SFHSS TOP 15 – Elite Teams Will Collide In Round 2

Larry Blustein
November 13, 2018 - 10:36 am

Larry Blustein

There was a time when the state football playoffs wouldn’t get interesting until at least the third round. Times have changed.

After the first week of the state playoffs, where several key games took place, the second week offers up perhaps the best game in the country on Friday night at Traz Powell Stadium.

No. 1 Carol City and No. 2 Central will square off for the second time this season –and all eyes will be on the “Mecca” in Miami.

Carol City and Central were two of the top teams to stay alive in the opening round. The Chiefs have remained No. 1 for the past 11 weeks.

St. Thomas Aquinas certainly showed that they will own 7A with a huge win to start the playoffs.

In 8A, a number of teams emerged as contenders to get to Orlando for the state championships in the first weekend in December.

Cardinal Gibbons and two-time defending 5A state champion American Heritage Plantation are on a collision course for a rematch.

Things will get going this week in 4A, where University School and Booker T. Washington will make a push toward getting to the state title game.

Remember, this is Florida – and while we are having trouble counting votes – there is no problem with our high school football.

Here is a look at the Top 15 as we head into the second round of the playoffs:

1. Carol City Chiefs (6A – 9-2). The impressive season continued in the opening round of the playoffs – as head coach Benedict Hyppolite and his team rolled to a 34-0 win over district foe Norland. Sixth shutout of the season for Florida’s top team. THIS WEEK: It’s the best two teams in Florida – and two of the top 10 in the country – for the second time this year - when the Chiefs play host to Miami Central on Friday at Traz Powell Stadium. NEXT WEEK: It will be the winner out of Heritage Palm Bay and Miami Northwestern for the Region 4 title.

2. Central Rockets (6A – 9-2). In beating a much improved No. 4 seed Fort Lauderdale Dillard, 35-20, on the road, head coach Roland Smith and his team rolled along – setting the scene for this week’s huge rematch. THIS WEEK: That rematch will take place on Friday against No. 1 Carol City at Traz Powell Stadium. NEXT WEEK: It will be the winner out of No. 2 Heritage Palm Bay and No. 7 Miami Northwestern for the Region 4 title.

3. St. Thomas Aquinas Raiders (7A – 10-1). In unloading on South Miami 77-20, head coach Roger Harriott’s squad continued to roll along and show why they are one of the best in Florida – as well as a talented and competitive south Florida. THIS WEEK: It will be district foe and surprising Fort Lauderdale, who won its first playoff game since 1966 – over No. 4 Doral Academy, 54-7. NEXT WEEK: It will be the winner of No. 2 Palm Beach Gardens Dwyer and No. 5 Pam Beach Lakes for the Region 4 title.

4. Columbus Explorers (8A – 11-0). In beating longtime district rival Coral Gables, 38-21, head coach Chris Merritt and his team continued to show why they are among the best in the state of Florida. THIS WEEK: It will be a huge second round game against a Miami Palmetto team that has lost only one time this season – and is loaded with talent. NEXT WEEK: It will be the winner of a district rematch between Southridge and a very talented South Dade squad for the Region 4 title.

5. Deerfield Beach Bucks (8A – 10-1). Coach Jevon Glenn and his team made a statement in the opening round – as a No. 1 seed, beating last year’s top seed, Miramar, 32-14. THIS WEEK: It’s a showdown against a Plantation team that has lost just once this season – and had a huge district-opening win. NEXT WEEK:.It will be the winner of surprising Western and Palm Beach Central for the Region 3 title.

6. Cardinal Gibbons Chiefs (5A – 9-2).. Winning an opening round playoff game for the third straight year, head coach Matt Dubuc and his team rolled over Merritt Island, 49-14. THIS WEEK: It’s another home game for the district champion when they take on No. 3 Orlando Jones for the second consecutive season. NEXT WEEK: It will be either on the road against the No. 1 seed Rockledge or at home against the two-time defending state champions and district rival Plantation American Heritage 

7. American Heritage Patriots (5A – 9-1). In beating Fort Pierce Westwood, 37-14, on the road, head coach Pat Surtain and his two-time defending state champions showed that this team still has what it takes. THIS WEEK: It will be a trip to Rockledge to play against the top seed team. NEXT WEEK: The winner will get the winner of Cardinal Gibbons and Orlando Jones.

8. Southridge Spartans (8A – 9-2). Jumping out to a big lead, this impressive team rolled to a 35-21 win over North Miami – with some huge plays. THIS WEEK: It will be a rematch with district rival South Dade on Friday. NEXT WEEK: It’s the Region 4 title game against the winner of top seed Christopher Columbus and Palmetto.

9. Chaminade-Madonna Lions (3A – 8-2). After enjoying the week off as one of two teams with opening round byes, head coach Dameon Jones and his team get back to it this Friday. THIS WEEK: It will be Miami Palmer Trinity – a 21-10 winner over Miami Westminster Christian – on Friday in Hollywood. NEXT WEEK: It’s the Region 4 title as the winner will play the either North Palm Beach Benjamin or Delray American Heritage.

