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November 21, 2012

Road To Orlando - 7A - all eight games

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A few first round upsets changes the prospect picture for 7A north, but the south four favorites continue on a collision course.

Lincoln becomes the region I favorite while Osceola clearly is the region II favorite. Manatee and Fort Pierce Central are on a path of a no-turning-back head-on collision and don't look now - but Dwyer and St. Thomas Aquinas continue to quietly advance towards another showdown.

Last week John Patton and the staff at FlaVarsity didn't do so well - compiling a 10-6 record. Let's see if we can improve this week.

it's all here in the preview of 7A.

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Buchholz (6-5) at Lincoln(9-1)

The Skinny: Lincoln took care of business against Fleming Island and now stays at home to face off with district rival Buchholz - a 10-7 overtime winner over former #5 First Coast. The Trojans don't want a repeat of last year's early exit and will benefit by playing at Gene Cox - but this is not the same Buchholz team that Lincoln beat 45-7 at the beginning of October. In the last three games, the Bobcats have given up a total of 24 points.

PLAYERS TO WATCH: BUCHHOLZ RB Kenny Scott, LB Kurt Oehlbeck; LINCOLN LB James Hearns, WR Reggie Davis.

Prediction: LINCOLN

Oviedo (10-1) at Evans (9-2) The Skinny: Oviedo and Evans were expected to advance and did. Both teams have played a respectable schedule of local and area teams. The Lions struggled with Leesburg, winning 34-31 in OT while Evans destroyed Edgewater 35-6. Oviedo is led by a dual-threat QB in Davis and Evans has WR Tony Stevens and Hoskins - both committed to Florida State. If Evans can test the Lion secondary with the aforementioned Stevens and Dominic Walker - it may be a long night for Oviedo.

PLAYERS TO WATCH: OVIEDO - QB Chris Davis, LB Kavion Alexander. EVANS - WR Tony Stevens, LB Ro'Derrick Hoskins

Prediction: EVANS

Ridge Community (9-2) at Osceola (11-0) The Skinny: Both teams have very good defenses. Both shut down Lakeland (Ridge won 7-0 and Osceola won 16-2). Both like to run first, run often. Ridge stumbled twice against playoff teams (Auburndale and Lake Gibson). It should be a low-scoring game with the defense dominating. Look for a special teams play to decide the final.

PLAYERS TO WATCH: RIDGE WR Shykeem Pitts, DB Mike Hall: OSCEOLA RB Stafon McCray, DB Hassan Childs

Prediction: OSCEOLA

Newsome (7-4) at Durant (11-0)

The Skinny: The second of two rematches from district play in 7A north. The Wolves totally devoured Gaither's Cowboys 52-7 to set up this rematch. The last time these two played, Durant took the 38-28 win about a month ago. Newsome hasn't lost since - averaging 44 points a game in the last four games. Durant is the unheralded unbeaten - and the only one in Hillsborough County. The Cougars want respect and a win over Newsome to advance the school to the regional finals goes a long way.

PLAYERS TO WATCH: NEWSOME ATH William Worth, DB Ramsey Bennett: DURANT RB Jamarlon Hamilton, DB Randy Baker

Prediction: DURANT

Venice (8-3) at Manatee (11-0) The Skinny: A rematch of a classic rivalry. These two teams have met in the second round for three straight years. Normally - the game is close, but Manatee hasn't played a close game since beating Miami Central 44-34. The Hurricanes are a juggernaut, a Cat6 storm making its way to Orlando. Can the Indians weather the storm and pull out the victory? It will take a perfect game from Venice and a not-so-perfect game from Mississippi State-commit Cord Sandberg.

PLAYERS TO WATCH: VENICE - DB Quaheem Kapinski, QB Kale Youtzy. MANATEE - DL Derrick Calloway, WR Ja'Juan Pollack

Prediction: MANATEE

Martin County (5-6) at Fort Pierce Central (10-0) The Skinny: A rematch in 7A district match won by the Cobras 40-7. Martin County snapped a three-game losing streak with last week's 35-32 win over Charlotte. On paper, this one looks very one-sided but the Tigers are playing better than they were earlier in the year - but is it enough?

PLAYERS TO WATCH: MARTIN COUNTY - ATH Jermohn Queen, RB Dan Fillhaber . FORT PIERCE CENTRAL - RB Marcus Levy, Josh Knight.


Boyd Anderson (7-4) at Dwyer (9-2)

The Skinny: A funny thing happened on the way to Dwyer's rematch with Atlantic - the Eagles lost to Boyd Anderson. The Cobras are a team to keep an eye on, because they tend to pull at least one or two upsets each post-season. Dwyer changed QB's late in the season and that's made a difference in the Panthers' offense. The defense will have to contend with stopping QB Gregory Hankerson - so watch out for DE Malik Brown for Dwyer coming on pass pressure.

PLAYERS TO WATCH: BOYD ANDERSON Hankerson, DB Justin McDonald. DWYER - ATH Johnnie Dixon, DB Jonathan Moxey.

Prediction: DWYER

Plantation (8-2) at St. Thomas Aquinas (9-2) The Skinny: : Another regular-season rematch as the Raiders host the Colonels. A close game last time (24-20 - Aquinas) and you might want to expect another one. St. Thomas Aquinas has the experience of the 'big game' and QB play has improved of late. That will be a factor as the Colonels have a very good secondary. Injuries decimated the Raiders during last year's playoff run.

PLAYERS TO WATCH: PLANTATION - DB Sojourn Shelton, WR Solomon Loud. ST. THOMAS AQUINAS RB Fred Coppet, DT Joey Bosa


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


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