The second round of the playoffs is almost here and there are some interesting match-ups this week. Which Class 8A teams are the hungriest to compete in next week’s regional finals for a trip to the state semifinals? We tell you who we think will be advancing beyond tomorrow night.
Palm Beach Gardens (6-5) at Wellington (10-1)
Last Week’s Results: Wellington def. Park Vista, 53-29; Palm Beach Gardens def. Palm Beach Central, 24-20
The Skinny: This is a district rematch of this year’s district championship contest from Week 10 and little did we know at the start of the season that Wellington would be the surprise of Palm Beach County. Wellington has been dominated in most games, which again is something no one has seen coming. For Palm Beach Gardens, they have struggled at times this season, after starting off as preseason favorite of possibly make a run to the state championship. Can the Gators pull off some magic like they did last season or does Wellington bring those plans to a crashing halt this week? Advantage Wellington here.
Looking Ahead: If Palm Beach Gardens wins, they would travel to the winner of the Monarch/Flanagan game. If Wellington wins, they would host Monarch if they win their game or will travel to Flanagan if they win.
Flanagan (11-0) at Monarch (9-1)
Last Week’s Results: Flanagan def. Coral Springs, 49-28; Monarch had a bye.
The Skinny: This is a strong match up of what has signaled a shift among the ranks of the biggest schools in Broward County. No longer are we talking about Miramar being the top team or Cypress Bay at this point. Now it is Flanagan and Monarch and both have a lot to prove in this game here. However, Flanagan is going to be down one key player this weeks and that is LB Devin Bush, Jr., who has been a key leader for Flanagan. Both teams are loaded with talent and both are looking for the first trip to the regional finals in school history. Who wants it more? This game is a toss-up.
Looking Ahead: If Flanagan wins the would host the winner of the Palm Beach Gardens/Wellington game. If Monarch wins, they would host if Palm Beach Gardens wins or would travel to Wellington if they win.
Coral Gables (9-2) at Columbus (10-1) – Thursday
Last Week’s Results: Coral Gables def. North Miami, 19-14; Columbus def. North Miami Beach, 31-0
The Skinny: Here is another district rematch from earlier in the season and they say it is usually tough to beat the same team twice in the same season. Question here is can Columbus do it again? That is a lot to ask for the Explorers considering they only beat Coral Gables in Week by a score of 14-13. The question for Coral Gables, can they muster up a challenge and be able to advance to next week’s regional finals. Both teams have talent, but we believe Coral Gables is better than what the district runner-up label provides to them at this particular point.
Looking Ahead: If Coral Gables wins, they would travel to the winner of the Miami Killian/Belen Jesuit game. If Columbus wins, they would travel to Miami Killian if they win or they would host Belen Jesuit if they win.
Prediction: Coral Gables
Miami Killian (11-0) at Belen Jesuit (8-2)
Last Week’s Results: Miami Killian def. Southwest Miami, 21-3; Belen Jesuit def. Miami Southridge, 20-7
The Skinny: Last week it was Belen Jesuit getting an upset over an upstart Miami Southridge team that seem to be rolling for the first time in a few seasons, but Miami Killian going down three before ripping off 21 straight seems to be interesting from last week. From what we know this game will be a daylight game, meaning no under the lights for either team this week. Question here is how much is each team willing to show they have what it takes to get to next week’s regional finals? Depends on who you ask, but Miami Killian is a much more athletic team than Belen Jesuit and that speaks volumes to us about who will advance this week.
Looking Ahead: If Miami Killian wins, they would host the winner of the Coral Gables/Columbus game. If Belen Jesuit wins, they would host Coral Gables if they win or would travel to Columbus if they win.
Prediction: Miami Killian