4. ST. THOMAS (7-1)
VS. 8. PLANTATION (7-1)
7 p.m., Friday, PAL.
Shuffle the districts around a bit. And a year later, it’s still no surprise these two end up playing each other for the district championship.
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Plantation nearly upset Aquinas in this meeting at the Raiders’ home field last season.
Chris Lammons has been delivering everything the Colonels have needed to get back to this point.
The mobile quarterback and recently minted U.S. Army All-American has done it all on offense as well as on defense.
Last week, his 95-yard interception return for a touchdown saved Plantation from an upset loss to Northeast.
But Lammons alone won’t be enough against a St. Thomas squad that has quietly taken care of business since suffering its lone loss to Miramar.
The Raiders have outscored their past five opponents by a combined 286-19.
As usual, Aquinas gets better as the season goes on, and it should show again this week with another district championship.
Prediction: St. Thomas 28, Plantation 13.
7. AM. HERITAGE (7-1)
AT 12. C. GIBBONS (7-1)
7 p.m., Friday.
Gibbons followed one of its best efforts of the season with one of its worst in an upset loss to Blanche Ely.
Not much time to recover as its biggest game yet awaits.
The Chiefs definitely want some payback for last year’s 70-19 drubbing in the regular season.
The District 16-5A title is at stake as both teams play what could be the first of two meetings this season.
Don’t expect Heritage to get overconfident.
The Patriots have played a tough schedule that has included teams such as Miami Central, Jacksonville Bolles and Daytona Beach Mainland to prepare them for a serious attempt at winning the Class 5A state championship.
Heritage can show once again what a complete team it is this week by locking up the district title against one of the better Gibbons teams in recent memory.
Prediction: Amer. Heritage 35, Cardinal Gibbons 24.
6. DEERF’LD BEACH (8-0)
AT S. PLANTATION (6-2)
7 p.m., Friday.
We must give some kudos to South Plantation coaches and players for being in this position.
The Paladins graduated their two best players and several other seniors and were left for dead after a 1-2 start and a loss to Taravella.
For five weeks, South Plantation has climbed back into the race thanks to some solid defense. Last week, the Paladins forced several turnovers in upsetting Monarch.
The Paladins are within one victory of winning the District 11-8A title.
Stopping Brandon Powell and Aeron McNeal from leading a tough Deerfield Beach offense to another big game will be a much tougher task.
Powell and McNeal have combined for 1,823 yards and 30 touchdowns this season to keep the Bucks undefeated.
The only time South Plantation has given up over 20 points in a game this season was in its opening week loss to Miramar. This is the toughest opponent its faced since then.
Prediction: Deerfield Beach 27, South Plantation 20.
20. HALLANDALE (8-1)
AT BOYNTON BEACH (8-1)
7 p.m., Friday.
Dillard has already wrapped up the District 15-6A title by handing both teams their lone loss.
The winner of this one gets the runner-up spot.
High-scoring Hallandale needs to find that momentum it had for the first seven weeks of the season if it hopes to survive against an equally potent offense on the road.
Prediction: Hallandale 28, Boynton Beach 27.