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Football: Region quarterfinal rewind (Classes 4A-2A)

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Class 4A

2021 FHSAA Football State Championships 4A Football State Championships

Area recap

South Sumter 48, Hernando 14

The Leopards, who were in the playoffs for the fourth time in the past five years, took a 7-6 lead in the first quarter and stayed within striking distance at the half, trailing 20-14. After that, Hernando watched the game turn into a rout as South Sumter scored 28 straight to advance.

Prime time performers

LB/RB Sam Sternberger, Sr., Hernando: Caught a touchdown pass in the first quarter to give the Leopards a 7-6 lead.

OL/DL CJ Tolbert, Sr., Hernando: Blocked a punt that set up a touchdown.

RB Jordan Williams, Sr., Hernando: Scored on a touchdown run in the second quarter to cut the deficit to 20-14.

Friday’s region semifinal schedule

Belle Glades Glades Central at Lakewood, 7:30

Class 3A

2021 FHSAA Football State Championships 3A Football State Championships

Area recap

Tampa Catholic 26, Carrollwood Day 25

Down 25-17 in the second half, the Crusaders made a furious rally, scoring nine points — the last three coming with 1 minute, 15 seconds on what turned out to be the game-winning field goal.

Prime time performers

ATH Jaquise Alexander, Sr., Tampa Catholic: Had a 35-yard reception that set up the game-winning field goal and picked off a pass that sealed the victory over Carrollwood Day.

PK Eric Fidalgo, Sr., Tampa Catholic: Hit two field goals, the last coming with 1:15 left that turned out to be the game winner against Carrollwood Day.

QB Trey Hedden, So., Tampa Catholic: Came in during the second half and threw a 90-yard touchdown pass and led the Crusaders on their game-winning drive.

WR CJ Lewis, So., Tampa Catholic: Returned a kickoff 86 yards for a touchdown to help the Patriots take a 19-17 lead at the half.

Friday’s region semifinal schedule

Fort Myers Bishop Verot at Berkeley Prep, 7:30

Tampa Catholic at Clearwater Central Catholic, 7:30

Class 2A

2021 FHSAA Football State Championships 2A Football State Championships

Area matchup

Seffner Christian 35, Naples St. John Neumann 20

Trailing 20-14 in the third quarter, the Crusaders relied on an balanced offense and opportunistic defense to score 21 unanswered to move on to the region semifinals for the fourth straight season.

Prime time performers

ATH Jkobe Jones, Sr., Seffner Christian: Had a touchdown reception on offense and picked off two passes on defense in a win over Naples St. John Neumann.

QB Jordan Magwood, Fr., Seffner Christian: Threw for two touchdowns and ran for another in a win over Naples St. John Neumann.

Friday’s region semifinal schedule

Seffner Christian at Naples First Baptist Academy, 7:30

Community School of Naples at Northside Christian, 7:30

Lakeland Victory Christian at Zephyrhills Christian, 7:30

Football

Football: Friday night scoreboard

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Region finals

Class 7A

Half Tampa Bay Tech 14, Wharton 6

Class 6A

Half Jesuit 21, Hillsborough 0

Class 5A

Half Clearwater 6, Sebring 0

Class 4A

Half Clewiston 0, Lakewood 0

Class 3A

Half Berkeley Prep 21, Clearwater Central Catholic 10

Class 2A

2nd Q Orlando Christian Prep 26, Zephyrhills Christian 6

2nd Q Naples First Baptist 28, Northside Christian 7

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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

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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