While the regular season has already started for CCC, Lakewood Ranch, Jesuit, and Berkeley Prep, the rest of the Bay Area has been patiently waiting for their crack at the field for the first regular season game of 2016. All of this time, waiting, analyzing film, reading up on scouting reports, everything, it comes down to four quarters, two halves, and one game, tonight. We brought you five interesting games to watch yesterday, so here’s five more that you need to follow tonight.
Bloomingdale at Newsome:
This is a game that will be a measuring stick to see how much farther Max Warner’s group will have to go in order to be relevant in Hillsborough County once again. The Bulls defeated Chamberlain 16-10 in the Kickoff Classic, but Newsome will be a handful, especially in the Wolves’ Den. Newsome features a run game that can hang with the best of them, especially with the athletic Patrick Jolly and Will Proctor in the backfield. BDale’s Sam Skinner and Colin Errity will do everything they can to snuff out that run, and make QB Drew Lindbeck throw the ball more. This rivalry game is going to be a good one – it certainly was last year, as the Wolves edged out Bloomingdale 10-7.
Kathleen at Lake Gibson:
Another quality opponent for the Braves in a matter of two weeks – this time Lake Gibson will have to get around a Kathleen team that is fairly underrated around the area. LB Tobias Larry and Ventrell Miller will have to keep Lake Gibson QB Kavaris Thomas contained, or else the Braves will hurt you in many ways. Lake Gibson Head Coach Doug DeMyer will search for his first win as the play caller, as they lost 21-0 against Lakeland last week. A big factor in the score of the game will be the play of sophomore SS Brendan Gant. He’s a player on the rise, and he’s going to have a great season. Thomas will have to make smart reads, and the offensive line will have to give him enough time to find an open man, or else Gant will have the ball in his hands. Kathleen won this matchup 27-19 last season.
Armwood at Plant City:
This will be a test for a Plant City team that is coming off a victory against a weaker Riverview team – but there will be no room for error when the Class 6A Runner-Ups come to town. Armwood will be coming from a 28-19 loss to Manatee, and QB Devin Black will have to prove again that he is a player that the Hawks can rely on. Plant City is very familiar with the junior QB after watching him play for district foe Lennard in the previous two seasons. Plant City QB Corey King showed he was able to complete passes without Antoine Thompson, and watch for Xavier King (Corey’s brother) to make some big plays. In 2015, Armwood won 49-7.
Northside Christian at First Baptist Academy (Naples):
This will be a long drive for the Mustangs, but it will be worth it. First Baptist Academy lost in the Class 2A State Semifinal against Cambridge Christian in 2015, so Mike Alstott’s gang will have to be set in order to come out with a win. The Mustangs feature Griffin Alstott at QB – the Purdue commit will have Demetrius Jackson on the outside. Tah’shim Knight and Cam’ron Fowler will be the defensive leaders. Watch for a high scoring game between the two squads, and watch for Northside Christian to start to prove why they will have a record better than 5-5 in 2016.
Kissimmee Osceola at Bartow:
Bartow has had some success over the past few years in regards to shocking teams in the last few minutes. For example, they defeated Lakeland 22-21 thanks to some last minute scoring plays by the Yellow Jackets. This time, will it work against a Kowboys team that was the Class 8A Runner-Up in 2015? It’s going to take a lot of guts and determination for a win this time. TJ Harvin will return as the QB for Bartow, and it’s going to take a lot to defeat a secondary as good as the Kowboys. In last season’s matchup, the Kowboys defeated the Yellow Jackets 33-10.