Playoffs

PLAYOFF PREVIEW: Class 8A filled with tons of solid Regional Quarterfinal matchups

(PHOTO CREDIT: Jason Beede/FHSF File Photo)
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Solid matchups lead a wide open Class 8A to open the 2017 playoffs

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It is pretty clear Class 8A is wide open in terms of the teams that could represent the classification in Orlando come next month. Here are our previews and predictions for the Class 8A Regional Quarterfinals.

THREE BEST

REGION 1

NO. 8 SPRUCE CREEK AT NO. 1 WINTER PARK

When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Where: Showalter Stadium, Winter Park
Records: Spruce Creek, 8-1; Winter Park 10-0
Rankings: 
Spruce Creek unranked in the AP Poll and Joe Pinkos’ Power Rankings; Winter Park ranked No. 6 in AP Poll, ranked No. 7 in Joe Pinkos’ Power Rankings
Last Playoff Appearance:
Spruce Creek: 2016; Winter Park: 2016
Quick Hits: 
Spruce Creek won last year’s meeting with Winter Park, by a score of 16-7 … the visiting Hawks’ only loss is to No. 3 seed Flagler Palm Coast … Keep an eye on senior quarter back Kyle Minckler for the Hawks who has over 2,000 yards and 28 total touchdowns on offense this season while senior running back Jacquez Lord will help provide balance on the ground, as he has rushed for over 1,300 yards and 12 touchdowns, according to the Daytona Beach News-Journal … Winter Park comes into the game as one of the top 10 teams in the state finishing as one of only four teams in Class 8A to finish with an undefeated regular season … Winter Park will be lead by senior quarterback Cameron LeGree who has nearly 2,000 yards of total offense this season with 28 total touchdowns. In the end, this could be the one game where a No. 8 seed could knock off a No. 1 seed.
Joe Pinkos’ Forecast: 
Winter Park by 11
FloridaHSFootball.com Prediction: Winter Park 24, Spruce Creek 21

PLAYOFF CENTRAL: For all things playoffs, including scores and brackets, checkout PLAYOFF CENTRAL!

REGION 3

NO. 6 WESTERN AT NO. 3 DEERFIELD BEACH

When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Where: Butler Stadium, Deerfield Beach
Records: Western: 8-2; Deerfield Beach 8-2
Rankings: Western unranked in AP Poll and Joe Pinkos’ Power Rankings; Deerfield Beach ranked No. 1 in AP Poll, ranked No. 2 in Joe Pinkos’ Power Rankings
Last Playoff Appearance: Western: 2016; Deerfield Beach: 2016
Quick Hits: This is a rematch of last year’s first-round playoff game between the two schools. Deerfield Beach won that contest by a score of 27-14 … Both of Western’s two losses came to district foes, No. 1 seed Miramar and No. 5 seed Plantation … Two key players to keep an eye on for the visiting Wildcats is senior quarterback Harrison Story, who has thrown for 1,468 yards and 17 touchdowns, and senior running back Keshaun Clarke who has rushed for 1,044 yards and 11 touchdowns … Deerfield Beach’s two losses this season come to St. Joseph Regional out of New Jersey and St. Thomas Aquinas … The host Bucks will rely on running backs Jakari Norwood and Jaylen Knighton while quarterback Kyle Kaplan will help keep the offense balanced with a trio top receivers helping to make plays down the field.
Joe Pinkos’ Forecast: 
Deerfield Beach by 13
FloridaHSFootball.com Prediction: Deerfield Beach 28, Western 21

