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December 6, 2012

Godby, Robinson battle for Orlando berth

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Untitled Document
Godby (12-1) at Robinson (12-1)

The Skinny: The road-warrior Godby Cougars travel to Tampa to face the Robinson Knights in the 5A north finals. Both teams have stellar defenses and explosive offenses. Both teams appear to be peaking at the right time and both teams will attack with quick-strike offenses. Both teams play lock-down defense. So sit back, enjoy and if you want to know who wins - flip a coin.

Prediction: GODBY

GODBY - DB Lester Thomas, LB Corey Pressley, ATH Khalid Thomas, LB Markise McQueen.
ROBINSON - QB Zain Gilmore, OL Conner Rafferty, DL Bruce Hector, LB Justin Madison

For the sixth time in the last seven weeks, Godby will step on another bus.

The road trips don't seem to faze them though as the Cougars are averaging nearly 442 yards and 42 points a game.

A big reason why Godby has made it this far maybe because of how balanced they are. Try to stop Kentucky commit RB Khalid Thomas (1260 yards, 16 TD) and the Cougars running behind OL Ben Lyda (48 pancakes) will hit you with QB JT Bradwell (140 of 233 for 2030 yards, 19 TD), Kenny Young (702 yards, 13 TD) or Tim Longmire (468 rushing, 411 receiving, 16 TD)

Stop the run, and Godby can burn you deep with receivers Wade Phillip (20.38 yards per catch, 6 TDs), Earl Calloway (15.16 yards per catch., 7 TDs) or Longmire (14.68 yards per catch, 8TDs).

A stingy defense has only gotten better in the playoffs allowing just 15.3 points per game, led by linebackers Jacob Pugh (72 tackles 4.5 sacks), Bud McDonald (72 tackles),Luke Helms (65 tackles), Corey Pressley ( 51 tackles, 6.5 sacks) and Markise McQueen (31 tackles, 4 sacks).

Robinson, on the other hand, will attempt to counter that defense behind 6A player of the year candidate, QB Zain Gilmore (1246 passing, 897 rushing, 29 TD) and RB Martin Ruiz (1225 yards, 11 TD). They run behind USF commit OL Conner Rafferty

They say defenses win championships and both will be counted on to stop the other's spread offense, especially the Knights led by USF-bound DL Bruce Hector, Justin Madison (57 tackles, 8 sacks), Demetrius Page (74 tackles, 4 sacks), Javaughn Johnson (66 tackles, 4 sacks) and Jordan Guyton (89 tackles, 2.5 sacks).

ANALYSIS This is truly a test of the immovable object (Robinson's stellar defense) against the irresistible force (Godby's offense). The Cougars are peaking at the right time - and like Robinson - only have one loss.

The schedule favors Godby - which has played teams all over North Florida from Pensacola to Jacksonville and in-between. Robinson's schedule has allowed them to stay against mostly in the Tampa Bay area - with one or two exceptions (Bishop Moore and Pasco).

Two quality opponents offer a perspective. Godby defeated Lincoln while Robinson lost to Plant. The Robinson defense has set a state record for scoring - and is incredibly opportunistic. Put the ball on the turf and you're likely to see a quick score by the defense. Godby must protect the football and win the turnover battle.

Robinson has to have the 'game of a lifetime' by Gilmore - typical of his two games against Lakewood. This Godby defense is equally as fast as the Knights - and disciplined.

I've been saying since the season started the winner of Wakulla/Godby would be the favorite to represent the North in the 5A State Finals and I'm sticking with it.


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


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