The end of the regular season is getting closer and closer, but you know what’s NOT getting any closer to an end? Our supply of fireworks. This week, we’ve got five games that carry HUGE implications in the race for the postseason, while the sixth game could provide enough individual plays to fill a top ten segment on Sportscenter. Grab your lawn chairs and your cold beverages, it’s the fireworks for week nine!
Fort Meade (7-0, 2-0) at Pahokee (6-1, 2-0)
The Miners travel to the Muck for a chance to win the 1A-8 crown and keep their undefeated season alive. Pahokee’s only loss this season actually comes at home to Boca Raton–although that squad is 8-0 in Class 8A this season–and it was by three points. Fort Meade’s boat-raced their opponents this season by a 245-28 margin, but it won’t be that easy to score points on the Blue Devils. Still, if the #1-ranked team in 1A can handle their business on the road against the #3 team–in one of the most surreal environments you can face in all of high school football, then Fort Meade’s struck gold. The loser of this game in all likelihood faces Trenton in the first round of the playoffs. That’s something they’d rather not have to think about–regardless of their pedigrees. Light the fuse!
Sunlake (7-0, 3-0) at Mitchell (6-1, 2-0)
Both these teams are averaging over 30 points per game, but can do what they need to do on defense which makes for a potential slugfest–but with points. Both QB’s–Justin Hall for Sunlake and Larry DallaBetta for Mitchell are producing like a leader should from the position while both teams have the ability to make big plays in the run game. Sunlake’s ability to bully opposing defenses with their interior line has been their forte this season whether their strategy is to score via ground or air. Sunlake’s seeking their first undefeated season in program history with three games left to play. The Seahawks are district champs with a win, while Mitchell wants to break a streak of five consecutive six win seasons. It’s on-and-poppin’ in Pasco! Light that fuse!
Weeki Wachee (3-4, 2-2) at Lecanto (5-2, 3-1)
The Hornets are on the road playing for their postseason lives. Simply put, they’ve got to win–first and foremost–but they’re also hoping for a Central win over Hernando. Back to this game, though. Both teams know how to find the end zone and Weeki’s got playmakers that can do just that, but Lecanto’s in possession of a do-it-all at their quarterback position which means it could turn into the Sean O’Gorman (Weeki) vs. Travis McGee (Lecanto) show, but don’t forget about the Hornets Alec Cromie–who’s emerging as a pretty decent QB himself. We don’t know who will win, but we can feel pretty comfortable in saying that the scoreboard operator better have a strong cup of coffee on hand! He might be pretty busy. Light that fuse!
Steinbrenner (7-1, 4-1) at Alonso (4-4, 2-2)
Both these teams have faced some “adversity” and are coming through said obstacles with a chance to make a huge statement this evening. Steinbrenner’s seeking their first postseason appearance in the school’s short history, while Alonso is looking to take a 3-0 lead in the series. It should be noted that the average margin of victory in the two games is four points–the only problem is that there’s been 50 points scored–by both teams–in both games combined. So TECHNICALLY this might not look like a firework-worthy nod, but we beg to differ and beg oh-so-defiantly we do. This game should have both teams playing with a “nothing to lose” mentality and with the amount of talent for both teams that equals instant entertainment for us. Light the fuse!
Clearwater (6-1, 3-0) at Largo (5-3, 2-1)
The first time these two teams played was in 1932. We’ve hit the things that happened that year earlier this week while getting our cuts in The Barber Shop, but this one’s much more than just a classic rivalry. This one’s for Largo’s double-digit postseason appearance streak to remain intact and it’s on television to-boot. The Tornadoes are hoping to show the region they’re getting back to full strength and that Pinellas’ sleeping giant has now awoke. Clearwater still has a massive game with a surging Osceola team next week, but first-thing’s-first. Not only should there be plenty of points, but the emotions will be just as high. Light that fuse, please!
Gibbs (5-2) at Tampa Catholic (6-1)
It Homecoming for the Crusaders and Senior Night as well. They’ve got some pretty big names that will be playing their final games tonight, and they’ll want to keep their undefeated streak at home alive. Enter the Gladiators into the arena averaging over 400 yards of offense–just like the Crusaders. Whereas Tampa Catholic has any number of weapons at their disposal on offense from their QB Austin Sessums, to the heralded Nate Craig-Myers and Devan Barrett, Gibbs has one of the most exciting players in the Bay Area you should go and check out in DJ Johnson. Both these teams like to get into the 30’s on the scoreboard, so expect the fireworks to fly! Light that fuse…