Playoffs

PLAYOFF PREVIEW: Rematches lead off Class 2A Regional Semifinals

Indian Rocks Christian (right) will be hosting Admiral Farragut on Friday night to open up the Class 2A playoffs. (PHOTO CREDIT: @IRCSEagleSquad)
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Rematches highlight the field for the opening round of the Class 2A playoffs

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A lot of regular season rematches highlight the Class 2A playoffs along with a handful of teams reaching the FHSAA playoffs for the first time in school history. Here is our previews and predictions for the Class 2A Regional Semifinals.

THREE BEST

REGION 1

NO. 3 TALLAHASSEE ST. JOHN PAUL II AT NO. 2 NORTH FLORIDA CHRISTIAN

When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Where: Eagle Field, Tallahassee
Records: St. John Paul II, 8-1; North Florida Christian, 7-2
Rankings: North Florida Christian ranked No. 5 in Class 2A AP Poll
Last Playoff Appearance: St. John Paul II: First appearance; North Florida Christian: 2016
Quick Hits: This is the first year that the visiting Panthers has been in the FHSAA state series and will mark their first playoff appearance in school history. Their 8-1 record goes down as the best regular season in school history after winning the North Florida Football Conference title last week in a 14-12 victory over St. Francis Catholic … Keep an eye on senior quarterback Brian Woodend for St. John Paul II, who has thrown for over 1,500 yards and 23 touchdowns this season. Also, keep an eye on senior running back Nehemiah Mitchell who has helped balance the offense with his rushing attack having over 1,100 yards on the ground and eight touchdowns. .. For the host Eagles, keep an eye on sophomore quarterback Trey Fisher who has thrown for over 1,300 yards and 12 touchdowns this season while expecting several players in the backfield including Jaylen Stewart and Jonathan Railey to provide some balance on the offensive attack.
Joe Pinkos Forecast: North Florida Christian by 18
FloridaHSFootball.com Prediction: North Florida Christian 34, St. John Paul II 21

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

REGION 2

NO. 4 ZEPHYRHILLS CHRISTIAN AT NO. 1 VICTORY CHRISTIAN

When: Friday, 7:00 p.m.
Where: Victory Field – Southeastern University, Lakeland
Records: Zephyrhills Christian, 8-2; Victory Christian 8-1
Rankings: Victory Christian ranked No. 3 in Class 2A AP Poll; ranked No. 5 in Joe Pinkos’ Power Rankings
Last Playoff Appearance: Zephyrhills Christian: First appearance; Victory Christian: 2016
Quick Hits: This will be the second meeting of the season between the visiting Warriors and the host Storm … Victory Christian won the previous meeting 20-14 back on October 6 … Senior running back/linebacker Alonzo Sampson will be asked to carry the load for the Warriors who has accumulated 1,079 yards rushing so far this season while scoring eight touchdowns. Expect Sampson to also be a big force on defense as he has 109 tackles on the season with 18 tackles for loss … For Victory Christian keep an eye on Senior running back Eddie Hopkins to carry the rock for the offense who has rushed for 1,075 yards on 144 carries in nine games this season while scoring eight touchdowns … Victory Christian is ranked No. 3 in the final Associated Press poll while they ranked No. 5 in Joe Pinkos’ power rankings … This is Zephyrhills Christian’s third-year of 11-man football and first playoff appearance in school history.
Joe Pinkos’ Forecast: Victory Christian by 1
FloridaHSFootball.com Prediction: Victory Christian 24, Zephyrhills Christian 17

