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Friday night football forecast

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Must-see matchups

Northeast (6-0) at Boca Ciega (4-2), 7

A win would all but clinch the Class 6A, District 11 title for the Vikings. That could be tough considering Northeast is dealing with some injuries. 

Putnam’s prediction: Boca Ciega 21-20

Steinbrenner (3-4) at East Lake (2-5), 7

The winner becomes the overwhelming favorite to take the Class 8A, District 11 title. 

Putnam’s prediction: Steinbrenner 17-13

Armwood (4-2) at Bloomingdale (3-3), 7:30

The Hawks won both meetings in 2019. The Bulls won both meetings last season. The stakes are not as high this time around with neither team in the same district but still a riveting rivalry. 

Putnam’s prediction: Armwood 27-21

Nature Coast (4-2) at Hudson (5-1), 7:30

The Sharks already have a loss in Class 5A, District 9 play and cannot afford another if they want to stay within striking distance of the Cobras and Zephyrhills at the top of the standings. 

Putnam’s prediction: Nature Coast 24-21

Largo (2-4) at Mitchell (6-1), 7:30

This is a must-win for the Packers to have any shot at the Class 7A, District 9 title.

Putnam’s prediction: Mitchell 20-14

Tampa Bay Tech (6-0) at Wiregrass Ranch (4-1), 7:30

A Titans win would set up a showdown with Wharton next week to decide the Class 7A, District 10 title. This matchups features two differing styles on offense with Tampa Bay Tech’s ground attack going up against the Bulls’ aerial assault.  

Putnam’s prediction: Tampa Bay Tech 28-21

Plant City (4-2) at Durant (6-1), 7:30

The host Cougars already have a loss in Class 8A, District 10 and cannot afford another one to keep their title hopes alive. 

Putnam’s prediction: Durant 17-16

Tampa Catholic (3-2) at Land O’ Lakes (6-0), 7:30

This is the Gators’ toughest test so far this season, one that could end up derailing their perfect regular season. 

Putnam’s prediction: Tampa Catholic 34-28

East Bay (5-1) at Palmetto (2-3), 7:30

A pivotal Class 7A, District 11 matchup the visiting Indians need to keep their district title hopes alive. 

Putnam’s prediction: Palmetto 14-13 

Braden River (5-0) at Clearwater Central Catholic (4-2), 7:30

The tough schedule continues for the Marauders who face the undefeated the Pirates. 

