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November 15, 2012

Class 5A north preview

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The 5A classification has defending champion Miami Norland back, as well as runner-up Wakulla.

But there are more than just these two teams - as the race to Orlando is pretty wide open.

Will it be the Robinson defense shutting down everyone? Will the high-powered offense of West Florida make a panhandle statement? How about the Patriots from American Heritage?

There are 16 games in the first round, so we'll break it down by north and south. Here's a quick glance at the north games.

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Godby at West Florida Tech

The Skinny: In a rematch of last season's opening round, West Florida now gets its opportunity at revenge against Godby at home. Godby had its way with the Jaguars in an easy 58-17 victory but this year may boast a different result. Expect a strong defensive performance from the Jaguars including Missouri commitment Nate Crawford, but don't be surprised if this game comes right down to the wire. Home field may play an advantage in this matchup.

vs
GODBY
WEST FLORIDA
Prediction: GODBY

Gulf Breeze at Wakulla The Skinny: State runner-up Wakulla looks to make their way back to Orlando and begin its journey at home against Gulf Breeze. The War Eagles have looked impressive all season giving Godby its only loss on the season. The War Eagles have high powered running attack backed by strong offensive line play and will look to put that on display this week.
vs
GULF BREEZE
WAKULLA
Prediction: WAKULLA

Creekside at Baker County

The Skinny: One of the two Northeast Florida match-ups, Creekside travels to Baker County in what should be a loud and hostile environment. Despite being labeled by many as the 'new kid on the block', Creekside has now made the playoffs two consecutive years with Baker County being one of the new faces this year. That being said, Baker County plays very well at home and Creekside may bow out again in the opening round.

vs
CREEKSIDE
BAKER COUNTY
Prediction: BAKER COUNTY

Bishop Kenny at Ponte Vedra The Skinny: The second of our two Northeast Florida match-ups, Bishop Kenny makes a short drive to Ponte Vedra. The Crusaders will have to hope for a huge game from senior standout Ahmad Fulwood (Florida) if they want to pull off the victory, but the Crusaders have been inconsistent at times. The Sharks made a serious run last year behind RB Cole Mazza and look to do it again in 2012.
vs
BISHOP KENNY
PONTE VEDRA
Prediction: PONTE VEDRA

Anclote at Eastside The Skinny: Anclote is playoff bound for the first time in school history as they travel to Eastside for a Thursday night game.. Both teams are evenly matched in this game on both sides of the ball but if Anclote can get their running game going early it could give them the edge they need to get their first ever playoff victory. Eastside has played a more difficult schedule and that may factor in the favor for the Rams.
vs
ANCLOTE
EASTSIDE
Prediction: EASTSIDE

North Marion at Pasco The Skinny:The Colts gave Pasco everything they could handle in last year's regional semi-final losing by only three, 31-28. But while North Marion has had its ups and downs this season, Pasco has looked like a serious contender for this year's title. Don't expect any fireworks in this game as Pasco will look to establish the run game early with David Emmanuel. The Pirates have been tough to score on - but North Marion has a potent offense.
vs
NORTH MARION
PASCO
Prediction: PASCO

Lakewood at Bishop Moore

The Skinny: After a one-year absence, Lakewood earned a spot in the playoffs after a victory over Jesuit as the Spartans travel to Orlando to face Bishop Moore. The Hornets will have their hands full with the Lakewood defense, led by Shaquem Griffin and Shaquill Griffin - both bound for UCF. If the Spartans get an early lead, look for the defense to take over.

vs
LAKEWOOD
BISHOP MOORE
Prediction:LAKEWOOD

Atlantic (Port Orange) at Robinson The Skinny: : Coming into last week, Robinson had a chance at its first unbeaten season since 1963. That didn't happen as Plant upset the Knights 26-24. Bad news for Atlantic, which comes into the game with an 8-2 mark having won the three-way shootout to get here. With Robinson's defense, points will be at a premium for the Sharks
vs
ATLANTIC (PORT ORANGE)
ROBINSON
Prediction: ROBINSON



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