High school football is in full swing. It is hard to believe we are already in Week 5 of the season. However, we are and that means more important games and prove it moments for many teams.
Here is my preview of the top five matchups this week in the Tampa Bay area.
Armwood (3-0) at Plant (3-0)
The powerhouse of Class 7A Plant hosts 6A power Armwood. The Hawks came away with a 21-3 home win over the Panthers a season ago after topping them in the previous six games in the matchup. Plant owns a 7-6 advantage in the all-time series.
Wins over Plant City, Bloomingdale and Plant City have given Armwood a 3-0 start to the season as quarterback Devin Black has shined in his first season under center with Erin Collins and Brian Snead tearing it up on the ground. Collins has a team-best seven touchdowns. Junior defensive end Malcolm Lamar leads the defense with four sacks.
Plant has beaten Bryant (Ala.), Robinson and Leto as quarterback Dane Frantzen has 14 total touchdowns (10 passing, 4 rushing) with playmaking wide receiver De’Angelo Philyor leading the receivers with eight touchdowns (7 receiving, 1 rushing). Judge Culpepper and Micah McFadden have two sacks a piece for the defense.
Prediction: Plant 23, Armwood 17
Fort Meade (3-1) at Bartow (2-1)
Fort Meade has started 3-1 which includes two straight road wins. The Class 1A state contenders will be traveling to Class 7A Bartow. The Miners have plenty of talent all-around to hang around with the Yellow Jackets.
Bartow is led by senior running back Timothy Jordan, who has 468 yards and three touchdowns on the ground. Jeremy Henderson, LJ Cummings and AJ Henderson each have a sack already this season.
Prediction: Bartow 20, Fort Meade 14
Blake (2-1) at Middleton (4-0)
The Tigers are the most surprising undefeated team in Hillsborough County. They’ve allowed a combined 23 points to open the season which includes a 4-0 win over Robinson. Blake beat Robinson and Spoto to open the season before falling to Brandon last week.
The Yellow Jackets have 23 sacks in three games as Patrick Keenan and Jaiden Morris have five sacks each and Demetrius Powell has three. Freshman back Omarion Coleman has been everything and more for the offense with four touchdowns (3 receiving, 1 rushing).
Prediction: Blake 21, Middleton 13
Largo (2-1) at St. Petersburg (2-1)
The Packers have given up just 12 points in three games, but a 7-0 loss against Tarpon Springs served as the lone blemish on their record. Quarterback Isaiah Bellamy has five touchdowns (4 passing, 1 rushing) while defensive end Bobby Roundtree has a team-best four sacks. Largo is 6-0 all-time against St. Pete including a 35-6 win last season.
The Green Devils have former Admiral Farragut duo, senior quarterback Austyn Causey and senior wide receiver and Georgia commit Matthew Landers on offense. Deshawn Brown and Donnie Crum have looked solid in the backfield while Adul Yates has paced Landers. Defensively, Anthony Johnson leads the way with two interceptions.
Prediction: St. Pete 17, Largo 13
Cambridge Christian (4-0) at Holy Trinity Episcopal (2-1)
Pick a position on the Cambridge Christian team and try to find a weakness. Jaylin Jackson is so versatile under center, running back Andrew Cunningham is a workhorse and J’Kobi Reddick and Derrick Powell continue to make plays on both sides of the ball. Aaron Pierre has plenty to bring to the table.
Junior running back Jashaun Corbin has three touchdowns and 399 rushing yards. This kid is a tremendous athlete and will be a tough matchup for Cambridge. He also has an interception. Jacquel Perry and Sullivan Altman each have three sacks.
Prediction: Cambridge Christian 30, Holy Trinity 17
Other games to keep an eye on:
East Lake (3-0) at Tarpon Springs (1-2)
Admiral Farragut (1-1) at Berkeley Prep (1-1)
Jesuit (3-0) at Pasco (0-3)
CCC (4-0) at Tampa Catholic (0-2)
Gaither (2-2) at Sickles (2-1)
Northeast (3-0) at Seminole (1-2)
East Bay (3-1) at Plant City (2-1)
2016 season prediction record: 13-2
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.