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Football: Friday night forecast (region quarterfinals)



The playoffs start with tonight’s region quarterfinal matchups. To get ready, here are the predictions of every area game — from fans and myself. 

Class 8A

Osceola (8-2) at Newsome (8-2), 7:30

Fans pick: Newsome (54 percent/90 votes)

Putnam’s prediction: Newsome 17-14

Durant (8-2) at West Orange (9-1), 7:30

Fans pick: West Orange (51 percent/ 86 votes)

Putnam’s prediction: West Orange 24-17

Plant City (6-4) at Venice (9-1), 7:30

Fans pick: Venice (51 percent, 86 votes)

Putnam’s prediction: Venice 31-14

Sarasota Riverview (8-2) at Steinbrenner (7-3), 7:30

Fans pick: Sarasota Riverview (60 percent/100 votes)

Putnam’s prediction: Steinbrenner 21-19

Class 7A

Wiregrass Ranch (5-4) at Palmetto (4-5), 7:30

Fans pick: Palmetto (58 percent/97 votes)

Putnam’s prediction: Palmetto 27-21

Largo (5-5) at Tampa Bay Tech (10-0), 7:30

Fans pick: Tampa Bay Tech (76 percent/127 votes)

Putnam’s prediction: Tampa Bay Tech 28-14

Gaither (6-4) at Lehigh (6-2), 7:30

Fans pick: Gaither (73 percent/122 votes)

Putnam’s prediction: Lehigh 14-13

Wharton (7-2) at Mitchell (8-2), 7:30

Fans pick: Wharton (55 percent/93 votes)

Putnam’s prediction: Wharton 20-16

Class 6A

Northeast (9-1) at Sumner (8-2), 7:30

Fans pick: Northeast (57 percent/95 votes)

Putnam’s prediction: Northeast 26-24

Hillsborough (8-2) at Pinellas Park (9-1), 7:30

Fans pick: Hillsborough (60 percent/101 votes)

Putnam’s prediction: Hillsborough 34-21

Boca Ciega (6-4) at Jesuit (10-0), 7:30

Fans pick: Jesuit (77 percent/130 votes)

Putnam’s prediction: Jesuit 35-14

Braden River (8-1) at Countryside (5-5), 7:30

Fans pick: Braden River (51 percent/85 votes)

Putnam’s prediction: Braden River 40-21

Class 5A

Hudson (6-4) at Clearwater (9-1), 7:30

Fans pick: Clearwater (71 percent/120 votes)

Putnam’s prediction: Clearwater 49-14

Gibbs (7-3) at Zephyrhills (9-1), 7:30

Fans pick: Zephyrhills (58 percent/98 votes)

Putnam’s prediction: Zephyrhills 22-20

Wesley Chapel (6-3) at Sebring (6-3), 7:30

Fans pick: Wesley Chapel (67 percent/112 votes)

Putnam’s prediction: Sebring 24-20

Nature Coast (7-3) at Chamberlain (3-7), 7:30

Fans pick: Chamberlain (57 percent/96 votes)

Putnam’s prediction: Nature Coast 34-28

Class 4A

Hernando (6-4) at South Sumter (6-4), 7:30

Fans pick: Hernando (58 percent/97 votes)

Putnam’s prediction: South Sumter 20-14

Class 3A

Tampa Catholic (6-3) at Carrollwood Day (7-2), 7:30

Fans pick: Tampa Catholic (64 percent/108 votes)

Putnam’s prediction: Carrollwood Day 28-20 

Class 2A 

Naples St. John Neumann (6-4) at Seffner Christian (5-4), 7:30

Fans pick: Seffner Christian (68 percent/114 votes)

Putnam’s prediction: Seffner Christian 30-28


Football: Friday night scoreboard



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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Friday football forecast — Nov. 26



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



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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