Bartow (2-1) at Auburndale (0-2)
The Yellow Jackets were upset by Auburndale last season 19-7 in a series they lead 7-3 in the last decade. The Greyhounds are 0-2 in large part because of they’re first two contests against Winter Haven and Lakeland–but they still have Artavis Pierce and Jessie Britt in their backfield and that counts for something. Bartow believes they can waltz into Bruce Canova Stadium and pound on some puppies–but will these ‘Hounds find the hive’ scent and smash it to pieces? We think regardless of the winner this game has got fireworks in its future. Light that fuse–please and thank you.
Viera (2-1) at Kathleen (3-0)
The Viera Hawks make their way over from the Space Coast with a nice resume on the season. The Hawks only loss comes at the hands of the Allen Eagles from Texas, who were #2 behind St. Thomas Aquinas in some of the final national polls. Viera has defeated Rockledge and Merritt Island on the season and you should expect to see any and every pass thrown in the general direction of the Hawks’ #1 Tre Nixon. If the Red Devils can stop this young man, the game isn’t exactly firework-worthy. HOWEVER…this Hawks team can move the ball and won’t be afraid to mix it up. Expect for some early pyrotechnics to get lit up in Kathleen tomorrow evening.
Kissimmee-Osceola (3-0) at Winter Haven (3-0)
The 7A runners-up from last season make their way down the I-4 corridor from Kissimmee to face a Blue Devils squad that’s already defeated the 8A runners-up from Miami-Columbus in their preseason classic. Osceola returns more rushing yardage from their backfield in one season than some teams rush for in an entire four years. Winter Haven’s William Tate is emerging as a leader at the QB spot for the Devils and could be the difference in this match-up between two teams that have the look and feel of being identical in terms of talent and potential. PLEASE LIGHT THIS FUSE–LIKE FIVE MINUTES AGO.
South Lake (0-2) at Clearwater Central Catholic (3-0)
The Eagles make their way from the orange groves in Groveland and into the concrete jungle off Haines-Bayshore in Clearwater bringing an 0-2 record, but to be approached with caution. South Lake has some beef up from and will test the Marauders with their physicality. The Eagles stepped up in weight class against Lake Minneola and Leesburg in consecutive weeks and won’t be afraid to mix it up, but can they stop the three-headed monster in the rushing attack in Jervon Newton, CJ Cotman and Rashaad Stewart from CCC? Even if the Marauders pull away in the end, we expect this one to be highly-contested for the vast majority and some pyrotechnics to ensue. Light the fuse.
Newsome (2-1) at Palm Harbor University (2-0)
The Wolves dropped a tough one to their arch-rivals Durant by two points last week while the ‘Canes were on a bye week after wins versus East Lake and Seminole to start the season and double their win total from all of 2014. This is the first meeting between the two programs and the fireworks could get started early-and-often in this District 8A-6 opener. Newsome is averaging nearly 250 yards per game on the ground and will try to impose their will, but PHU has shown they’ve got plenty of mojo themselves and will try to set their own pace averaging 253 yards per game on the ground. The playoff spots in this district are as wide open as the Atlantic Ocean so getting off to a 1-0 start for tiebreaker purposes is downright mandatory already. So, shall we light the fuse? Yes. Yes we should.