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Prep football: Tonight’s regional quarterfinal previews

A capsule look at tonight’s prep football playoff games.


Orlando Boone (4-6) at Plant (8-1-1)

WHAT: Class 8A-Region 2 quarterfinal

WHEN/WHERE: 7:30 p.m./Dad’s Stadium, 2415 S. Himes Ave., Tampa

OUTLOOK: Boone won its final four games of the regular season, including three district contests, to advance to the playoffs. Plant, which lost in the 8A region semifinals last season to Orlando Dr. Phillips, continues to move the ball through the air, led by senior quarterback Colby Brown (2,068 yards, 23 touchdowns).

UP NEXT: Winner would play Wharton or Orlando Dr. Phillips


Wharton (7-3) at Orlando Dr. Phillips (10-0)

WHAT: Class 8A-Region 2 quarterfinal

WHEN/WHERE: 7:30 p.m./6500 Turkey Lake Rd., Orlando

OUTLOOK: Wharton will make its third consecutive trip to Orlando to face Dr. Phillips in the quarterfinal round. Dr. Phillips won the previous two meetings. Wharton senior quarterback Chase Litton leads the Wildcats’ offense with 1,966 yards and 13 touchdowns. Litton threw for 404 yards and two touchdowns against Dr. Phillips last season.

UP NEXT: Winner will play Plant or Orlando Boone.


Plant City (8-2) at Sickles (9-1)

WHAT: Class 7A-Region 2 quarterfinal

WHEN/WHERE: 7:30 p.m./Gryphons Stadium, 7950 Gunn Highway, Tampa

OUTLOOK: Plant City’s front seven, with Sedrick King and John Broome along with linebacker Jyquis Thomas, has caused havoc this season. Sickles, however, has the most dynamic offense in Hillsborough County with junior running back Ray Ray McCloud III, who has 1,941 yards and 22 touchdowns.

UP NEXT: Winner will play Gaither or East Bay


Gaither (5-5) at East Bay (7-3)

WHAT: Class 7A-Region 2 quarterfinal

WHEN/WHERE: 7:30 p.m./E.G. Simmons Field,

7710 Old Big Bend Road, Gibsonton

OUTLOOK: Gaither two-way athlete Amani Oruwariye is a game-changer. The Cowboys will need to score early against an East Bay team that likes to control possession. Defensive end Marques Ford will be crucial in the Indians’ pass rush against Alex McGough. East Bay is 0-6 all-time in the state playoffs.

UP NEXT: Winner will play Plant City or Gaither


Palmetto (5-5) at East Lake (10-0)

WHAT: Class 7A-Region 3 quarterfinal

WHEN/WHERE: 7:30 p.m./Eagles Nest, 1300 Silver Eagle Dr., Tarpon Springs

OUTLOOK: The Eagles are peaking at the right time, but will face a Palmetto team that has given Pinellas County foes some problems. Palmetto nearly defeated Lakewood early in the season and shut out Countryside 27-0. East Lake comes in undefeated and will need to rely on its big playmakers — Weston Fordham (893 yards rushing, 17 TDs), Clemson commit Artavis Scott (514 yards rushing, 10 TDs) and Michigan commit George Campbell (473 yards, 4 TDs).

UP NEXT: Winner will play Pinellas Park or Sarasota


Pinellas Park (9-1) at Sarasota (5-5)

WHAT: Class 7A-Region 3 quarterfinal

WHEN/WHERE: 7:30 p.m./Sarasota High, 1000 S. School Ave., Sarasota

OUTLOOK: A potential rematch between East Lake and Pinellas Park could be in the works, but the Patriots must first get by a Sarasota team that has faced some tough competition. The Sailors have faced state powerhouse Bradenton Manatee, Tallahassee Lincoln and Venice. Pinellas Park brings its high-powered Wing-T attack, which broke the 4,000-yard mark for the season and is averaging better then 400 yards rushing per game.

UP NEXT: Winner will play East Lake or Palmetto


Venice (8-2) at Armwood (10-0)

WHAT: Class 6A-Region 2 quarterfinal

WHEN/WHERE: 7:30 p.m./Lyle Flagg Field, 12000 U.S. 92, Seffner

OUTLOOK: Senior running back Terry Polk leads the Indians with 1,770 rushing yards and 20 touchdowns. Armwood has kept opposing teams guessing on offense with four running backs, along with a mobile quarterback. The Hawks are the highest-ranked team in Tampa Bay and rank within the top 100 in the country.

