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Class 3A Regional Semifinals Preview with Predictions

Will upsets be the story once again in Class 3A this week or will it be normal as projected?

Benjamin looks to make one of its deepest playoff runs in a longtime starting this week in the Class 3A regional semifinals.
[PHOTO CREDIT: Benjamin Football]

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A few upsets in Class 3A last week changed the picture up for the regional semifinals this week, but it is showing that football in this classification cannot be ignored. Here is a look at the eight games on deck this week.

All games are scheduled for Friday, November 16 with a 7:30 p.m. ET kickoff unless noted

THE ONE TO WATCH

No. 3 Delray American Heritage (8-3) at No. 2 Benjamin (9-1)
Theofilos Field, Palm Beach Gardens

This will be the second-ever playoff meeting between the two programs … American Heritage won the only meeting back in 2001, 35-6 that saw the Stallions finish with 307 yards rushing on 41 carries, according to Florida high school football historian, Richard Burton … The visiting Stallions last week easily defeated No. 6 seed Fort Lauderdale Calvary Christian at home, 42-14 … The host Buccaneers were on a first-round bye last week and have not played a game in nearly two weeks, a game in which they lost to King’s Academy in the final seconds for the South Florida Conference Championship … Keep an eye out for the Small brothers of Dallis and Deion who are both threats in the back field for American Heritage … With Benjamin keep an eye on quarterback Santino Marcucci who has thrown for over 1,400 yards this season and has completed 17 touchdown passes. Marcucci also has seven rushing touchdowns.

Prediction: Benjamin 31, American Heritage 24

THE REST OF THE SLATE

REGION 1

No. 5 Pensacola Catholic (6-5) at No. 1 Florida High (6-3)
Florida High Stadium, Tallahassee

Former district foes meet for the second time in postseason history … Pensacola Catholic won the only postseason matchup in 2009, 44-7 … The visiting Crusaders defeated No. 4 seed Fort White on the road last week, 49-34 … The host Seminoles were on a first-round bye last week and finished the regular season back in Week 11 with a 37-26 win over Arnold … Keep a watchful eye on Ja’kobi Jackson for Pensacola Catholic as he rushed for 151 yards and scored three touchdowns in last week’s win … For Florida High, the name to know is Bryson Hill who has combined for over 1,000 yards this season from the quarterback position. Prediction: Florida High 31, Pensacola Catholic 28

No. 6 Taylor County (6-5) at No. 2 St. Joseph (9-0)
Versaggie Field, St. Augustine

This is the first playoff meeting between Taylor County and St. Joseph …. St. Joseph has never won a playoff game in the three previous appearances, the last coming in 2006 … Last week Taylor County pulled a big upset on No. 3 seed Baldwin with a 24-17 win on the road … St. Joseph was on a first-round bye last week after finishing the season with an unblemished record … Throw the records out on this game as St. Joseph has not played as of a difficult schedule like Taylor County has this season … For the visiting Bulldogs, the name to know is quarterback Decorian Bellamy who rushed for two of Taylor County’s touchdowns in last week’s win … Watch out for quarterback Dylan Thibault who has been the key weapon for the host Flashes success this season, with over 1,700 yards of offense and 25 touchdowns (12 passing, 13 rushing). Prediction: Taylor County 24, St. Joseph 21

REGION 2

No. 5 Holy Trinity (6-4) at No. 1 King’s Academy (9-1)
Kahlert Stadium, West Palm Beach

This will be the first playoff meeting between Holy Trinity and King’s Academy … Holy Trinity upset No. 4 seed Cardinal Newman on a last-second touchdown pass to take a 34-30 win which marks the school’s first playoff win in school history … King’s Academy, which drew a first-round bye last week and has not played since defeating Benjamin Week 10 for the South Florida Conference championship, is seeing their first playoff win since 2010 … Keep an eye on quarterback Dru Nickson for the visiting Tigers who had 302 yards passing and three touchdowns, including the game-winning touchdown, in last week’s win … For the host Lions, watch out for quarterback Justin Wake to do damage through the air as he has already passed for 1,600 yards this season with 20 touchdowns. Wake also has 10 rushing touchdowns as well. Prediction: King’s Academy 30, Holy Trinity 20

