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November 22, 2012

Class 6A Regional semi-final previews

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A few upsets in the first round and a great offensive display by Mainland and a defensive battle between Armwood and Largo.

FlaVarsity finished the weekend with a 14-2 record - and overall stands at 78-18.

Some key games this week - with Navarre-Milton, St. Augustine-Columbia, Armwood-Hillsborough and Miami Central-Northwestern - just to name a few.

Here's our week two post-season picks for all eight games in the FHSAA 6A playoffs - as the Road to Orlando continues.

Untitled Document
Navarre (10-1) at Milton (8-3)

The Skinny:Thirteen weeks ago, these two teams kicked off their season playing each other in a kickoff classic with Milton winning 27-19. Milton, which began the season 2-2, won their first playoff game since 2007 and now a defense led by DeMichael McQueen faces the task of stopping a potent Raiders ground game featuring Jay Warren (1480 yards, 15 TD) who ran for 243 yards and three touchdowns in the win over Niceville. Meanwhile the Panthers offense must find a way to break through a Navarre defense, which has held opponents to 17 or less points eight of its 11 games.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: NAVARRE - RB Jay Warren, WR Jordan Leggett: MILTON - ATH Andre Flakes, WR/OLB Isaiah Jones.

vs
NAVARRE
MILTON
Prediction: NAVARRE

St. Augustine (11-0) at Columbia (10-1) The Skinny: Rematch of a first round playoff meeting last season, won by the Tigers 24-9 in St. Augustine. You can bet the Yellow Jackets haven't forgotten the loss and have been anticipating the rematch again. Both teams like to run the ball a lot led by Levent Sands(St. Augustine) and Ronald Timmons (Columbia). Whoever is more effective will move on. Atlantic Coast tailback Richard Montgomery exposed the Jackets defense three weeks ago accounting for 300 yards on the ground, giving hope for the Tigers ground game. Running behind Laremy Tunsil, the Tigers balanced rushing attack of Timmons, Lonnie Underwood and Rakeem Battle may give the Tigers a big of an edge.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: St. Augustine - WR Bobby Mitchell, DB D.A. Williams Columbia QB Jayce Barber, WR Alex Weber
vs
ST. AUGUSTINE
COLUMBIA
Prediction: COLUMBIA

Vanguard (6-5) at Gainesville (11-0)

The Skinny: These two teams are quite familiar to each other meeting for the third time in two seasons, including a 34-19 win by Gainesville in October. It will be hard to duplicate the Knights stunning win over Gainesville last year, as the Knights try to hand the Purple Hurricanes their first home playoff loss at Citizens Field since 1977. Making their fourth straight trip to the regional semifinals, the Hurricanes have won 12 straight home playoff games including six over the last three years. There may not be a more balanced backfield than of the Hurricanes playmakers like QB Marquis Robins-Cato and Florida-commit Chris Thompson
PLAYERS TO WATCH:: VANGUARD - QB Adam Robles, WR Natrelle Jamerson: GAINESVILLE - RB Raphael Webb, RB Tony James

vs
VANGUARD
GAINESVILLE
Prediction: GAINESVILLE

Armwood (8-3) at Hillsborough (9-1) The Skinny: Four weeks ago, these two teams played to an offensive stalemate, with the Terriers pulling out a 3-0 win to clinch the District 8-6A title. Expect the same thing to happen again, with both teams defense setting the tone. Since that win, the Terriers have allowed just seven points a game, 21 total over the last three weeks. Two playmakers could decide this one though with Armwood's Alvin Bailey (committed to Florida) and Hillsborough underclassmen Dwayne Lawson (1313 yards, 13 TD) capable of taking over a game. This is the fourth meeting in two years, with Armwood winning two of the last three games. - EDITOR'S NOTE: Corey Davis picks Hillsborough, Steve Berrey picks Armwood - we flipped a coin and it landed on its side.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: ARMWOOD - QB Darryl Richardson, RB Caylan Holloway: HILLSBOROUGH - QB Dwayne Lawson, WR Curtis Thomas
vs
ARMWOOD
HILLSBOROUGH
Prediction: ARMWOOD

Mainland (8-3) at Winter Haven (10-1) The Skinny: It's been seven years since Winter Haven advanced to the regional finals that could change Friday night if Adam Lane has anything to do with it. Lane scorched New Smyrna Beach for 153 yards and needs the Blue Devils to grind out long drives to pull out the win; while Mainland - behind Cameron Hadley - wants to get into an up-tempo game and outscore its opponent. Mainland held off Lake Gibson 49-42 last week, who knocked off Winter Haven 28-24, who knocked off New Smyrna Beach 28-24, who knocked off Mainland 24-21 so expect a tight game. Both teams are runner-ups so both face a trip to Southwest Florida regardless of who wins.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: MAINLAND - QB Cameron Hadley, LB Quinton Powell: WINTER HAVEN - RB Adam Lane, QB Luke Borders
vs
MAINLAND
WINTER HAVEN
Prediction: WINTER HAVEN

Naples (10-0) at South Fort Myers (10-1) The Skinny: These two teams mirror each other in so many ways both have high scoring offenses and tenacious defenses that allow minimal points. The Wolfpack have scored at least 37 points seven of its 11 games, while its defense has posted five shut outs and allowed seven or fewer points in eight of the games. Naples has put up 40 points every game this season, while its defense has allowed a touchdown or less in five games. Give this one to the more veteran playoff team.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: NAPLES - RB Manny Morgan, QB Kilton Anderson: SOUTH FORT MYERS - QB Andrew Dailidonis, ATH Jayron Kearse
vs
NAPLES
SOUTH FORT MYERS
Prediction: NAPLES

Heritage (10-1) at Palm Bay (7-4)

The Skinny: TAnother rematch as four weeks ago these teams met with the district title on the line, with Palm Bay edging out a 7-6 win at Heritage. Three of the four Pirate losses are at the hands of teams playing this week Mainland, Osceola and Fort Pierce Central. Newcomer Heritage earned its first ever playoff win in dominating form shutting out Sebastian River 29-0 to earn another shot at cross town rival Palm Bay. Unlike its cross town rival, Palm Bay is making its 17 straight playoff appearance and has all the experience to come away with the win.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: HERITAGE - QB Clinton Moxam, ATH Shaquille Jones: PALM BAY - WR Caleb Alves, QB Brian Fallace

vs
HERITAGE
PALM BAY
Prediction: PALM BAY

Miami Northwestern (9-2) at Miami Central (8-2) The Skinny: : Rematch of regular season meeting in October won by Central 35-17, which clinched the 16-6A title. Northwestern led 11-0 early but a Bulls fumble taken back by Dalvin Cook for a score proceeded to swing the momentum. Central has won the last four meetings, including the last two playoff games between the two. Since starting 1-2, the Rockets have reeled off seven consecutive wins and look prime to return to Orlando again. Central's schedule has been considered the toughest in the country - with games against #1 Manatee, #2 Booker T. Washington, Loganville (Ga.) Grayson and 8A power Columbus (2-2).
PLAYERS TO WATCH:NORTHWESTERN DB Artie Burns, OL Gerald Wright; MIAMI CENTRAL - RB Dalvin Cook, RB Joseph Yearby
vs
NORTHWESTERN
MIAMI CENTRAL
Prediction: MIAMI CENTRAL



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