UP NEXT: Winner will play Largo or Jefferson


Jefferson (9-1) at Largo (8-2)

WHAT: Class 6A-Region 2 quarterfinal

WHEN/WHERE: 7:30 p.m./ Packer Stadium, 410 Missouri Ave. N., Largo

OUTLOOK: Jefferson returns to the playoffs after a two-year hiatus. USF commit and senior QB Deiondre Porter ranks first in passing in Hillsborough County and is second in rushing for a total of 3,738 yards. Largo will be without star running back and USF commit Jarvis Stewart, who was arrested on Nov. 7 on charges of lewd and lascivious battery. Stewart was released two days later on $10,000 bond. The Packers will have to lean on their secondary, led by Cordell Hudson, to slow the Dragons.

UP NEXT: Winner will play Venice or Armwood


Sunlake (9-1) at Gainesville (8-2)

WHAT: Class 6A-Region 2 quarterfinal

WHEN/WHERE: 7:30 p.m./Citizens Field, 1100 NE 14th St., Gainesville

OUTLOOK: This matchup could be a defensive battle, with the teams combining for 79 sacks. Neither squad, however, throws the ball often, instead relying on their tailbacks to carry the offense. Sunlake’s Nathan Johnson has had an impressive junior season, rushing for 1,385 yards and 13 TDs, while Gainesville’s Tony James has racked up 1,119 yards and nine TDs. Look for the Seahawks offensive line to come up big after it recorded 104 pancake blocks through 10 games.

UP NEXT: Winner will play Inverness Citrus or Spring Hill Springstead


Hudson (6-4) at Lakewood (7-3)

WHAT: Class 5A-Region 2 quarterfinal

WHEN/WHERE: 7:30 p.m./Lakewood High, 1400 54th Ave S., St. Petersburg

OUTLOOK: Hudson has a run-heavy offense that is averaging 222.9 yards per game on the ground. Running back Noah Siegrist rushed for 1,302 yards and scored 11 TDs. The Spartans will need their playmakers to produce as they have all season, led by Joc Ellison, Andrew Davis and quarterback Ryan Davis. Lakewood will rely on its offensive line to take over the game, led by Georgia commit Isaiah Wynn.

UP NEXT: Winner will play Tarpon Springs or Anclote


Tarpon Springs (6-4) at Anclote (6-4)

WHAT: Class 5A-Region 2 quarterfinal

WHEN/WHERE: 7:30 p.m./Anclote Stadium, 1501 Sweetbriar Drive, Holiday

OUTLOOK: Two schools separated by a few miles will meet for the second time this season, as Tarpon Springs defeated Anclote 28-3 in the preseason. The rematch should ignite a new rivalry and be a closer game the second time around. Anclote relies on its Power-I attack, led by tailback Willie Barrett (1,062 yards, nine TDs) and Trent Crawford (995 yards, eight TDs). Tarpon Springs counters with its own backfield tandem of Mike Ford (1,107 yards) and Patrick Miller.

UP NEXT: Winner will play Hudson or Lakewood


Pasco (7-3) at Citra North Marion (8-2)

WHAT: Class 5A-Region 2 quarterfinal

WHEN/WHERE: 7:30 p.m./Stan Toole Memorial Stadium, 151 W. Highway 329, Citra, 32113

OUTLOOK: The Pirates may not look like the dominant team of the past few seasons, but they have still outscored opponents 303-156 thanks to Malik Johns and his 1,832 all-purpose yards and 22 TDs. Sophomore receiver Nate Craig still has the ability to be a game-changer on offense and defense. Pasco’s defense, led by DL Jacob Morphew’s 10 sacks, is capable of making stops, but the Colts have allowed just 21 points in their last four games and given up more than 20 just once this season. North Marion is a run-attack team, led by RB James Allen.

UP NEXT: Winner will play Live Oak Suwannee or Citrus South Sumter


Spoto (3-7) at Lake Wales (6-4)

WHAT: Class 5A-Region 3 quarterfinal

WHEN/WHERE: 7:30 p.m./ Legion Field, 250 N. Lakeshore Blvd., Lake Wales

OUTLOOK: Spoto’s defense has amassed 45 sacks and 10 interceptions this season, along with 13 fumble recoveries. Senior James Bethea has been a weapon on special teams, averaging 33 yards per kick return. The Spartans last made the playoffs in 2008. Lake Wales reached the 5A region final last season and lost to eventual state runner-up Immokalee.

