SFHSS TOP 15 - Week 7: Key Games Keep Teams In The Spotlight

Larry Blustein
October 02, 2018 - 9:54 am

Larry Blustein

This has been one of those seasons where the teams in the race for the post season are not giving up their spots in the Top 15.

As Carol City rolled along – with several other programs in south Florida – keep in mind that every team in this elite listing will have some key matchups over the next three weeks.

With the playoffs coming into focus for many of the programs, you will start seeing some new teams emerge – with others, who have elevated their play through the first six weeks of the 2018 season, starting to fall out of contention.

This is the best part of south Florida high school football – as you will see in the coming weeks.

Here is a look at the top 15-plus as we head toward the seventh week:

1. Carol City Chiefs (6A – 5-0). Once again, Florida’s best team jumped out, used one of the country’s best defenses, and the took care of district foe Hialeah Miami Lakes, 47-0. THIS WEEK: It’s the 8A Southridge Spartans in one of the many marquee games this week. NEXT WEEK: The district season heats up once again on Friday, Oct. 12 – with a huge meeting against the always dangerous defending 6A state champion Northwestern Bulls.

2. Deerfield Beach Bucks (8A – 6-0).  Using a record-setting performance by Jaylan Knighton, Florida’s top 8A team won a key district game against Taravella, 44-8.

THIS WEEK: It’s a huge matchup with 7A power No. 5 St. Thomas Aquinas on Oct. 5 at home at 7.

NEXT WEEK: A home district game against Douglas next Friday.

3. Central Rockets (6A – 5-1). One week after hammering St. Thomas Aquinas in Fort Lauderdale, it was back to the district schedule with a convincing 38-14 win over Norland. THIS WEEK: It will be a non-district matchup with Pompano Beach Blanche Ely on Oct. 5. NEXT WEEK: Back to district play with a meeting against Hialeah-Miami Lakes on Oct. 11.

4. American Heritage Patriots (5A – 4-1). After a competitive first five weeks, head coach Pat Surtain’s squad had this past week off. THIS WEEK: Back to district play with a home game against Stranahan on October 5 at 7:30. NEXT WEEK: It’s the game everyone has been waiting for. A home district matchup with Cardinal Gibbons on Friday, Oct. 12 at 7:30. 

5. St. Thomas Aquinas Raiders (7A – 4-1).. After using this past week to regroup after the loss to Miami Central, it’s back to work for head coach Roger Harriott and his team. THIS WEEK: A game on the road – against No. 2 Deerfield – will once again put this team in a huge spotlight. This has long been a competitive matchup. NEXT WEEK: It’s back to district play with a Friday game at Fort Lauderdale at 7. 

6. Columbus Explorers (8A – 5-1). Coach Chris Merritt’s team continues to make a push to win the district – after beating longtime rival Miami High, 43-0. THIS WEEK: It’s a trip to Lakeland to finish the two-game series with Lake Gibson on Oct. 5. NEXT WEEK: Back to district play with an Oct. 12 game at Miami Beach.

7. South Dade Bucs (8A – 5-0). After five wins to start the season out, the Bucs will enjoy the week off before a non-district trip to North Miami Beach for a 7:30 contest against the Chargers on October 5. NEXT WEEK: In preparing for key district games with Palmetto and Southridge, head coach Nate Hudson’s team will play an always competitive Killian squad on Oct. 12 at Harris Field. 

8. Plantation Colonels (8A – 5-0). Coach Steve Davis and his football team continue to be the big story – as they rolled past Flanagan in a district game, 55-0. They have outscored their opponents, 214-34. THIS WEEK: A trip to Miramar for a district meeting against Everglades on Oct. 5 at 7. 

9. Southridge Spartans (8A – 5-1).  After falling behind in the fourth quarter, this program rallied for a huge 27-16 district meeting with Palmetto. THIS WEEK: Things do not get any easier on Oct. 5 as the No. 1 team in Florida, Miami Carol City, will provide the opposition. NEXT WEEK: The team will take the week off – for a stretch run that includes South Dade and City rival Homestead. 

10. Palmetto Panthers (8A - 4-1). Coach Mike Manasco’s team really had many chances to come away with a key district win, but fell short to No. 9 Southridge, making every win now vital for regional seeding. THIS WEEK: It’s back to work with an Oct. 4 non-district game against North Miami. NEXT WEEK: The district schedule continues with a home game against Homestead on Oct. 12. 

11. University School Sharks (4A – 5-0). After enjoying the week off to prepare for the stretch run, Coach Daniel Luque’s team is ready to go. THIS WEEK: Another home game on October 5 against surprising 3A Delray American Heritage at 7. NEXT WEEK: On the road against defending 2A state champion Hialeah Champagnat Catholic.

12. Cardinal Gibbons Chiefs (5A – 4-2). In winning for the fifth straight time, this team scored early and often in putting away district foe, Coconut Creek, 53-16. THIS WEEK: Will enjoy the week off before a huge district matchup on Oct. 12 at No. 4 Plantation American Heritage Plantation.

13. Chaminade-Madonna Lions (3A – 4-2). Bouncing back from a tough loss to American Heritage, head coach Dameon Jones and his squad rolled over 8A Piper, 42-6. THIS WEEK: After six games to start the year out, this team will enjoy the week off, getting ready for an Oct. 12 non district game at Miami Booker T. Washington.

14. Northwestern Bulls (6A – 3-3). In losing to powerhouse IMG Academy in Bradenton, the 6A defending champions will take the week off before a huge district meeting on Oct. 12 game against No. 1 Carol City.

15. Hollywood McArthur Mustangs (7A, 6-0). Coach Pierre Senatus and his team continues to be the big surprise in south Florida as they won for the sixth straight time this season, 55-15 over Archbishop McCarthy. The Mustangs have one of the highest scoring teams this season.

 THIS WEEK: In preparing for the remainder of the regular season, the Mustangs will enjoy the week off after a job well done..

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 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

Catch the South Florida High School Sports Radio Show each Tuesday night (8-9) on WQAM (560AM - https://wqam.radio.com/media/podcast/south-florida-high-school-sports-radio). For the past 11 years, the players and coaches who are making the headlines, join the program. You will learn a lot about football recruiting!