1. ST. THOMAS AQUINAS VS. 2. BOOKER T. WASHINGTON 7:30, FRIDAY, TRAZ POWELL.
Fernandez’s pick: St. Thomas Aquinas 28, Booker T. Washington 27. This could turn out to be one of South Florida’s all-time best games.
3. CENTRAL AT CLERMONT EAST RIDGE 7:30, FRIDAY.
Fernandez’s pick: Central 34, East Ridge 7. Rockets will wear down East Ridge with their running game and open the season on a high note.
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4. DEERFIELD BEACH AT HALLANDALE HALLANDALE, 7, FRIDAY.
Fernandez’s pick: Deerfield Beach 38, Hallandale 12. Bucks have sights set on winning a state title this season in Class 8A.
5. CAROL CITY VS. 15. CORAL GABLES 7, THURSDAY, CURTIS PARK.
Fernandez’s pick: Carol City 28, Coral Gables 7. Carol City gets offense going and picks up a solid opening victory.
6. AMERICAN HERITAGE AT COLQUITT COUNTY (GA.) 8, SATURDAY.
Fernandez’s pick: American Heritage 31, Colquitt County 28. Patriots bounce back after tough Booker T. loss.
7. SOUTHRIDGE VS. EDISON 7:30, FRIDAY, SOUTHRIDGE.
Fernandez’s pick: Southridge 35, Edison 6. Spartans have a talented roster capable of making a run for the Class 8A championship.
8. NORTHWESTERN VS. AMERICAN 7, SATURDAY, TRAZ.
Fernandez’s pick: Northwestern 37, American 6. Bulls follow up big preseason victory over Dwyer by routing the Patriots.
9. BOYD ANDERSON, IDLE.
10. CHAMINADE-MADONNA, Idle.
11. FLANAGAN VS. OXBRIDGE ACADEMY 7, FRIDAY, FLANAGAN.
Fernandez’s pick: Flanagan 17, Oxbridge 14. Good early test for the defending Class 8A champs at home.
12. COLUMBUS VS. JACKSON 7:30, FRIDAY, CURTIS.
Fernandez’s pick: Columbus 24, Jackson 6. Experience prevails in this one.
13. MIRAMAR VS. 14. MATER ACADEMY 7, FRIDAY, MIRAMAR.
Fernandez’s pick: Miramar 21, Mater 14. Good opening-week challenge for both teams.
16. SOUTH BROWARD AT CYPRESS BAY 7, FRIDAY.
Fernandez’s pick: South Broward 30, Cypress Bay 14. This will be an indication as to whether the Bulldogs are ready for a turnaround season.
17. SOUTH DADE VS. CORAL REEF 7:30, FRIDAY, HARRIS FIELD.
Fernandez’s pick: South Dade 28, Coral Reef 7. Bucs lost a lot of players from last season but should still be strong enough to prevail here.
18. CHAMPAGNAT CATHOLIC AT WESTMINSTER CHRISTIAN 4, FRIDAY.
Fernandez’s pick: Champagnat 20, Westminster Christian 14. Lions can prove they’re ready to contend again if they can avenge their worst 2015 loss.
19. McARTHUR VS. RALSTON VALLEY (COLO.) 7, THURSDAY, KEY WEST
Fernandez’s pick: McArthur 33, Ralston Valley 14. Mustangs show improvement from the start.
20. BELEN JESUIT, IDLE.
Under consideration: Piper, Jackson, Killian, Norland.
MORE MIAMI-DADE GAMES
Thursday: Varela vs. South Miami (Tropical), 3:30, Varela 24-14; Homestead vs. Ferguson (Tropical), 7:30, Homestead 16-6; Braddock vs. NMB (N. Miami), 7, NMB 28-12; Miami Country Day at La Salle, 7, La Salle 35-7; Sunset vs. Palmetto (Southridge), 7, Palmetto 40-7; Somerset Charter vs. Silver Creek, Col. (Orlando), 8, Silver Creek 28-21.
Friday: Western vs. Goleman (Milander), 4, Goleman 27-24; Keys Gate at Coconut Creek, 7, Creek 21-16; Highlands Christian vs. Miami Community Charter (Florida City), 7, Highlands 24-6; Miami High vs. North Miami (N. Miami), 7:30, MHS 27-13; Coral Park vs. Southwest (Tropical), 7:30, Southwest 34-7; Hialeah Gardens vs. Westland Hialeah (Milander), 7:30, Gardens 27-7; Miami Beach at Reagan, 3:30, Reagan 26-14; Mourning vs. Krop (Ives Estates), 4, Krop 35-7; Killian at Jacksonville Sandalwood, 7, Sandalwood 34-14; Gulliver at Orlando Celebration (West Orange), 7, Celebration 28-13; Pinecrest Prep at Doral, 7:30, Doral 40-7; Monsignor Pace at Hialeah-Miami Lakes, 7, Pace 19-17; Ransom Everglades at Florida Christian, 7:30, FC 21-14; Boynton Beach Somerset Canyons at Palmer Trinity, 4, Palmer 27-7; Calusa Prep at Everglades Prep, 7, Everglades 35-7.
Saturday: Jacksonville Ribault vs. Norland (N. Miami), 7, Ribault 14-13; Miami Springs vs. Hialeah (Milander), 7, Hialeah 28-14.
MORE BROWARD GAMES
Thursday: ISB vs. Coral Springs Charter (Coral Glades), 7; Charter 42-10; Monarch vs. Hollywood Hills (Cooper City), 7; Hills 14-7.
Friday: Western vs. Goleman (Milander), 4; Goleman 27-24; Keys Gate at Coconut Creek, 7, Creek 21-16; Highlands Christian vs. Miami Community Charter (Florida City), 7, Highlands 24-6; South Plantation at Cooper City, 7, S. Plant. 17-14; Plantation at Cardinal Gibbons, 7, Gibbons 42-14; Coral Springs at Everglades, 7, Everglades 33-7; Taravella vs. Orlando Evans (Disney WWOS), 5, Evans 28-24; Archbishop McCarthy at Naples Barron Collier, 7, McCarthy 30-27; University School at Nova, 7, US 28-27; Piper at Northeast, 7, Piper 38-7; West Broward at Douglas, 7, Douglas 35-17; Stranahan at Dillard, 7, Dillard 26-16; Blanche Ely at Citra North Marion, 7:30, North Marion 31-14; Fort Lauderdale at Punta Gorda Charlotte, 7:30, Charlotte 41-14; Westminster Academy at Key West, 7:30, WA 30-28; Pompano Beach at Calvary Christian, 7, Calvary 34-17; Pines Charter at North Broward Prep, 7, NBP 35-10; Riviera Beach Inlet Grove at Coral Glades, 7, Glades 45-7; Aukela Christian at Somerset Academy, 4, Somerset 20-7.