No. 3 Father Lopez (9-2) at No. 2 The First Academy (8-1)
Warden Stadium at Kroy Crofoot Field, Orlando

This will be the first playoff meeting between both programs … First Academy is seeking their first playoff win since 2014 … Last week Father Lopez secured their first playoff victory on the field in over 30 years with a 23-21 win over No. 6 seed Melbourne Central Catholic … First Academy was on a first-round bye last week and lost to Class 4A The Villages in Week 11 to close out the regular season … Watch out for a variety of athletes to carry the ball for the visiting Green Wave including TJ Lockley, Eddie Whipple, and Wayne Matthews … For the host Royals, keep an eye on Rolous Frazier III who is the leading rusher with 968 yards on the ground with 17 touchdowns. Prediction: First Academy 21, Father Lopez 17

REGION 3

No. 4 Tampa Catholic (8-3) at No. 1 Clearwater Central Catholic (10-0)
Brian James Thomas Stadium, Clearwater

This is a rematch from Week 3 … Clearwater Central Catholic won the Week 3 meeting by a score of 34-14 … This game also marks the third time that both teams will meet in the postseason and for the second consecutive year … Clearwater Central Catholic won last year’s playoff meeting by a score of 37-35 … Last week Tampa Catholic defeated No. 5 seed Lakeland Christian with a game-winning field goal at the end of the game, 13-10 … The host Marauders had a first-round bye last week and have not played a game since Week 10 which saw them defeat Cardinal Mooney to finish the regular season undefeated … For the visiting Crusaders quarterback, Dylan McCain, who will be the leader, having over 1,000 yards passing so far this season … With Clearwater Central Catholic watch out for quarterback Rory Hicks who has thrown for over 1,700 yards and 14 touchdowns this season. Prediction: Clearwater Central Catholic 35, Tampa Catholic 17

No. 6 Clearwater Calvary Christian (6-5) at No. 2 Berkeley Prep (6-3)
Stanford J. Newman Stadium, Tampa

This is the first playoff meeting between the two schools … Last week Calvary Christian stunned No. 3 seed Cardinal Mooney in Sarasota, 34-31 … Berkeley Prep was on a first-round bye last week and has completed their regular season back in Week 10 with a 20-7 loss to Class 7A Sickles … For the visiting Warriors keep an eye out for the bruising tailback in Trey Hall who had over 200 yards rushing and three touchdowns in last week’s thrilling win … With the host Buccaneers, watch out for Joshua Youngblood to do damage who has 918 yards and 11 touchdowns rushing, but also has five passing touchdowns as well. Prediction: Berkeley Prep 27, Calvary Christian 17

REGION 4

No. 5 Palmer Trinity (9-2) at No. 1 Chaminade-Madonna (8-2)
The Lion’s Den at Vince Zappone Field, Hollywood.

This will be the first playoff meeting between Palmer Trinity and Chaminade-Madonna … Last week Palmer Trinity knocked off No. 4 seed Westminster Christian, 22-10, giving the visiting Falcons their second win as in many weeks over Westminster … The host Lions were on a first-round bye last week and completed the regular season in Week 11 with a 35-0 win over Class 4A University School … Palmer Trinity has an under-the-radar quarterback in Nick Casares who has over 1,700 yards passing and 20 touchdowns on the season along with running back Brandon Yanes who has rushed for over 1,400 yards and 12 touchdowns … For Chaminade-Madonna, which has multiple Division I athletes on the roster on both side of the ball, it will be hard for most teams to be able to contain them. Prediction: Chaminade Madonna 45, Palmer Trinity 14

Last Week’s 3A picks record: 4 correct, 4 boos out of the stadium







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