TAMPA, FL – The undefeated Jesuit Tigers (10-0) will play host to Lakewood (6-4) on Friday night at Alumni Field at Corral Memorial Stadium in the Class 5A-Region 3 Quarterfinal. Capturing their third straight district title, Jesuit is looking to keep the perfect season alive.
Last year, the Tigers advanced to the regional final before falling to Orlando-Bishop Moore 30-29 in double overtime. Jesuit was 8-5 in 2014 and now riding an unblemished record, the Tigers have plenty of talent to make a state title run.
Here are three players from both teams to watch in Friday night’s playoff matchup between Lakewood and Jesuit.
RB Malik Davis (Jesuit)
Only a junior, speedy back Malik Davis is shattering records at Jesuit. Last week he ran for a school record 357 yards on a season-high 51 carries, adding touchdowns runs of 35, 25 and 14 against rival Tampa Catholic.
The 5’11”, 182-pounder has 1,660 yards on the ground and 23 touchdowns. After totaling 1,728 rushing yards and 18 touchdowns in 2014, Davis has looked even beter at the point of attack. He’s averaging 8.6 yards per carry.
I saw him go off against Robinson earlier this season for 209 yards and a season-best five rushing scores. The thing with Davis is, defenses stack the box in an effort to slow him down, but he’s simply too crafty. Plus his offensive line opens plenty of running lanes for him.
WR Adrian Adams (Lakewood)
Senior wideout Adrian Adams has been the best weapon on Lakewood’s offense this season. He has 37 receptions for 685 yards and a team-high seven touchdowns.
Adams doesn’t win one-on-one battles with his size (5’11”) rather he does it with his speed and break off the snap. He’s averaging an impressive 18.5 yards per reception and has added a reception of 30 yards or longer in six of 10 games this year.
Jesuit will be keying in on Adams all night, but he should be able to put up numbers in this playoff opener.
DB Mayson Atkinson (Jesuit)
A 5’10” senior safety, Mayson Atkinson is the leader in interceptions for Jesuit with five on the season. He’s fourth on the team in tackles (74) as he’s added nine tackles for a loss, seven pass breakups, three forced fumbles and a sack.
Atkinson keeps his secondary in check and seems to always be in the right spot. In his biggest game of his prep career you can bet he’ll be flying around in this one.
DE Jamal Lyles (Lakewood)
6-foot defensive end Jamal Lyles is tied with fellow senior J’Von Salas with five sacks on the year. Lyles has six tackles for a loss along with a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.
The Spartans defense is allowing 25.8 points per game and they’ve kept opponents under 10 points in five of 10 games. Lyles is the leader of the defensive line and he has power to push back defenders.
OLB Parker Looney (Jesuit)
Parker Looney will have to take on an even bigger role in this game with 6’3″ senior Zach Quilty out due to a shoulder injury. Quilty is the leading sack man for the Tigers with 11 and is third on the team in tackles with 75.
Looney is second in tackles with 76 and has 15 tackles for a loss and five sacks on the year.
The Tigers are allowing an average of only eight points per game defensively keeping opponents under 20 points in all but one game this year.
Looney and the rest of the Tigers pass rush has to fill the void with Quilty on the mend.
DB Jimmy Faulks (Lakewood)
Much like Jesuit’s Atkinson, Faulks is the man in the Lakewood secondary. He has a team-high four interceptions along with two fumble recoveries.
The 6’2″ senior is a lengthy safety who can roam the back end of the Spartans defense and keep things running smoothly. Faulks will have to do his best to rattle Jesuit quarterback Daniel Boon, who only has five interceptions this season.
Jake Perper is the founder of Prep Sports Scouting. Make sure to follow along for all the updates on Twitter: @JakePerper.
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