REGION 4

NO. 7 MIAMI HIGH VS. NO. 2 MIAMI PALMETTO

When: Thursday, 7:00 p.m.
Where: Tropical Park, Miami
Records: Miami High, 7-2; Miami Palmetto, 7-2
Rankings: Miami High received votes in the final AP Poll, ranked No. 10 in Joe Pinkos’ Power Rankings; Miami Palmetto ranked No. 9 in final AP Poll, unranked in Joe Pinkos’ Power Rankings
Last Playoff Appearance: Miami High: 2010; Miami Palmetto: 2016
Quick Hits: This is the visiting Stingarees first playoff game since 2010, led by alum and former Miami Hurricane and Detroit Lion Sedrick Irvin … This is Irvin’s first year as the head coach at Miami High … Keep an eye out for senior quarterback Isaias Castellon who has thrown for over 2,000 yards and 27 touchdowns in just nine games … The Stingarees are seeking their first playoff win since 2000 … For the host Panthers, they claimed their first district championship since 1999, according to Florida high school historian Richard Burton, winning a tiebreaker over South Dade and Miami Southridge on having the highest point average … Keep an eye on Corey Collier, a freshman, who picked off two interceptions in their game South Dade two weeks ago that helped seal the fate for the district championship.
Joe Pinkos’ Forecast: 
Miami High by 6
FloridaHSFootball.com Prediction: Miami Palmetto 30, Miami High 21

OTHER CLASS 8A PLAYOFF GAMES

Region 1
No. 5 Apopka (7-3) at No. 4 Sanford Seminole (8-1), Friday, 7:30 p.m. at Thomas E. Whigham Stadium, Sanford — A highly competitive matchup between two powerhouse teams in Central Florida. This could have the potential makings of a high scoring affair, but also could be the start of another Apopka run for their fourth state championship in school history.
Joe Pinkos’ Forecast: Apopka by 7
FloridaHSFootball.com Prediction: Apopka 38, Seminole 35

No. 6 Boone (8-2) at No. 3 Flagler Palm Coast (9-0), Friday, 7:30 p.m. at Sal Campanella Stadium, Palm Coast — Flagler Palm Coast is back in the playoff for the first time since 2014. The visiting Braves are also back in the playoffs after missing out in 2016. The host Bulldogs are looking for their first playoff win since 2007 while Boone seeks its first playoff win since 2008.
Joe Pinkos’ Forecast: Flagler Palm Coast by 1
FloridaHSFootball.com Prediction: Flagler Palm Coast 28, Boone 21

No. 7 Lake Mary (7-3) at No. 2 Wekiva (9-1), Friday, 7:30 p.m. at Baptiste Orthodontics Stadium, Apopka — This will be the first home playoff game for the host Mustangs, but can they find a way to that first playoff win in school history? That will be the biggest question as they go up against Lake Mary program that has been there and done that several times over.
Joe Pinkos’ Forecast: Wekiva by 14
FloridaHSFootball.com Prediction: Wekiva 35, Lake Mary 21

Region 2
No. 8 Manatee (5-3) at No. 1 Kissimmee Osceola (9-0), Friday, 7:30 p.m. at Kowboy Field, Kissimmee — Two traditionally rich state powers meet to open up the playoffs, but Manatee is still trying to find it is way back up to the top, while Osceola looks to be on the path towards another run to Camping World Stadium.
Joe Pinkos’ Forecast: Osceola by 21
FloridaHSFootball.com Prediction: Osceola 38, Manatee 17

No. 5. Ridge Community (7-3) at No. 4 Dr. Phillips (8-2), Friday, 7:30 p.m. at Bill Spoone Stadium, Orlando — Ridge Community has played a much tougher schedule this season compared to last, but Dr. Phillips is more experienced here heading into the playoffs and is the 2016 Class 8A runner-up. This will be a tough one for the visiting Bolts to get past against the host Panthers.
Joe Pinkos’ Forecast: Dr. Phillips by 13
FloridaHSFootball.com Prediction: Dr. Phillips 35, Ridge Community 20

No. 6 Kissimmee Gateway (6-4) at No. 3 Sarasota Riverview (9-1), Friday, 7:30 p.m. at the Ram Bowl, Sarasota — Riverview hasn’t skipped a beat this year with a coaching change during the last offseason. Gateway is going to have a tough time breaking through to get to the Regional Semifinals with a strong as a team you can find in this one.
Joe Pinkos’ Forecast: Riverview by 27
FloridaHSFootball.com Prediction: Riverview 42, Gateway 14

