High School Sports

Andre C. Fernandez: Central’s defense should put clamps on Carol City

Carol City quarterback Steven Calvert and the Chiefs offense have put up some big numbers against quality opponents, but Central’s defense is capable of shutting down most teams and will be key when these teams meet Saturday.
Carol City quarterback Steven Calvert and the Chiefs offense have put up some big numbers against quality opponents, but Central’s defense is capable of shutting down most teams and will be key when these teams meet Saturday. MIAMI HERALD STAFF

3. CENTRAL (4-1) VS. 8. CAROL CITY (4-1) 7 p.m., Saturday, Traz

Ever since what had to have been a frustrating loss for Carol City against Coral Gables on the first week of the season, the Chiefs have lit up opposing defenses all over the state.

Carol City has picked up quality wins over Lakeland, Oxbridge Academy, Southridge and HML and put up huge offensive numbers in the process.

This weekend, the Chiefs will find that a lot tougher prospect against one of the best defensive fronts in the country.

Booker T. Washington put up some big numbers late in the game last week against Central, but only after a few of the Rockets’ stalwarts left the game with cramps.

Central’s defense should be able to put plenty of pressure on Chiefs quarterback Steven Calvert. How he responds to it will dictate whether or not Carol City will notch one of its biggest victories in a long time.

Andre’s pick: Central 24, Carol City 21.

9. FLANAGAN (3-1) AT 17. MIRAMAR (2-3) 7 p.m., Friday.

Miramar played its way back into the District 12-8A title race last week with a rout of South Plantation.

But the Patriots’ playoff hopes would still end up in critical condition if they can’t protect the home field against Flanagan in this rivalry game.

The Falcons beat Miramar for the first time last season at home and need to score their first road win in this series to not end up in equally bad shape.

Flanagan got Kato Nelson back last week at quarterback, which should allow for it to put everyone back in their proper positions to do the most damage on offense and defense.

With both teams staring up at Plantation in the district, this game becomes monumental for teams hoping to make a state title run in Class 8A.

Andre’s pick: Flanagan 20, Miramar 17.

14. B. ANDERSON (4-1) AT 13. DILLARD (3-1) 7 p.m., Thursday.

Book this as potentially the District 15-6A championship game.

Dillard expected to contend for that crown entering the season. Some probably wondered if the Cobras were ready to do the same following a winless 2014 season.

But in coach Eddie Brown’s first season Boyd Anderson has done a great job turning things around quickly and is within one win of taking control of its district.

The Cobras nearly slipped up last week against Blanche Ely, but don’t take too much from that. They will be ready for this game.

Dillard, however, has a tough defense and is always tough on its home field, especially when the stakes are high like they will be Thursday night.

Andre’s pick: Dillard 28, Boyd Anderson 21.

5. S. DADE (4-0) VS. 20. SOUTHRIDGE (2-3) 7:30 p.m., Friday, Harris.

Southridge is reeling after three consecutive losses to quality opponents — Columbus, Booker T. and Carol City.

A win over South Dade turns everything around in an instant.

But offense and injuries have been an issue.

That’s not a good sign against a South Dade team that can control the game with its offense and has showed a knack for making big plays on the defensive end at exactly the right times in games.

Andre’s pick: South Dade 17, Southridge 7.

MIAMI HIGH (2-2) VS. 7. CORAL GABLES (3-0) 7:30 p.m., Friday, Tropical.

Miami High desperately needs a win to keep its playoff hopes alive. Gables wants to avoid facing that same situation down the road against Columbus.

If the Cavaliers control the game on offense and the defense limits big plays, they should prevail.

Andre’s pick: Coral Gables 21, Miami High 10.

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