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Football: Region semifinal preview (Class 4A-2A)

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All games start at 7:30 unless noted

Class 4A

Tampa Catholic (6-2) at Lakewood (8-0)

Outlook: This is a rematch from last year’s region semifinals. The Spartans won that meeting en route to advancing to the state semifinals. The key will be whether Tampa Catholic’s offense, which has scored 34 or more points in every win this season, can keep up that production against a Lakewood defense that has allowed just 38 points all season.  

Pinkos’ pick: Lakewood by 6

Putnam’s prediction: Lakewood 20-13

Hudson (5-2) at Cocoa (8-0)

Outlook: The Cobras, who last week won a playoff game for the first time since 2005, have a challenging task ahead if they want to extend their four-game winning streak. The Tigers have won five state titles since 2008 and have made it to the region final every year during that span.  

Pinkos’ pick: Cocoa by 69

Putnam’s prediction: Cocoa 49-14

Class 3A

Frostproof (4-0) at Berkeley Prep (5-1)

Outlook: The Buccaneers, the lone area team still alive in 3A, are trying to reach the region final for the second time in the past three seasons. To get there, Berkeley Prep will continue to rely on the running of Travis Bates and Xavier Townsend and a defense that has allowed a combined 13 points in the last two games. The Bulldogs are sure to be rusty. They have played just three games on the field (last week’s playoff win over Cape Coral Oasis came via forfeit). This is the first time Frostproof has actually played a game since Oct. 9. 

Pinkos’ pick: Berkeley Prep by 45

Putnam’s prediction: Berkeley Prep 42-6

Class 2A

Carrollwood Day (5-4) at Northside Christian (5-5)

Outlook: A rematch from the season opener that the Patriots won with ease. The Mustangs did catch a huge break. Carrollwood Day tight end Michael Trigg is among eight starters still having to quarantine because of contact tracing. Trigg, a Southern California commit, is considered one of the top tight ends in the country. In the past two seasons, the Mustangs have had trouble stopping him. Last season, Trigg had 12 catches for 234 yards and five touchdowns against Northside Christian in the region semifinals when he was with Seffner Christian. In this year’s season opener, Trigg had nine catches for 146 yards and a touchdown to lead Carrollwood Day to a win over the Mustangs. . 

Pinkos’ pick: Carrollwood Day by 17

Putnam’s prediction: Carrollwood Day 35-21

Cambridge Christian (9-1) at Seffner Christian (6-4)

Outlook: A rematch from a regular season game the Lancers won 21-13. Since that loss, the Crusaders have turned things around, winning four straight. Expect another close, low-scoring game with both teams relying on strong running games and stifling defenses. 

Pinkos’ pick: Seffner Christian by 3

Putnam’s prediction: Cambridge Christian 16-14

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Football: Friday night scoreboard

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Final Tampa Bay Tech 21, Wharton 12

Final St. Petersburg Catholic 47, Bishop McLaughlin 15

Final Gibbs 50, Gulf 21

Final Countryside 28, Sunlake 7\

Final Berkeley Prep 49, New Orleans Newman 24

Final Zephyrhills Christian 30, Bradenton Christian 7

Final Boca Ciega 28, Seminole 21

Final Lakeland Christian 38, Calvary Christian 13

Final Clearwater 48, Tarpon Springs 7

Final Clearwater Central Catholic 56, Kissimmee Gateway 0

Final Northeast 21, Hollins 20

Final Sumner 14, Braden River 10

Final Legacy Charter 21, Indian Rocks Christian 14

Final Mount Dora Christian 48, Keswick Christian 0

Final Seffner Christian 62, St. Joseph Academy 16

Final Zephyrhills 35, Nature Coast 0

Final Largo 25, Sickles 7

Final Osceola 48, St. Petersburg 9

Final Steinbrenner 35, Chamberlain 21

Final Carrollwood Day 42, Cambridge Christian 7

Final Tampa Catholic 38, Winter Haven 0

Final Land O’ Lakes 36, Pasco 0

Final Jesuit 44, Blake 0

Final Armwood 41, Wiregrass Ranch 11

Final Palmetto 23, Bloomingdale 3

4th Q Alonso 52, Robinson 17

Final Plant City 31, Plant 24

Final Wesley Chapel 44, Hudson 6

Final Newsome 55, Riverview 7

Final Pinellas Park 46, Palm Harbor University 0

Final Fivay 27, Freedom 25

Final Bradenton Manatee 29, East Bay 13

Final Dunedin 48, Anclote 22

Final Spoto 46, Brandon 0

Final Durant 49, Middleton 6

Final Cypress Creek 43, Weeki Wachee 0

Final Lennard 33, Jefferson 31

Final Gaither 48, Leto 7

Final McCallie (Tenn.) 47, Clearwater Academy 14

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The Hillsborough County Football Player of the Week

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LB/S Cole Highsmith, Jr., Plant City

After becoming a starter as a sophomore last season, Cole Highsmith took on a more prominent role as one of the leaders of Plant City’s defense. 

He took on that task by making play after play. 

This season, Highsmith has recorded 73 tackles and six sacks. Those totals already surpassed what he ended up with last year. 

Against Bloomingdale two weeks ago, Highsmith had 13 tackles, two sacks and an interception to lead the Raiders to victory. 

Fans paid attention. Highsmith received 50 percent of the votes (746) in the Hillsborough County football player of the week poll to beat out Wharton’s Daveon Crouch, who had 25 percent (376 votes). 

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Thursday night football forecast

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Seffner Christian (2-3) at St. Petersburg Catholic (3-3), 7

After starting 2-0, the visiting Crusaders have lost three straight. The host Barons, meanwhile, have rebounded from a 1-2 start to win two of their last three games. 

Putnam’s prediction: St. Petersburg Catholic 30-28

Gibbs (3-3) at Tarpon Springs (3-3), 7

An important Class 5A, District 10 game for both teams not only to stay in the mix for a title but also to get above .500 for the season. 

Putnam’s prediction: Gibbs 34-21 

Clearwater (5-1) at Anclote (1-5), 7:30

The Tornadoes have won five straight and are the clear favorite to the Class 5A, District 10 title. The host Sharks are on a two-game losing streak. 

Putnam’s prediction: Clearwater 42-7

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