Can No. 4 Colquitt County and No. 6 Clay-Chalkville avoid trap games?
These are heady times for the Packers, with the talk of a possible postseason bowl game and the hunt for a second consecutive state championship. With all of that, plus undefeated Camden County (Kingsland) on the schedule next week, it is quite possible Colquitt County (Moultrie, Ga.) might overlook Tift County (Tifton), which is 5-3 after three consecutive losses.
“It’s a classic trap game,” Colquitt coach Rush Propst said. “The game doesn’t mean anything for the region title or the playoffs. We have to be careful.”
The Packers (8-0) are still likely to win the Region 1-AAAAAA even if they lose to the Blue Devils.
Clay-Chalkville (Pinson, Ala.) has a similar problem with Hewitt-Trussville (Trussville). The Cougars (9-0) already have their region title wrapped up and could easily be looking forward to next week’s start of the state playoffs. Hewitt-Trussville is 6-3, but will be playing the game without starting quarterback Zac Thomas, who broke his leg last week against Hoover.
How tough is it for No. 7 IMG Academy to find opponents?
As an independent not eligible for the state playoffs, IMG has a difficult time finding opponents. The Ascenders only have two Florida teams on their schedule: American Heritage (Plantation) and Cocoa, and now that most state teams are deep in their region schedules, picking up a late opponent would be nearly impossible. When IMG found out that its game at Eastern Christian Academy (Elkton, Md.) was in jeopardy because ECA could not secure a venue for their game Saturday, they agreed to move the game to IMG’s home field in Bradenton. This will be also IMG’s last regular-season game, as Triple A Academy (Dallas) has already forfeited its game scheduled for next week at IMG.
How will Cox respond against No. 8 Ocean Lakes?
Ocean Lakes (Virginia Beach, Va.) responded well this season when its coach, Chris Scott, was suspended for the team’s first five games. The Dolphins won all five impressively, but tonight, they face Cox (Virginia Beach), which learned on Thursday that its coach Bill Stachelski, has been suspended for the remainder of the season, to be replaced by Brad Nelson. Cox is a respectable 6-2, but probably not a match for the 8-0 Dolphins, who are going for their 40th consecutive Beach District win.
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No. 21 American Heritage gets a big test in Hallandale
The Patriots (7-1) will have to be careful Friday against Hallandale, whose only loss was to No. 23 St. Thomas Aquinas (Fort Lauderdale). The Chargers are also 7-1 and the 5A-Region 16 title is up for grabs. Hallandale quarterback Tyler Huntley threw for 468 yards in his team’s loss to Aquinas and followed that up with 515 yards in a 56-38 defeat of Jackson (Miami) the following week. However, if the game goes the high-scoring route, the Patriots can certainly keep up. They are averaging 36.6 points a game.
No. 24 Eden Prairie looking for a repeat win
Eden Prairie, Minn. (10-0) has won 40 consecutive games and four consecutive state titles, but the Eagles face a familiar foe Friday in their 6A state quarterfinal opponent, Totino-Grace (Fridley). The two met last year in the state championship, which Eden Prairie won 28-27. The teams also met in this year’s season opener, with the Eagles winning 38-20. Totino-Grace (7-2) will seek to slow Eden Prairie’s J.D. Spielman, who has run for 1,131 yards and 19 touchdowns.