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November 22, 2012

Breaking down the Regional finals in 1A and 2A

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We break down eight games - all Regional Finals - as the small schools get closer to Orlando.

Class 1A Preview

The defending champs are out and we will now see a new team boast the state title in 1-A as Jefferson County was knocked out by Trenton last week.

This will now set up for some intriguing matchups this week with the theme of this week being rematch Friday.

A couple of upsets (we picked against Trenton - don't ask why) put us at 6-2 in Class 1A - so hopefully we can improve.

The dark horse of the pack, Lafayette looked thoroughly impressive in their opening round victory over Hilliard. The Tigers will face one of the 1-A favorites, Trenton.

Holmes County was knocked off by a tough and battle tested Blountstown in what may have come as a surprise to some, but not us. The Tigers will have to hit the road again to take on Liberty County.

Let's now take a closer look at the class 1A regional finals.

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Freeport (6-5) at Northview (8-3)

The Skinny: Who enjoys rematches? We here at FlaVarsity do and this is exactly what you'll be getting in this game. Earlier this year, Northview had no problem against Freeport dominating the Bulldogs 42-0 in the regular season matchup. Last year the Chiefs won 43-13. Northview breezed by Cottondale last week while Freeport squeaked by Graceville. Revenge at its best in this one. This is a big step for Northview, one of the favorites to represent the 'north (west) in Orlando this year.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Neiko Robinson - Northview DB, Owen Cole - Feeport RB

vs
FREEPORT
NORTHVIEW
Prediction: NORTHVIEW

Blountstown (7-4) at Liberty County (9-2) The Skinny: It's another rematch as Blountstown pulled of a huge road win last week over Holmes County, but will have to hit the road again (albeit all of four miles) to face one of the Class 1A favorites, Liberty County. Both teams love to run the ball averaging over 100 yards per game and don't expect that to change. These two teams are arch-rivals with the Apalachicola River (and a time zone) separating them. With the closeness of these two communities - a great crowd is expected in Bristol.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Jakaviel Brigham - Blountstown RB, Alex Marlowe - Liberty County ATH.
vs
BLOUNTSTOWN
LIBERTY COUNTY
Prediction: LIBERTY COUNTY

Lafayette(9-2) at Trenton (11-0)

The Skinny: Trenton dominated Lafayette in last year's opening round game and Lafayette will have their hands full once again. Trenton has been arguably the most impressive team in 1A, with an 11-0 record and knocking off last year's champs Jefferson County last week; this will be Trenton's game to lose. The Tigers are averaging close to 400 yards a game on the ground - mostly due to RB Cedrick Stokes (1464 yards, 23 TD's). Still, Lafayette has a little score to settle with the Tigers after falling 42-27 to start the season. QB Brycen Lee for the Hornets threw three interceptions in two early losses - and has thrown one since
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Cedric Stokes - Trenton RB, Brycen Lee - Lafayette QB

vs
LAFAYETTE COUNTY
TRENTON
Prediction: TRENTON

Newberry (8-3) at Union County (11-0) The Skinny: These two teams are all too familiar with each other, with Newberry losing a close one to Union County a mere three weeks ago, 10-7. Union County was one game away from reaching Orlando last year and the Tigers have certainly made the case thus far that they have the team this year to make that happen. This could set up to be the best matchup of this week and may end up coming down to who has the ball last. Keep your eyes and ears pinned to this game. Both teams play stellar defense and took away the running game from the other in the last matchup. Expect more of the same.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Prince Alexander - Union County ATH: Ra'Kheem Hoyt - Newberry ATH.
vs
NEWBERRY
UNION COUNTY
Prediction: UNION COUNTY



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

Class 2A Preview

We were a perfect eight-for-eight in our predictions for last week in our class 2A preview last week, are we in store for a repeat?

It certainly won't be easy as we have some of the best matchups in any classification.

This includes two of the state's most prestigious programs in Jacksonville's University Christian and the defending champs North Florida Christian facing off in the river city.

Florida commitment Kelvin Taylor may not have captured the all-time rushing record last week, but his Gators are still alive in the playoffs and will face a talented Dade Christian team.

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North Florida Christian (7-3) at University Christian (10-1) The Skinny: When you have two programs combining for a total of 17 state title game appearances and 13 rings (NFC has 7, UC has 6) that should be enough for you to know the significance of this game, and what a game this should shape up to be. What may prove to the difference maker in this game is offensive balance. University Christian loves to run the ball with Jeremiah Hamlin and Tim Betros but their passing game has been lackluster. On the other hand, NFC has been balanced offensively and has a big play threat in WR with Branton Lee. If the Eagles can force University Christian to put the ball in the air it could prove to be the edge in this ballgame.
PLAYERS TO WATCH Marcus Clark - North Florida Chr. RB: Hussein Howe - University Chr. RB
vs
NORTH FLORIDA CHRISTIAN
UNIVERSITY CHRISTIAN
Prediction: UNIVERSITY CHRISTIAN

Warner Christian (10-1) at Lake Mary Prep (11-0) The Skinny: If you are expecting a repeat of last year's contest between these two teams, don't. Lake Mary Prep hasn't lost since that 67-20 beat-down at the hands of Warner Christian. While the Eagles lost their coach - they didn't lose star RB Marcus Dixon. This will be your classic smash-mouth type of game. Much like Warner Christian, Lake Mary Prep loves to run the ball with a lethal one-two combo in Jeremiah Sams and Miami commitment, Ray Lewis III.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Marcus Dixon - Warner Christian RB; Jeremiah Sams - Lake Mary Prep ATH.
vs
WARNER CHRISTIAN
LAKE MARY PREP
Prediction: WARNER CHRISTIAN

Carrollwood Day (10-1) at First Baptist Academy (11-0)

The Skinny: Both teams made a splash last week earning their first-ever playoff victories. For Carrollwood Day it was also a record setting night as RB Robert Davis broke Hillsborough County's career rushing record. Unfortunately for the Patriots, Davis suffered a thumb injury in the third quarter and was unable to return to the game. Davis is expected to play but how healthy and effective he will be is yet to be determined. First Baptist kept its undefeated season alive last week thanks in part to QB Jonah Bueltel's three rushing touchdowns. The injury to Davis will be something to keep an eye out for.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Robert Davis - Carrollwood Day RB: Jonah Bueltel - First Baptist Academy QB

vs
CARROLLWOOD DAY
FIRST BAPTIST
Prediction: CARROLLWOOD DAY

Glades Day (8-2) at Dade Christian (11-0) The Skinny: : With all eyes on Yulee's Derek Henry last week,Florida commitment Kelvin Taylor and Glades Day took care of business last week dominating Champagnat Catholic, 39-14. Dade Christian is the only remaining undefeated remaining in Miami-Dade County, but will face its toughest test this season. A team plagued by injuries all season, the Crusaders have battled through adversity all season and knows the plan to win this game is simple, stop Taylor. Look for Duke-bound receiver Terrence Alls to be the go-to guy for the Crusaders. The Gators are 3-0 in all-time playoff meetings. Can Dade Christian finally get the monkey off their back?
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Jose Penton - Glades Day TE: Terrence Alls - Dade Christian WR
vs
GLADES DAY
DADE CHRISTIAN
Prediction: DADE CHRISTIAN



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



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