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November 16, 2012

Looking at the north in 6A

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The 6A class has both Miami Central and Armwood back in the post-season, but neither gets credit for being a state champion or runner-up as both teams had to vacate their appearnces.

There are several teams that bring intriguing stories to the playoffs including Gainesville (10-0) - the odds-on favorite in the north.

Giving the Purple Hurricanes a run for their money are St. Augustine, Lake City Columbia and a few dark horses along the way.

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Niceville at Milton

The Skinny: Niceville has had their backs against the wall all season dropping their first two district matchups but bounced back strong to finish the season and will now hit the road to face Milton (7-3). Niceville brings a lot of playoff experience with them but Milton's offensive explosive power with players like Isaiah Jones could be the deciding factor.

Prediction: MILTON

Pace at Navarre The Skinny: A rematch of earlier season that came down to a last second goal-line stand where Navarre came away with a 19-13 victory. This week Pace travels to Navarre in what could be another close one. Navarre's defense was banged up and without their key defensive endJay Warren in the first contest but are now well rested. Pace has an excellent running attack but has struggled through the air with the departure of Patrick Maddox.
Prediction: NAVARRE

Bartram Trail at Columbia

The Skinny: A rematch of last year's regional semifinals, Bartram Trail will once again travel to Columbia. We may be in store for an offensive slugfest as Columbia will look to establish the run run game behind who many consider to be the top offensive lineman the country in Laremy Tunsil. Bartram Trail will offer a heavy dose of both run and pass averaging over 100 yards a game in both categories this season.

Prediction: COLUMBIA

Ridgeview at St. Augustine The Skinny: Ridgeview has an offense that is virtually unstoppable. Unfortunately, the Panthers haven't played much defense. The Panthers score 34 points a game - but give up 23. A 9-1 record and only a abnormal loss to Columbia (the Panthers got there three hours late) blot the schedule. St. Augustine has one of the best DB's in the state with D.A. Williams (Iowa State) and one heckuva potent weapon in Bobby Mitchell. QB Josh Moore for Ridgeview is the key - if he's on - it may be a long night for the unbeaten Jackets.
Prediction: RIDGEVIEW

Hernando at Gainesville The Skinny: Gainesville is one of the top teams in 6A this year coming into the game at 10-0 while Hernando struggled at times this season. The Hurricanes offer a ton of offensive talent including Florida commitment Chris Thompson and QB Marquis Robins-Cato. Add Raphael Webb to the mix and you see why the Purple Hurricanes are picked to represent the north in 6A.
Prediction: GAINSVILLE

North Marion at Pasco The Skinny: Springstead will host on their second home game in school history as the Eagles host Vanguard. The Panthers are 6-4 but played a tough regular season schedule which includes a win over North Marion, but the rushing attack of Springstead may prove to be too much for Vanguard. Springstead ran off eight straight wins before losing the final game of the season
Prediction: VANGUARD

Armwood at Largo

The Skinny: The team that won the 6A title last season (Armwood) will travel on the road to face a talented Largo squad. The Packers are 10-0 on the season but will face one of the toughest opponents in 6A in Armwood. The Packers defense is talented giving up a minimal amount of points this year but it's hard for me to pick against Alvin Bailey (Florida) and the rest of the talented Hawks offensive players. It just depends on which Largo and which Armwood team shows up.

Prediction: ARMWOOD

Osceola (Seminole) at Hillsborough The Skinny: : Osceola is preparing for its first playoff game in six years; in fact Osceola hasn't even had a winning season since their last appearance in 2006. They will now have the difficult task of traveling to Tampa to play district 8-6A Champs, Hillsborough. The Terriers are playing their best football in quite some time -with a 3-0 win over Armwood to win the district.

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


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