UP NEXT: Winner plays Auburndale or Jesuit


Auburndale (3-7) at Jesuit (7-3)

WHAT: Class 5A-Region 3 quarterfinal

WHEN/WHERE: 7:30 p.m./Corral Memorial Stadium, 4701 N. Himes Ave., Tampa

OUTLOOK: Auburndale has lost three of its last five games, all by double digits. Jesuit will be without senior quarterback Vincent Testaverde, who underwent appendix surgery last Friday. Junior Trent Wessel should start for Jesuit, which is riding a six-game win streak, including its 14th consecutive win against rival Tampa Catholic. The Tigers missed the playoffs last season.

UP NEXT: Winner plays Lake Wales or Spoto


Melbourne Holy Trinity (7-3) at Tampa Catholic (8-2)

WHAT: Class 3A-Region 2 semifinal

WHEN/WHERE: 7:30 p.m./Crusaders Stadium, 4630 N. Rome Ave., Tampa

OUTLOOK: Holy Trinity last made the playoffs in 2008 and is 0-6 all-time in the state playoffs. Tampa Catholic has ranked among the top teams in 3A all season, thanks in part to the play of senior T.J. Harrell, the team’s leading rusher (345 yards, 6 TDs) and top defender on defense (10 pass deflections, 37 tackles). TC lost in the region semifinals last season.

UP NEXT: Winner will play Frostproof or Melbourne Central Catholic


Fort Myers Bishop Verot (6-3) at Clearwater Cent. Catholic (8-2)

WHAT: Class 3A-Region 3 semifinal

WHEN/WHERE: 7:30 p.m./Clearwater Central Catholic, 2750 Haines Bayshore Road, Clearwater

OUTLOOK: The Marauders were a bit banged up heading into last week’s game against Anclote, but were still able to earn a 37-14 victory and gain some momentum heading into the postseason. CCC is considered one of the favorites to come away with a state championship, but it will need players like running back Diquan Walker and quarterback Jeff Smith to step up at this point of the season. John Davis’ group will need to stop Bishop Verot’s pass-run duo of quarterback Quinn Farrell (1,253 yards, 7 TDs) and running back Jimmy Dwyer (716 yards).

UP NEXT: Winner will play St. Petersburg Catholic or Sarasota Cardinal Mooney


St. Petersburg Catholic (7-3) at Sarasota Cardinal Mooney (7-2)

WHAT: Class 3A-Region 3 semifinal

WHEN/WHERE: 7:30 p.m./Cardinal Mooney School, 4171 Fruitville Road, Sarasota

OUTLOOK: Cardinal Mooney edged SPC 14-12 on Oct. 11. With the Barons riding a four-game winning streak and coming off a 51-7 win against Northside Christian, SPC is arguably playing its best football at the right time. The Barons have stayed with a ground-and-pound attack, led by 6-foot-3, 280 pound offensive lineman Reilly Gibbons. SPC’s defense will have its hands full with running back Demardre Patterson, who has rushed for 1,327 yards and scored 16 TDs.

UP NEXT: Winner will play Fort Myers Bishop Verot or Clearwater Central Catholic


Carrollwood Day (7-3) at Naples First Baptist (9-1)

WHAT: Class 2A-Region 3 semifinal

WHEN/WHERE: 7:30 p.m.; First Baptist Academy, 3000 Orange Blossom Drive, Naples

OUTLOOK: Quarterback Taylor King and running back Willie Parker have given the Patriots a 1-2 punch on offense. King has thrown for 1,958 yards and 18 touchdowns, while Parker has rushed for 952 yards with 10 touchdowns. CDS lost to First Baptist in the region semifinals last year, 56-28. First Baptist lost in the 2A state semifinals last season.

UP NEXT: Winner will play Indian Rocks Christian or Moore Haven


Moore Haven (6-3) at Indian Rocks Christian (8-2)

WHAT: Class 2A-Region 3 semifinal

WHEN/WHERE: 7:30 p.m./Indian Rocks Christian School, 12685 Ulmerton Road, Largo

OUTLOOK: The Golden Eagles have shown in the past weeks that they’re looking like a viable state championship contender, with solid victories against Cambridge, Calvary Christian and Canterbury. The Golden Eagles will face one of their toughest tests yet in Moore Haven, which has picked up solid wins against Saint John Neumann and LaBelle. IRC will be led offensively by running backs Damain King (633 yards) and Zeke McGaughy (690 yards).

UP NEXT: Winner will play Carrollwood Day or Naples First Baptist


Compiled by Nick Williams, Andy Villamarzo and Mike Camunas

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