REGION 3

NO. 3 ADMIRAL FARRAGUT AT NO. 2 INDIAN ROCKS CHRISTIAN

When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Where: The Eagle’s Nest, Largo
Records: Admiral Farragut, 4-6; Indian Rocks Christian 7-2
Rankings: None
Last Playoff Appearance: Admiral Farragut: 2016; Indian Rocks Christian: 2014
Quick Hits: Another rematch of the regular season where this time it will be Indian Rocks Christian looking to extract some revenge on the visiting Blue Jackets … In their meeting back on October 16, Admiral Farragut upset Indian Rocks Christian at home by a score of 40-35. That game was originally scheduled for September 29 but was rescheduled due to the aftermath of Hurricane Irma … For Indian Rocks Christian you will find of trio players that will most likely carry the ball for the Golden Eagles including Alejandro Bryant, Zant’a Shubert and Tyler Brown-Williams … Former Gaither and Middleton head coach Jason Stokes has been leading the host Golden Eagles as head coach since the midway part of the season when Mark Buchanan had to take a leave of absence due to health issues.
Joe Pinkos’ Forecast: Indian Rocks Christian by 7
FloridaHSFootball.com Prediction: Indian Rocks Christian 35, Admiral Farragut 31

OTHER CLASS 2A PLAYOFF GAMES

Region 1
No. 4 FAMU DRS (6-4) at No. 1 University Christian (7-2), Friday, 7:30 p.m. at University Christian Stadium, Jacksonville — FAMU gets another draw in the playoffs for the second straight year against the defending Class 2A state champions. This will be a tough game for FAMU despite the host Fighting Christians dropping their final two games of the season against larger school programs. University Christian finished season tied for first in the Class 2A AP Poll and ranked No. 2 in Joe Pinkos’ Power Rankings.
Joe Pinkos’ Forecast: University Christian by 35
FloridaHSFootball.com Prediction: University Christian 42, FAMU DRS 17

Region 2
No. 3 Seven Rivers Christian (8-2) at No. 2 St. Francis Catholic (8-1), Friday, 7:30 p.m. at Wolves Field, Gainesville — This game marks the first playoff appearance for both teams and both teams look similar on paper with the fact that both teams rush the ball a lot. However, the difference that sets them apart is the host Wolves’ passing game which has kept the team balanced. This could be a high scoring affair. St. Francis Catholic received votes in the final Class 2A AP Poll of the year, while Seven Rivers Christian is ranked No. 5 in Joe Pinkos’ Power Rankings.
Joe Pinkos’ Forecast: Seven Rivers Christian by 24
FloridaHSFootball.com Prediction: Seven Rivers Christian 38, St. Francis Catholic 34

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

Region 3
No. 4 Southwest Florida Christian (4-3) at No. 1 Cambridge Christian (7-2), Friday, 7:30 p.m. at Skyway Park, Tampa — Is the first time in the playoffs for Southwest Florida Christian, but they run into a program in the host Lancers that has become a perennial power in Class 2A and the King’s are likely to be shown a quick first round exit. Cambridge Christian is ranked No. 4 in the final Class 2A AP Poll.
Joe Pinkos’ Forecast: Cambridge Christian by 27
FloridaHSFootball.com Prediction: Cambridge Christian 42, Southwest Florida Christian 14

Region 4
No. 4 Glades Day (5-3) at No. 1 Moore Haven (9-0), Friday, 7:30 p.m. at Terrier Field at Joe Brown Stadium, Moore Haven — A rivalry rematch here from the regular season, the visiting Gators were easily handled 43-21 by the host Terriers back on September 29. However, Glades Day has pulled off five straight wins to close off the season, but this matchup will be a tall task to live up to. Moore Haven is ranked No. 4 in Joe Pinkos’ Power Rankings.
Joe Pinkos’ Forecast: Moore Haven by 27
FloridaHSFootball.com Prediction: Moore Haven 35, Glades Day 17

No. 3 St. John Neumann (9-0) at No. 2 Champagnat Catholic (5-2), Thursday, 7:00 p.m. at Ted Hendricks Stadium at Milander Park, Hialeah — St. John Neumann is the lone exception of an undefeated team getting sent on the road in the first round, but Champagnat’s seven games proved to be stronger. It will be a tall order for the visiting Celtics to find a way against a Lions team that has become a state power in Class 2A. Champagnat finished tied for No. 1 in the final AP Poll of the year, while they are ranked No. 1 in Joe Pinkos’ Power Rankings.
Joe Pinkos’ Forecast: Champagnat Catholic by 28
FloridaHSFootball.com Prediction: Champagnat Catholic 38, St. John Neumann 14



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