Rain rain go away that’s what all my haters say are lyrics from rapper Waka Flocka Flame’s 2010 hit song “No Hands.”
For the entire state of Florida especially Tampa Bay and north of the area, the hope is the rain stays away and football can be played on Friday night despite the presence of category one Hurricane Hermine. The storm is supposed to hit the Florida Gulf Coast around midnight tonight, per Weather.com.
Games have been canceled and moved to different dates later in the season, but there’s no reason to think a good portion of these teams in Tampa Bay won’t give this a shot on Friday night.
Here is my preview of the best five games in the area with a list of other key Week 2 games to monitor.
Plant at Hillsborough
Both teams won their openers. Hillsborough took down Durant 17-7 while Plant cruised past Bryant (Ala.) 51-21.
For the Terriers, they are in prime position to make a deep run in Class 6A with Florida commit Zachary Carter leading the way. The senior defensive end had a team-high three sacks last week. Defensive backs Leon Gatlin and Ken Montgomery are two guys who can make a play at any moment.
The Panthers are Class 7A contenders year and year out under head coach Robert Weiner and it’s no different with De’Angelo Philyor, Juwan Burgess and Judge Culpepper providing big-play ability on both sides of the ball. Dane Frantzen and Kyle Trina are two quarterbacks that do a ton for this group.
Prediction: Plant 28, Hillsborough 17
Tampa Bay Tech at Sickles
Here’s a Class 7A matchup between two 1-0 squads. Tampa Bay Tech held off visiting Jefferson 25-20 while Sickles shut out Alonso 26-0.
It’s hard not to like what junior quarterback Michael Penix Jr. brings to the table for the Titans. He threw three touchdown passes last week while wide receiver Daquon Green hauled in a touchdown grab. This team is solid on both sides of the ball.
Sickles has athletes all over the place including converted junior quarterback Jordan McCloud who passed for nearly 300 yards, three touchdowns and an interception in his debut under center. Also, Carrollwood Day transfer Nazir Achecar balled out with 145 yards and two receiving scores for the Gryphons.
Prediction: Sickles 30, Tampa Bay Tech 23
Venice at Riverview
Here’s another matchup between 1-0 teams. Class 8A Sarasota Riverview is in good hands under former NFL player Todd Johnson. The Rams beat Booker 51-20 last week while 7A Venice flew past Camden County (Ga.) 46-17.
It won’t be easy for Riverview to control this game against a Venice program that is always one of the best every season. Senior quarterback Michael Welcer had three rushing scores in Week 1 for Riverview. For the Indians, Matt Laroche totaled 244 yards and four touchdowns on 20 carries. This should be a fun one.
Prediction: Venice 30, Riverview 20
Plant City at Jefferson
Both of these schools may have lost in Week 1, but they gave their opponents a challenge. Plant City fell to powerhouse Armwood 36-16 in a game that was close until late in the second half. Jefferson lost 25-20 to Tampa Bay Tech.
The Dragons may be in Class 5A while Plant City is in 7A, but Jefferson has impressive players in senior quarterback and Miami commit Cade Weldon. Junior wide receiver Jermaine Eskridge and cornerback De’Andre Hollins are true playmakers. For the Raiders, junior linebacker Cody Cribbs had two interceptions and a fumble recovery in the opener.
Prediction: Jefferson 21, Plant City 17
Clearwater at Countryside
Last but not least is a matchup between two 1-0 teams out in Clearwater. Class 7A Countryside beat Dixie Hollins 38-18 in Week 1 while 6A Clearwater went to Tarpon Springs and won 22-10.
Junior running backs Derek Jenkins and Troy Reeves each had two touchdowns on the ground for Countryside while junior wideout Royce Prescott totaled 122 yards and a score on just two grabs.
For Clearwater, they had 6.5 sacks last week led by senior linebacker Garet Chisolm. Indiana commit Tramar Reece had a sack and an offensive touchdown and junior back Jarius Williams had two rushing scores. Don’t forget Tennessee commit Jacquez Jones who can make big plays at any point at wideout.
Prediction: Clearwater 23, Countryside 17
Others to keep an eye on:
Wesley Chapel at Wiregrass Ranch
Gaither at Bloomingdale
Admiral Farragut at Tampa Catholic
Berkeley Prep at Victory Christian
Jesuit at Trinity Catholic
2016 season prediction record:
What games will you be watching? Comment below with any predictions or thoughts.
Jake Perper is the scout for Prep Sports Scouting. Make sure to follow along for all the updates on Twitter: @JakePerper.
If you have any questions or comments feel free to write below or email Jake at firstname.lastname@example.org.