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December 6, 2012

Immokalee, Jackson battle for Orlando

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Untitled Document
Immokalee (10-3) at Miami Jackson (8-4)

The Skinny: A three-game losing streak to end the season didn't seem to script Miami Jackson making it this far. Then again, when Immokalee was 2-3 - almost everyone wrote off the Indians as well. But here they are - battling for the right to go to Orlando. Two very different teams that took two very different paths to this particular moment. One will advance and one will put away the pads until spring.

vs
IMMOKALEE
JACKSON
Prediction: JACKSON

PLAYERS TO WATCH:
IMMOKALEE - DB Mackensie Alexander,RB Jacky Marcellus, ATH Tshumbi Johnson, RB D'Ernest Johnson.
JACKSON - QB Quinton Flowers, DB Devondre Powell, DB Nate Taylor, RB Tim Bellinger

THE OUTLOOK:
For the first time in a month, Immokalee gets the daunting task of having to board a bus and travel for once.

One thing is for sure, the Indians won't be intimidated with previous stops at Sanford Seminole, Naples, Lake Wales and Barron Collier in the regular season.

The comfort of playing at home the first three rounds will be put to test with a trip to the Class 5A State title game at stake. The Indians balanced spread offense features Cincinnati-bound QB Tshumbi Johnson (1436 yards, 15 TD), RB D'ernest Johnson (910 yards, 11 TD) and WR's Jacky Marcellus (West Virginia) and JC Jackson (710 yards, 7 TD).

The Indian defense led by Mackensie Alexander and brother Mackenro Alexander, DT Deadrin Senat and Bernardino Silas (125 tackles) and Jean Borgela (69 tackles) will have their hands full with Generals QB Quinton Flowers.

Jackson, which has survived road trips to Plantation American Heritage, Miami Norland and Glades Central the last three weeks, returns home with a lot of school history riding on this game.

It's been 12 years since the Generals last played in a state semifinal game and the school - which dates back to the late 1800s - has never played for a state title.

Flowers would like to change that. Flowers has been nearly unstoppable in the postseason throwing for 530 yards and four touchdowns, while running for nearly 200 yards and two touchdowns.

Jackson went from not being able to get out of its own way the last three games of the season (scoring 16 points) to averaging 32 in the post-season - and most of that credit goes to an offensive line that has refocused. Flowers has time now - and when he does have time, he looks for Christopher Williams-Hall - who had 10 catches for 159 yards against Norland.

ANALYSIS Going up against Carol City, Booker T. Washington, Norland, Northwestern as well as three consecutive playoff road games at Plantation American Heritage, Norland and Glades Central should have the Generals well prepared for this game and gives them a bit of an edge

. That being said, Immokalee's schedule hasn't been filled with cupcakes and crumpets. A blowout loss to Naples woke up the Indians and helped to focus this team toward its potential.

That being said, the opportunistic Generals have feasted on turnovers and first-year coach Antonio Brown has them living the role of the 'underdog' well. Jackson has been to the state semi-finals twice in the last 15 years - with one very notable collapse against Northwestern in 1998. No one expected the Generals to get past the first round, so right now Jackson is playing with house money.

And it may be time to cash in those chips.

PREDICTION: Jackson


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



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