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November 9, 2012

Showdown in Tampa - Jesuit vs. Catholic

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The Skinny: Fun stat about this game: Jesuit (6-3) is 4-0 on the road this season, while Tampa Catholic (7-2) is 3-0 at home. So, barring a bizarre ending like the contest being called due to weather with the score tied, someone is getting a blemish here. ... The Tigers won last year's contest, 27-10.

Prediction: JESUIT

JESUIT: TE Travis Johnson, DE Brad Smith, DE Robert Garcia, DB Reggie Brown, OL Cameron Ruff

TAMPA CATHOLIC: WR Zach Benjamin, OL Christian Freeman, OL Corey Martinez, DB T.J. Harrell, TE/LB Tre Watson

THE OUTLOOK: Jesuit's first four victories of the season (at Middleton, hosting Blake, at Spoto and at Lennard) were all shutouts. And only once this season, a 31-10 loss to Robinson on Sept. 14, have the Tigers allowed more than 20 points in a game.

Junior linebacker Vincent Jackson has proven to be a menace to opposing offenses, leading Jesuit with 10 sacks while sitting second to senior linebacker Parker Clonts (77 tackles) with 57 stops.

The Tigers' offense, led by sophomore running back Kevin Newman (126 carries for 834 yards, 8 touchdowns), will take on a Tampa Catholic defense that has allowed more than 17 points in a game just twice this season.

Keep an eye on Crusaders' junior linebacker/tight end Tre Watson. All he has done this year is record team highs in tackles (94) and sacks (12.5) for a unit that has forced 23 takeaways.

While Jesuit is playing for pride, Tampa Catholic is prepping for the post-season. It's more important for the Crusaders to come out of this game healthy - than to get the win.

Only don't tell them that.

Prediction: Jesuit 24, Tampa Catholic 17

* * Discuss your thoughts of the games on our Football Central message forum.


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