Larry Blustein

WEEK 4 – STATE PLAYOFFS: 8 Area Teams Still Alive

Larry Blustein
November 28, 2018 - 10:31 am

For defending state 2A champion Champagnat Catholic, 3A state champion Chaminade-Madonna and 7A power St. Thomas Aquinas, getting to the state football semifinals is something all three schools are familiar with.

When all three south Florida programs take to the field this Friday night, it will be a chance for all three teams to advance to state.

While first year head coach Hector Clavijo (Champagnat) and Dameon Jones (Chaminade-Madonna) will be on the road this week – head coach Roger Harriott and his Raiders will be at home for this week’s Race To Orlando.

Missing out on the state championships last year, you know that when defending 7A state champion Venice comes to Fort Lauderdale, revenge will be the order of the day.

Since losing to Miami Central at home earlier this season, the Raiders have indeed been lights, dominating on both sides of the line of scrimmage, and have to feel great coming into the meeting.

With eight area teams still in contention for a run at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, things will get mighty interesting.

Here is a look at Round 4 – the state semifinals:


No. 1 Christopher Columbus (13-0) at Deerfield Beach (12-1), 7:30. This will be a war. Two of the best teams in Florida who have been tested all season long. Great defense and coaching that will certainly make this a very interesting state semifinal. Many picked this game at the start of the season!


Sarasota Riverview (11-3) at Jacksonville Mandarin (9-4).


No. 1 Venice (12-1) at No. 1 St. Thomas Aquinas (12-1). After losing to the defending state champions last year in this game, the Raiders remember and will certainly show up big time at home – with a defense that has emerged as one of the best – along with an offensive attack that will score some points. 


Orlando Edgewater (12-1) at Lakeland (13-0).


No. 6 Northwestern (8-5) at No. 1 Naples (12-1), 7:30. As many are already looking at this trip as a very tough game – and motivation for the Golden Eagles after losing to the Bulls by 5 scores last year. Remember the road that the defending state champions have taken to get to this game. They are ready, and until Naples beats one of the area powers, coach Max Edwards and his team are ready for the challenge and a fourth road playoff game.


Crestview (10-2) at Seffner Armwood (12-1).


No. 2 Tampa Jesuit (12-1) at No. 2 Cardinal Gibbons (11-2), 7:30. In beating district rival American Heritage twice in the same season, including last week’s 35-7 decision, this is a team that has everything it takes to advance to state. Solid defense and an offense that is ready to compete against some of the best. Have to feel good for this program – which is at an elite level.


Citra North Marion (11-2) at Jacksonville Trinity Christian (13-0)


No. 1 University School (11-1) at No. 1 Cocoa (9-3), 7:30. Last year in this meeting, things didn’t go the way that head coach Daniel Luque and the Sharks had hoped. Different year and new players on both sides of the ball, but the Tigers are still talented and will make this team earn everything. Should be a very entertaining game.


Dunnellon (8-5) at Jacksonville Raines (11-1)


No. 1 Chaminade-Madonna (10-2) at No. 1 Clearwater Central Catholic (12-0), 7:30. The defending state champions has to travel back to Clearwater this week for a game that will be a lot closer than last year. Head coach Dameon and his Lions are playing tremendous football on both sides of the ball and have had one of the top schedules around.


West Palm Beach King’s Academy (12-1) at Tallahassee Florida High (8-3)


No. 5 Champagnat Catholic (7-5) at No. 1 St. Petersburg Admiral Farragut (10-1), 7:30. For the past two years, the Lions have met the challenge in this round – and as they defend last year’s state title – there is plenty of optimism for a team that has been impressive the past month.


Lakeland Victory Christian (11-1) at Tallahassee North Florida Christian (7-4)

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