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South Florida Playoff Preview: Round 3

By Marcus Benjamin @_benjaminmoney


(All Games Friday 11/24)


Class 8A

Columbus (10-1) vs. Miami High (11-1)

Tropical Park

1:00 PM


The afternoon tilt kicking off Black Friday is a rematch of a September game between the two schools in which Columbus prevailed 21-20.  This is Miami’s only loss this season.  Miami High is making its first appearance in the playoffs since 2010.  Columbus has already surpassed last year’s playoff run with last week’s triumph over South Dade.  Should be another close game here but it is definitely tough to beat a team twice.  Miami may be resurrecting a program that has not seen success since Andre Johnson played as a Stingaree.


Players To Watch

Columbus – QB Anthony Arguelles

Miami – WR/KR Johnny Ford


Western (Davie) (10-2) at Atlantic (Delray) (10-1)

7:30 PM


The Cardiac Cats look to continue their Cinderella run on the road in Delray as they take on Atlantic.  Atlantic lost in this round last year to Deerfield Beach.  Western ousted Deerfield Beach in the first round this year and defeated Palm Beach Central for their second playoff win in school history.  Atlantic’s experience here may be the difference as the storybook season may be coming to an end.


Players To Watch

Western – WR Jordan Smith

Atlantic – RB Shelley Singletary


Class 7A


Doral Academy (12-2) at St. Thomas Aquinas (Fort Lauderdale) (10-2)

7:30 PM


Doral Academy is in unfamiliar territory taking on powerhouse St. Thomas Aquinas.  St. Thomas lost to Miramar in their season finale and that has seemed to refocus this squad to complete and unprecedented four-peat.  Doral Academy is making their second straight appearance in the playoffs and are looking to establish consistency for years to come.  The moment here might be too much for the Firebirds.

Players To Watch

Doral – Quarterback Miles Hayes

St. Thomas Aquinas – Quarterback Derek Wingo


Class 6A


Miami Northwestern (11-2) vs. Miami Carol City (8-4)

Traz Powell Stadium

7:30 PM


Classic rivalry at Traz Powell Stadium where the defending champion Chiefs look to repeat as 6A champs with local foe Miami Northwestern standing in the way.  Carol City lost to Northwestern in front of nationally televised audience on ESPN 16-7 in October. The Bulls defense shut down Camron Davis that night and Davis surely is looking to redeem himself.  Carol City is battle tested from two playoff wins on the road against Dillard (Fort Lauderdale) and Mainland (Daytona) and will benefit from some home cooking after Thanksgiving.


Players To Watch

Northwestern – QB Tutu Atwell

Carol City – RB Camron Davis


Class 5A


Cardinal Gibbons (Fort Lauderdale) (11-1) at American Heritage (Plantation) (12-0)

7:30 PM


We kind of assumed this one would happen.  The top two teams in the district meet again in a loser stays home matchup.  Gibbons takes another shot at dethroning American Heritage after suffering a loss at home earlier this season 24-19.  Gibbons was also eliminated from the playoffs last year by American Heritage in a classic game that came down to the wire.  This has all the makings of another classic battle.


Players To Watch

American Heritage – DE Andrew Chatfield

Cardinal Gibbons – QB Nik Scalzo


Class 4A

University School (Davie) (9-1) at Cocoa (11-1)

7:30 PM


This class has been virtually owned by Cocoa or Miami Booker T. Washington since realignment.  From 2011 to 2016 the two teams have met in the state semifinals every year with the winner taking the championship.  Cocoa finally got the best of Washington last year after five straight losses in the semifinals.  University has had a remarkable season but the Tigers seem primed to become a repeat champion.   


Players to Watch

University – RB Kenny McIntosh

Cocoa – RB Willie Gaines


Class 3A


Florida State University (Tallahassee) (7-5) at Oxbridge Academy (Palm Beach) (9-1)

7:30 PM


The Thunderwolves have a strong defense allowing 5.2 points per game.  The school commonly known as Florida High has a variety of different offensive looks and find ways to win.  The Seminoles would pull off a major upset if they were able to take down Oxbridge. The T-Wolves failed to make it to the state semis last year and hope to avenge last year’s elimination to Chaminade-Madonna.


Players To Watch

Florida State – RB Bryson Hill

Oxbridge Academy – QB Gio Richardson


Chaminade-Madonna (Hollywood) (9-2) at Clearwater Central Catholic (11-0)

7:30 PM


Chaminade seem to be on a crash course to face Oxbridge Academy but have to avoid looking over Clearwater Central Catholic.  The Marauders are undefeated and will be no pushovers playing at home.  Chaminade come into this game outscoring their playoff opponents 94-0.


Players To Watch

Chaminade-Madonna – RB – Shaun Shivers

Clearwater Central – RB Johnny Newton


Class 2A


Champagnat Catholic (Hialeah) (7-2) at Cambridge Christian (Tampa)


7:30 PM


Both teams are looking to redeem themselves from disappointing endings to their seasons last year.  Cambridge lost in the second round of the playoffs in 2016 to Northside Christian 41-11.  Champagnat lost in Orlando to University Christian (Jacksonville) in the championship final.  Both teams seem to be firing on all cylinders as Champagnat are defeated their first two playoff opponents by an average of 39.5 per game compared to Cambridge at 41 per game.


Players To Watch

Champagnat – QB Desjaun Kearse

Cambridge – QB Jaylin Jackson


Class 1A


Pahokee (8-2) at Madison County (12-0)

7:30 PM


Pahokee defeated Madison County in route to another state title in 2016.  Madison County comes into this game red hot outscoring playoff opponents 112-13.  A rematch of last years semifinal should not disappoint.  


Players To Watch

Pahokee – RB Lavonski Williams

Madison County – Derrick Staten

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