No. 7 Olympia (6-4) at No. 2 Vero Beach (10-0), Friday, 7:30 p.m. at the Citrus Bowl, Vero Beach — This is a game that has the makings to be over very early. Vero Beach has just been dominating teams they have played all season, but likely will not face their biggest test of the season until they get to the Regional Semifinals with likely opponent Osceola.
Joe Pinkos’ Forecast: Vero Beach by 28
FloridaHSFootball.com Prediction: Vero Beach 45, Olympia 7

Region 3
No. 8 Park Vista (7-2) at No. 1 Miramar (8-1), Friday, 7:30 p.m., at Branca Stadium, Miramar — Park Vista got some help to get in the playoffs as the No. 8 seed, but they are going up against a Miramar team that is back in the state title talk and knocked off nationally ranked St. Thomas Aquinas last week in stunning fashion.
Joe Pinkos’ Forecast: Miramar by 10
FloridaHSFootball.com Prediction: Miramar 35, Park Vista 20

PLAYOFF CENTRAL: Looking for information regarding state championship games? Go to PLAYOFF CENTRAL to learn more!

No. 5 Plantation (9-1) at No. 4 Delray Atlantic (8-1), Friday, 7:30 p.m. at Eagle Stadium, Delray Beach — This is a very interesting No. 4 vs. No. 5 matchup and could provide plenty of excitement to fans of both teams. After the suffering that the visiting Colonels went through last season, a win here over the host Eagles would certainly put a stamp on a turnaround 2017 season.
Joe Pinkos’ Forecast: Plantation by 17
FloridaHSFootball.com Prediction: Plantation 38, Atlantic 28

No. 7 Seminole Ridge (8-2) at No. 2 Palm Beach Central (7-2), Friday, 7:30 p.m. at Palm Beach Central High Stadium, Wellington — A district rematch here, these two teams fought hard to get the district title with the host Broncos coming out as the victor. However, the visiting Hawks would love to stun the No. 2 seed here and make a playoff run which they have not seen in quite a while.
Joe Pinkos’ Forecast: Palm Beach Central by 7
FloridaHSFootball.com Prediction: Palm Beach Central 17, Seminole Ridge 14

Region 4
No. 8 Homestead (6-3) at No. 1 Columbus (8-1), Friday, 5:00 p.m. at Columbus High Field, Miami — This will be a true home playoff game for the host Explorers as the visiting Broncos from Homestead who are back in the playoff for the first time in a decade. However, it won’t be like the last time as this could be a quick exit against one of the powerhouses of Class 8A.
Joe Pinkos’ Forecast: Columbus by 32
FloridaHSFootball.com Prediction: Columbus 45, Homestead 14

No. 5 South Dade (8-1) vs. No. 4 North Miami (6-3), Thursday, 7:00 p.m. at Traz Powell Stadium, Miami — South Dade has played a much tougher schedule than North Miami has this season. That seems to be a good indicator alone that the visiting Buccaneers should be able to roll by the host Pioneers.
Joe Pinkos’ Forecast: South Dade by 17
FloridaHSFootball.com Prediction: South Dade 35, North Miami 17

No. 6 MIami Southridge (5-3) at No. 3 Belen Jesuit (6-3), Friday, 1:00 p.m. at De la Cruz Stadium, Miami — The defending Class 8A champion Miami Southridge will have to most like play all of their potential playoff games on the road if they want to get back to Orlando to defend their state championship. This game should be competitive, but it might be the visiting Spartans who hold an edge over the host Wolverines.
Joe Pinkos’ Forecast: Miami Southridge by 14
FloridaHSFootball.com Prediction: Miami Southridge 30, Belen Jesuit 17



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