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CLASS 6A STATE CHAMPIONSHIP
Miami Northwestern Bulls (11-2) vs. Armwood Hawks (14-0)
GAME TIME & LOCATION INFO
When: Friday, December 8
Where: Camping World Stadium, Orlando
Kickoff: 8:07 p.m. EST
Tickets: $12 General Admission, $17 Reserved Seating — purchase online at ticketmaster.com
TELEVISION & ONLINE INFO
Pregame Show: Varsity Sports Network/NFHSNetwork.com (FREE) — LIVE at 9:00 a.m. EST
TV Broadcast: Spectrum Sports, Channel 1147 in Spectrum coverage areas
Online Stream: Boxcast TV via Spectrum Sports ($9.95 fee to watch)
Social Media Updates: @FlaHSFootball on Twitter — Entire game
Halftime Recap: Florida HS Football Facebook Page — LIVE at Half
Postgame Recap: Florida HS Football Facebook Page — LIVE following the game
Postgame Show: Varsity Sports Network/NFHSNetwork.com (FREE) — LIVE at 30 minutes following the Class 6A State Championship Game
ABOUT MIAMI NORTHWESTERN
Head Coach: Max Edwards
Road To Orlando: d. Matanzas, 33-0 (Regional Quarterfinals); d. Miami Central, 24-18 (Regional Semifinals); d. Miami Carol City 23-15 (Regional Finals); d. Naples, 42-7 (State Semifinals)
Last State Championship Game Appearance: 2008 (Class 6A)
Playoff History: Miami Northwestern is 48-21 in playoff games including four state championship finishes in 1995 (Class 6A), 1998 (Class 6A), 2006 (Class 6A), 2007 (Class 6A) and two state runner-up finishes in 2001 (Class 6A) and 2008 (Class 6A)
Rankings: No. 2 in the final Associated Press Florida high school football poll; No. 1 in Joe Pinkos’ end of regular season rankings
Top Players To Watch: QB Chatarius “Tutu” Atwell, Sr.; RB Davonne “Bo” Kendrick, Sr.; CB Divaad Wilson, Sr.; DL Demeterius Mayes, Sr.; DB Richard Wildgoose, Sr.; OL Devontae McCrae, Sr.
The Skinny: The Bulls are back in the state championship game for the first time since 2008 which they lost to Sanford Seminole in the Class 6A state championship game … On the offense, Tutu Atwell will lead things off for the Bulls at quarterback. He will look to keep things balanced with Bo Kendrick leading the way in the running game … Defenisvely the Bulls will rely on a heavy of top talent that is ranked nationally with defensive backs Divaad Wilson and Richard Wildgoose leading way while defensive lineman Demetrius Mayes leads the way along the defensive line.
Head Coach: Evan Davis
Road To Orlando: d. Sebring, 42-0 (Regional Quarterfinals); d. Hillsborough, 22-0 (Regional Semifinals); d. Vanguard, 31-17 (Regional Finals); d. St. Augustine, 30-6 (State Semifinals)
Last State Championship Game Appearance: 2015 (Class 6A)
Playoff History: Armwood on the field is 52-16 in the playoffs while the official FHSAA record is 47-21 including three state championship finishes in 2003 (Class 4A), 2004 (Class 4A), 2011 (Class 6A) and five state runner-up finishes in 2005 (Class 4A), 2010 (Class 4A), 2013 (Class 6A), 2014 (Class 6A) and 2015 (Class 6A). NOTE: Armwood forfeited all 2011 playoff games including the 2011 Class 6A state championship due to ineligible players.
Rankings: No. 3 in the final Associated Press Florida high school football poll; No. 2 in Joe Pinkos’ end of regular season rankings
Top Players To Watch: QB Devin Black, Sr.; RB Brian Snead, Sr.; WR Jerome Ford, Sr.; LB James Miller, Sr.; LB De’shard Hughes, Sr.; DL Fitzroy Gardner, Sr.; DL Malcolm Lamar, Sr.; DB Markeis Colvin, Sr.
The Skinny: Armwood is back in the state championship game after missing last year when they fell to eventual Class 6A state runner-up Lake Gibson in the Regional Semifinals … Offensively the Hawks are led by senior quarterback Devin Black (132 of 218, 2,265 yards, 25 TDs, 5 INTs; 97 carries, 425 yards, 16 TDs) while Black helps keeps balanced with the use of running back Brian Snead (198 carries, 1,329 yards, 16 TDs). Black’s favorite target in the passing game is Jerome Ford (38 receptions, 800 yards, 8 TDs) … Looking at the defense, this has been one of the Hawks’ biggest attributes this season where they have posted four shutouts and have given up only double-digit points twice to Tampa Bay Tech in Week 1 and to Vanguard in the Regional Finals …. The defensive unit is led by linebacker James Miller who has been a monster on tackles (143 total tackles, 41 TFL, 10 sacks, 3 FR, 9 FF, 5 blocked punts, 1 blocked field goal), De’Shard Hughes (81 total tackles, 20 TFL, 6 sacks, 3 FR, 1 FF) with defensive lineman Fitzroy Gardner (90 tackles, 33 TFL, 16 sacks, 1 INT, 3 FF) and Malcolm Lamar (48 tackles, 19 TFL, 5 sacks, 1 INT, 1 FR, 1 FF, 1 blocked punt) leading the way in the trenches.
Let us preface this with the fact that the weather forecast could play havoc with this game, but if you look at these two teams, one thing is very clear… defense is going to lead the way. While Armwood has a good offensive output, the numbers seen by the Hawks are very likely to take a hit here. Miami Northwestern has relied on its defense to get here given the close games they have had all year with a lot of teams. And given the fact Armwood’s defensive numbers are up there as well, there is not a lot of room for error. We look at this game as one that will be a low scoring affair and could come down to a field goal, whoever has the ball last or possibly even a safety. But again the weather could play a major role in this game and could be the deciding factor if Armwood or Northwestern will walk away with the state championship.
WHO THE COMPUTERS PREDICT
We take a look at the computers and their predictions for the 2017 FHSAA State Championship games:
Joe Pinkos’ Forecast: Miami Northwestern by 1
USA TODAY High School Sports Score Predictor: Armwood 14, Miami Northwestern 10
THE EXPERT PICKS
We gave our media pickers the biggest challenge of the year by not only predicting the winner of each state championship game, but the actual score of each game as well. Here are their picks:
- Joshua Wilson, FloridaHSFootball.com: Miami Northwestern 17, Armwood 13
- Will Turner, FloridaHSFootball.com: Miami Northwestern 17, Armwood 14
- Bill Hammel, Irish Bill’s Twist On Sports: Armwood 24, Miami Northwestern 20
- Mike Ridaught, The Prep Zone: Miami Northwestern 28, Armwood 24
- Marty Pallman, The Prep Zone: Miami Northwestern 21, Armwood 17
- Larry Savage, Gainesville Sun: Armwood 24, Miami Northwestern 20
- Corey Davis, DuvalSports.com: Miami Northwestern 21, Armwood 17
- Doug Pugh, Big County Preps: Miami Northwestern 18, Armwood 14
- Jake Perper, Prep Sports Scouting: Armwood 23, Miami Northwestern 17
- Joel Hillsman, Total Sports Coverage: Armwood 31, Miami Northwestern 28