Rough opening week predicted for county playoff teams

Nov 08, 2017
Benjamin and QB Jordan Travis (#6) host Homestead-Everglades Prep Academy in a first-round playoff game Friday. The Bucs are the No. 2 seed in their Class 3A region. (Richard Graulich/Palm Beach Post)

The postseason is here, and 13 Palm Beach County teams are in.

The format is a little different following changes made by the Florida High School Athletic Association in the offseason.

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District champions in Classes 5A-8A earned automatic playoff berths, and will host first-round games Friday. All other postseason qualifiers earned their spots on points, and were seeded based on their totals.

All games are Friday at 7:30 p.m. unless otherwise listed.

King’s Academy (7-1) at No. 1 Oxbridge Academy (7-1): The ThunderWolves have spent most of the season dominating their competition, as have the Lions. But overall, Oxbridge’s schedule has been much tougher. The ThunderWolves defense has not allowed more than 14 points in a game this season, and that seems unlikely to change this week.

Jodie: Oxbridge Academy 30-13; Adam: Oxbridge Academy 35-10

Plantation (9-1) at No. 2 Atlantic (8-1): Both of these teams have been on a roll, winning their last 13 games combined. The Colonels’ only loss this year came against Miramar, which just beat Fort Lauderdale-St. Thomas Aquinas. Other than that, Plantation has had a strong showing this year.

Jodie: Atlantic 19-17; Adam: Plantation 21-20

Williston (5-5) at No. 3 Pahokee (6-2): The Blue Devils are riding high after their overtime win over Glades Central in the Muck Bowl, but they won’t celebrate long. They host a tough Red Devils team that’s already beaten some quality teams this year, including 7-3 Taylor County. Pahokee played a very challenging schedule that was loaded with bigger schools this season, and the Blue Devils beat all but two of them. Williston is the first Class 1A school they will face.

Jodie: Pahokee 28-14; Adam: Pahokee 27-10

No. 8 Seminole Ridge (8-2) at No. 4 Palm Beach Central (7-2): Five points separated these two sides when they met up in Loxahatchee last month. There’s no reason that Friday’s game won’t be a close one, too. The Hawks followed their loss to the Broncos with a last-minute defeat against Pahokee, but they recovered with wins over Jupiter and Royal Palm Beach. Palm Beach Central, on the other hand, has not lost since Sept. 22.

Jodie: Palm Beach Central 14-10; Adam: Palm Beach Central 17-14

No. 5 Glades Central (6-3) at Fort Lauderdale-University (7-1): The Sharks dropped their first game of the year last week, falling to Chaminade-Madonna. They’ve been ranked among the top teams in Class 4A for weeks, and Glades Central recently joined them (the Raiders are now No. 4 in the class). We could see a repeat of these two teams’ Week 1 match up, when University went to Belle Glade and won by a score.

Jodie: University 20-16; Adam: University 21-17

No. 6 Park Vista (7-2) at Miramar (8-1): The Cobras jumped two spots over the season’s final week to grab the eighth and final playoff berth in their Class 8A region. Their reward is a date with the top-seeded Patriots, who’ve won eight in a row and are coming off a convincing win over defending Class 7A state champion Fort Lauderdale-St. Thomas Aquinas. Park Vista won six in a row to move into playoff contention, and is playing very well on defense. But upsetting Miramar on the road will be a tall task.

Jodie: Miramar 30-10; Adam: Miramar 28-10

Hialeah-Mater Academy (6-4) at No. 7 Dwyer (7-2): The Panthers escaped with a 3-0 win over West Boca Raton two weeks ago to clinch the district title and earn a home playoff game. Dwyer has been inconsistent this season on offense and defense, but gets an extra week to prepare for the Lions, whose three-game winning streak was broken last week with a loss to powerhouse Miami-Norland. Mater Academy has beaten only one team this season with a winning record.

Jodie: Dwyer 23-13; Adam: Dwyer 35-21

No. 9 Forest Hill (8-1) at Pembroke Pines-West Broward (7-2): The Falcons are seeded fifth in their Class 7A region, and will travel to Pembroke Pines to play the No. 4 Bobcats. Forest Hill, making its first playoff appearance in 21 years, surprised many by winning eight games after finishing 2-7 last year. The Falcons have a mobile quarterback in Darius McClendon and a solid ground game. But they face a test in West Broward, which has averaged 43 points in its last four games — all wins.

Jodie: West Broward 27-23; Adam: West Broward 20-17

Homestead-Everglades Prep Academy (5-4) at No. 10 Benjamin (7-2), 7 p.m.: The Panthers have had a rough time with the better teams on their schedule, dropping blowouts against Oxbridge, Cocoa and a couple other teams. Benjamin has only one real bad loss, against Key West a few weeks ago. The Buccaneers are likely pumped to be back in the playoffs for the first time since 2007.

Jodie: Benjamin 28-21; Adam: Benjamin 35-21

American Heritage (5-4) at Hollywood-Chaminade Madonna (7-2), 3 p.m.: The Stallions are back in the playoffs after missing the postseason last year. But they likely won’t be in too long, as they run into powerhouse Chaminade in the first round. The Lions feature several top prospects, including wide receiver and Alabama commit Xavier Williams, running back and Auburn commit Shaun Shivers, and OL/DL Kentucky commit Davoan Hawkins.

Jodie: Chaminade Madonna 28-13; Adam: Chaminade Madonna 38-14

Glades Day (5-3) at Moore Haven (9-0): The Gators get a second crack at the Terriers after falling 43-21 in Week 3. Glades Day has been a much better team since then, winning five straight to go from winless to 5-3. But Moore Haven, seeded No. 1 in its Class 2A region — the Gators are No. 4 — present a huge challenge. The Terriers are averaging 35 points per game, and have allowed just one team - Glades Day - to eclipse the 20-point scoring mark.

Jodie: Moore Haven 30-23; Adam: Moore Haven 24-17

Jupiter Christian (8-2) at Bradenton-Saint Stephen’s Episcopal (9-0), 7 p.m. Saturday: Saint Stephen’s has dominated its small-school schedule this season, outscoring opponents 436-55 so far this season. The Eagles have had a good showing on offense, but it will be tough for them to keep up in this Sunshine State Athletic Conference semifinal.

Jodie: Saint Stephen’s Episcopal 27-20; Adam: Saint Stephen’s Episcopal 45-35

Records

Jodie: 150-35; Adam: 147-38