliver 19-7

Keys Gate vs. Edison (Curtis), 7:30 p.m., Edison 35-12

Somerset Charter at Westminster Christian, 4 p.m., Westminster 41-6

Marathon at Miami Country Day, 7:30 p.m., MCD 21-8

La Salle at Florida Christian, 7:30 p.m., La Salle 24-7

Ransom Everglades at Archbishop Curley, 4 p.m., Ransom 17-10

Everglades Prep at Chaminade-Madonna, 4 p.m., Chaminade 34-7

Highlands Christian at Archbishop Carroll, 4 p.m., Carroll 20-6

Miami Comm. Charter at Tampa Berkeley Prep, 7 p.m. Berkeley Prep 41-14

SATURDAY’S GAME, ANDRE’S PICK

Coral Reef at Braddock, 10 a.m., Coral Reef 17-16

Andre’s record — Last week: 23-6; Season: 65-24.

Broward games

THURSDAY’S GAME, ANDRE’S PICK

International School of Broward at Crestview, 8 p.m., Crestview 34-14

FRIDAY’S GAMES, ANDRE’S PICK

McArthur at South Broward, 7 p.m., McArthur 20-13

Hollywood Hills at Cooper City, 7 p.m., Cooper City 14-13

Monarch vs. Taravella (Piper), 7 p.m., Monarch 21-20

Nova vs. West Broward (Flanagan), 7 p.m., West Brow. 31-21

Everglades at Western, 7 p.m., Everglades 17-14

Fort Lauderdale at Lakeland, 7:30 p.m., Lakeland 35-7

Everglades Prep at Chaminade-Madonna, 4 p.m., Chaminade 34-7

University School at Somerset Academy, 4 p.m., University 36-13

Coral Springs Charter at Westminster Academy, 7 p.m., CSC 27-7

Pompano Beach at Boca St. Andrews, 7 p.m., St. Andrews 16-13

Archbishop McCarthy at Fort Pierce John Carroll, 7 p.m., McCarthy 30-20

Boca Pope John Paul II at Calvary Christian, 7 p.m., Calvary 37-21

Pine Crest at Coral Shores, 7 p.m., Pine Crest 34-17

Coral Glades at Pines Charter, 7 p.m., PPC 28-7

Key West at North Broward Prep, 7 p.m., Key West 35-28

Highlands Christian at Archbishop Carroll, 4 p.m., Carroll 20-6

Andre’s record — Last week: 17-6; Season: 59-18.

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