Putnam’s prediction: Clearwater Central Catholic 21-16

The remaining schedule

Bishop McLaughlin at Oasis, 7

Putnam’s prediction: Bishop McLaughlin 21-19

Cambridge Christian at Sarasota Cardinal Mooney, 7

Putnam’s prediction: Sarasota Cardinal Mooney 38-20

Berkeley Prep at Lakeland Victory Christian, 7

Putnam’s prediction: Berkeley Prep 34-7

Indian Rocks Christian at Sarasota Out-of-Door, 7

Putnam’s prediction: Indian Rocks Christian 21-14

Alonso at Palm Harbor University, 7

Putnam’s prediction: Palm Harbor University 16-14

Keswick Christian at Northside Christian, 7

Putnam’s prediction: Northside Christian 37-31

St. Petersburg at Seminole, 7

Putnam’s prediction: Seminole 28-7

Academy at the Lakes at Shorecrest, 7

Putnam’s prediction: Shorecrest 35-21

Zephyrhills Christian at North Florida Educational Institute, 7

Putnam’s prediction: Zephyrhills Christian 42-21

Hardee at Lakewood, 7

Putnam’s prediction: Lakewood 24-6

Central at Springstead, 7:30

Putnam’s prediction: Springstead 35-0

Bradenton Manatee at Lennard, 7:30

Putnam’s prediction: Lennard 35-21

Wharton at Strawberry Crest, 7:30

Putnam’s prediction: Wharton 35-0

Spoto at Bradenton Southeast, 7:30

Putnam’s prediction: Bradenton Southeast 20-14

Brandon at Sumner, 7:30

Putnam’s prediction: Sumner 41-7

Zephyrhills at Cypress Creek, 7:30

Putnam’s prediction: Zephyrhills 27-16

King at Middleton, 7:30

Putnam’s prediction: King 28-20

Blake at Hillsborough, 7:30

Putnam’s prediction: Hillsborough 34-6

Plant at Riverview, 7:30

Putnam’s prediction: Plant 35-14

Robinson at Chamberlain, 7:30

Putnam’s prediction: Chamberlain 27-14

Gulf, at Dunedin 7

Putnam’s prediction: Dunedin 21-12

Jesuit at Jefferson, 7:30

Putnam’s prediction: Jesuit 31-7

Freedom at Sunlake, 7:30

Putnam’s prediction: Sunlake 21-6

Sickles at Gaither, 7:30

Putnam’s prediction: Gaither 28-27

Pasco at Belleview, 7:30

Putnam’s prediction: Belleview 35-0

Fivay at River Ridge, 7:30

Putnam’s prediction: River Ridge 41-14

Wesley Chapel at Weeki Wachee, 7:30

Putnam’s prediction: Wesley Chapel 28-0

Football

Football: Friday night scoreboard

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Region finals

Class 7A

Final Tampa Bay Tech 42, Wharton 6

Class 6A

Final Jesuit 42, Hillsborough 0

Class 5A

Final Sebring 13, Clearwater 12

Class 4A

Final Lakewood 21, Clewiston 7

Class 3A

Final Berkeley Prep 36, Clearwater Central Catholic 22

Class 2A

Final Orlando Christian Prep 48, Zephyrhills Christian 12

Final Naples First Baptist 51, Northside Christian 28

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Football

Friday football forecast — Nov. 26

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Region finals

Class 7A

Wharton (9-2) at Tampa Bay Tech (12-0), 7:30

For preview of the game click here

Fans’ pick: Tampa Bay Tech (69 percent/49 votes)

Putnam’s prediction: Tampa Bay Tech 21-20

Class 6A

Hillsborough (10-2) at Jesuit (12-0), 7:30

For preview of the game click here.

Fans’ pick: Jesuit (73 percent/52 votes)

Putnam’s prediction: Jesuit 21-7

Class 5A

Sebring (8-3) at Clearwater (11-1), 7:30

For preview of the game click here.

Fans’ pick: Clearwater (76 percent/54 votes)

Putnam’s prediction: Clearwater 28-21

Class 4A

Clewiston (8-2) at Lakewood (10-2), 7:30

For preview of the game click here.

Fans’ pick: Lakewood (89 percent/63 votes)

Putnam’s prediction: Lakewood 22-17

Class 3A

Clearwater Central Catholic (8-3) at Berkeley Prep (10-0), 7:30

For preview of the game click here.

Fans’ pick: Berkeley Prep (75 percent/53 votes)

Putnam’s prediction: Berkeley Prep 28-24

Class 2A

Zephyrhills Christian (9-2) at Orlando Christian Prep (9-1), 7:30

For preview of the game click here.

Fans’ pick: Zephyrhills Christian (58 percent/41 votes)

Putnam’s prediction: Zephyrhills Christian 21-19

Northside Christian (7-2) at Naples First Baptist (9-1), 7:30

For preview of the game click here.

Fans’ pick: Northside Christian (66 percent/47 votes)

Putnam’s prediction: Naples First Baptist 35-21

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Football: Wharton at Tampa Bay Tech preview

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7A region final

Wharton (9-2) at Tampa Bay Tech (12-0), 7:30

This is a rematch from a regular season game the Titans won 21-12. That win not only clinched the district title for Tampa Bay Tech but also helped the program go undefeated in the regular season for the first time. The Titans schedule included nine games against teams that made the playoffs. Playing — and beating — such tough competition is the reason why Tampa Bay Tech earned the top overall seed in 7A based on RPI rankings.  The offense has displayed some nice balance with more than 2,000 yards rushing and passing this season. Quarterback Xavione Washington, a transfer from Tampa Catholic, took over as the starter and had played well down the stretch, throwing for 15 touchdowns and just two interceptions the last seven games. Defensively, the Titans are led up front with a furious pass rush that has recorded 38 sacks this season. The Wildcats are road warriors. They have won all road the past two seasons under coach Mike Williams, including two straight in the playoffs so far to reach the region final. Wharton’s strength is its defense, which has allowed just 93 points all season and has posted four shutouts. Last week, the Wildcats stymied Lehigh’s five-star running back Richard Young, who held to his lowest rushing total of the season. Wharton’s defensive playmakers also have a knack for finding the end zone once they get their hands on the ball. The Wildcats have scored a whopping 12 defensive touchdowns this season (five fumble returns, seven interception returns). 

Stat leaders

CategoryWhartonTampa Bay Tech
Passing yardsCarson Mohler, 947 (10 TDs, 5 INTs)Xavione Washington, 1,932 (19 TDs, 7 INTs)
Rushing yardsArkese Parks, 570 yards (7 TDs)James Evans, 917 yards (14 TDs)
Receiving yardsJason Cornwall, 227 (2 TDs)Greg Gaines III, 741 yards (9 TDs)
TacklesCameron Campbell, 92Ed Gwinn, 78
SacksBooker Pickett Jr., 19Keyon Clark, 15
InterceptionsTwo players tied with four. Two players tied with three.
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