10. Palmetto Panthers (8A - 10-1). One team that many have continued to overlook, head coach Mike Manasco’s team rolled to a convincing 45-7 win over Miami Belen Jesuit in the opening round of the playoffs.  THIS WEEK: It’s a huge meeting with the No. 1 seed and “unbeaten” Explorers of Columbus, who breezed in the opener NEXT WEEK: The Region 4 title will be up for grabs as the winner will take on either district champion Southridge or talented South Dade.

11. University School Sharks (4A – 9-1). After enjoying the first week of the season with a bye, head coach Daniel Luque and his staff are anxious to get back at it. THIS WEEK: It will be a meeting with Gulliver Prep on Friday at home. NEXT WEEK: The Region 4 title will be up for grabs as the winner of Belle Glade Glades Central and Miami Booker T. Washington will play the winner of this matchup.

12. Plantation Colonels (8A – 10-1). For head coach Steve Davis and his impressive team, the season moved along last Friday with an opening round win at home against Piper, 23-12. THIS WEEK: The season comes down to a huge road game at No. 1 seed Deerfield Beach on Friday night. NEXT WEEK: It will be the winner of surprising Western and the pre-season favorite Palm Beach Central for the Region 3 crown.

13. South Dade Bucs (8A – 9-2). It has been a crazy year for head coach Nate Hudson and his football team, but that was helped by a convincing first round win against Hialeah, 49-14. THIS WEEK: It’s a rematch against a Southridge team that has been very impressive over the past month. NEXT WEEK: It will be the Region 4 title – as the winner of this game will square off against the Columbus-Palmetto winner next week.

14. Fort Lauderdale Flying Ls (7A, 9-2). In winning a playoff game for the first time since 1966, head coach Richard Dunbar and his team rolled to a convincing 54-7 victory over Doral Academy.  THIS WEEK: It will be a rematch against Florida’s top 7A program, St. Thomas Aquinas, who won the first district meeting. NEXT WEEK: The team that emerges from this game will play against the No. 2 Dwyer and No. 5 Palm Beach Lakes game.

\15. Western Wildcats (8A, 9-2). A year ago, head coach Adam Ratkevich and his football team went further (third round) than any team in school history – and after knocking off No. 2 seed and previously unbeaten Delray Atlantic, 21-7, they are indeed ready for the next step. THIS WEEK: It will be a rematch of last year’s playoff game against Palm Beach Central this Friday in Wellington. NEXT WEEK: The winner of top seed Deerfield Beach and Plantation for the Region 3 title.

KEEPING AN EYE ON: Booker T. Washington (4A, 5-5), Champagnat Catholic (2A, 6-5), Gulliver Prep (4A, 8-3) and Palmer Trinity (3A, 9-2). 

SEASON OVER FOR: Belen Jesuit (8A, 8-3), Calvary Christian Academy (3A, 5-6), Coconut Creek (5A, 6-5), Coral Gables (8A, 6-5), Coral Springs Charter (4A, 8-3), Dillard (6A, 8-3), Doral Academy (7A, 8-3), Hialeah (8A, 9-2), McArthur (7A, 9-2), Miami Christian (2A, 8-2), Miramar (8A, 6-5), Monsignor Pace (4A, 5-6), Norland (6A, 4-7), North Miami (8A, 6-5), Piper (8A, 6-5), South Miami (7A, 8-3), West Broward (7A, 7-4), Westminster Christian (3A, 9-2).

CHARTING THE TEAMS WEEKLY

Here is a look back at the Top 15 throughout the season – giving fans a chance to chart the progress:

TOP 15 - WEEK 12 - https://wqam.radio.com/articles/sfhss-top-15-carol-city-gets-race-orland...

TOP 15 - WEEK 11 - https://wqam.radio.com/articles/sfhss-top-15-carol-city-central-remain-n...

TOP 15 - WEEK 10 - https://wqam.radio.com/blogs/larry-blustein/sfhss-top-15-exciting-week-a...

TOP 15 - WEEK 9 - https://wqam.radio.com/articles/sfhss-top-15-no-1-carol-city-no-2-centra...

TOP 15 - WEEK 8 - https://wqam.radio.com/blogs/larry-blustein/sfhss-top-15-national-power-...

TOP 15 - WEEK 7 - https://wqam.radio.com/articles/sfhss-top-15-week-7-key-games-keep-teams...

TOP 15 - WEEK 6 - https://wqam.radio.com/articles/sfhss-top-15-week-6-top-teams-shine-spot...

TOP 15 - WEEK 5 - https://wqam.radio.com/articles/sfhss-top-15-week-5-top-programs-now-fac...

TOP 15 - WEEK 4 - https://wqam.radio.com/articles/sfhss-top-15-week-4-south-florida-loaded...

TOP 15 - WEEK 3 - https://wqam.radio.com/articles/sfhss-top-15-week-3-elite-teams-rising-top

TOP 15 - WEEK 2 - https://wqam.radio.com/articles/sfhss-top-15-week-2-chiefs-stay-top-big-win

TOP 15 - WEEK 1 - https://wqam.radio.com/articles/countdown-kickoff-chiefs-start-2018-no-1

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