Football: Class 8A play-in preview

Football General

Class 8A

2020 FHSAA Football State Championships Class 8A Football

The schedule

Riverview (1-7) at Wharton (6-1), 7:30

Outlook: Though the Wildcats had their six-game win streak snapped to end their hopes of an undefeated regular season, they have a chance to win a playoff game for the first time since 2008. Wharton’s success is due in large part to a defense that has allowed just 43 points all season. Henry Griffith leads the Wildcats in tackles with an average of 9.3 per game and Daveon Crouch is tops on the team in sacks with an average of 1.5 per game. Kadeem Robinson is having a monster season for the Sharks with 541 yards receiving, 536 rushing and 11 touchdowns. 

Pinkos’ pick: Wharton by 15

Putnam’s prediction: Wharton 20-7

Sarasota Riverview (7-1) at Plant (2-5), 7:30

Outlook: The Panthers have one of the toughest draws. They face a Riverview team that has allowed just 30 points combined during its current five-game win streak. Plant blockers will have to pay special attention to Tyre Smith, who leads the Rams in tackles (8.5 per game) and sacks (0.5 per game). 

Pinkos’ pick: Sarasota Riverview by 48

Putnam’s prediction: Sarasota Riverview 42-7

Alonso (2-6) at Palm Harbor University (3-4), 7

Outlook: This is a rematch from a regular season meeting the Hurricanes won 14-9. Expect another close, low-scoring game. Both teams will likely lean on their running game. PHU’s ground game is led by Mitchell Wood (107.3 yards per game) while the Ravens rely on James Holley-Berry (106.3). 

Pinkos’ pick: Palm Harbor University by 10

Putnam’s prediction: Palm Harbor University 21-14

Stats

8A area leaders

Passing yards (average per game)

197.4 Gavin Henley, Lennard (13 TDs, 3 INTs)

149.0 Bryce Lowe, Steinbrenner (7 TDs, 4 INTs)

144.0  Jayden Young, Riverview (13 TDs, 9 INTs)

138.4 Elijah Rhoden, Wharton (4 TDs, 11 INTs)

132.3 Jack Lennon, Plant (1 TD, 3 INTs)

Steinbrenner's Deon Silas
Steinbrenner’s Deon Silas

Rushing yards (average per game)

108.3 Deon Silas, Steinbrenner (6 TDs)

107.3 Mitchell Wood, Palm Harbor U (4 TDs)

106.3 James Holley-Berry, Alonso (11 TDs)

82.0 Kirby Vorhees, Steinbrenner (7 TDs)

73.3 Jason Albritton, Newsome (9 TDs)

Receiving yards (average per game)

79.7 Deon Silas, Steinbrenner (2 TDs)

67.6 Kadeem Robinson, Riverview (6 TDs)

66.3 Eelijah Singleton, Lennard (4 TDs)

57.8 Caleb Massey, Alonso (1 TD)

53.1 Demetrius Carter, Wharton (1 TD)

Tackles (average per game)

12.0 Austin Brannen, Steinbrenner

9.7 Rahmel Batty, Riverview

9.5 Colin Bernstein, Steinbrenner

9.3 Henry Griffith, Wharton

8.4 TJ Hubbell, Steinbrenner

Sacks (average per game)

1.5 Daveon Crouch, Wharton

0.8 Booker Pickett Jr., Wharton

0.8 Jeremiah Ross, Newsome

0.6 Antonio Moore, Alonso

0.6 Charlie Myers, Steinbrenner

Interceptions (average per game)

0.8 Ilan Egosi, Palm Harbor U

0.7 Jairon Dorsey, Wharton

0.6 Matt Durrance, Steinbrenner

0.4 TJ Hubbell, Steinbrenner

0.3 Kevin Osborne, Newsome

Rankings

8A top 25 (compiled by MaxPreps)

1. Miami Palmetto (1-0)

2. Sanford Seminole (7-0)

3. St. Johns Bartram Trail (8-1)

4. Orange Park Oakleaf (6-3)

5. Port St. Lucie Treasure Coast (7-0)

6. Orlando Dr. Phillips (5-1)

7. Apopka (5-3)

8. Vero Beach (6-2)

9. Winter Garden West Orange (4-3)

10. Winter Park (7-1)

11. Deland (3-2)

12. Sarasota Riverview (7-1)

13. Orlando Boone (6-2)

14. Kissimmee Osceola (5-2)

15. Jacksonville Sandalwood (6-2)

16. Flagler Palm Coast (4-3)

17. Lake Mary (6-2)

18. Port Orange Spruce Creek (4-3)

19. Newsome (5-2)

20. Altamonte Springs Lake Brantley (5-3)

21. Jacksonville Mandarin (3-5)

22. Orlando Timber Creek (6-1)

23. Steinbrenner (3-2)

24. Orlando Lake Nona (4-3)

25. Ocoee (3-4)