Week 11 is here and that means there are a ton of tune-up games for the postseason and a good portion of games that don’t matter much on paper. But it is still football and as the weather starts to get nicer in Florida, the football gets better as well.
Here are five matchups I will be keeping an eye on. All the games are on Friday unless listed otherwise.
Jesuit (8-0) at Tampa Catholic (5-2)
This game is always fun. Jesuit and Tampa Catholic don’t like each other at all. Both squads have clinched playoff spots as Jesuit will play host to Gibbs in next week’s region quarterfinal while Tampa Catholic will host Trinity Catholic.
Seniors Malik Davis (22 touchdowns), Danny Boon (13 touchdowns) and Travell Harris have been the face of this offense for quite some time. Davis is now a legend in Hillsborough County after breaking the touchdown and yardage records this season. Defensively, Anthony Nelson has a team-best 10 sacks and Braden Gilby has 75 tackles.
TC is led by seniors Devan Barrett (10 touchdowns), Austin Sessums (7 touchdowns) and leading receiver Darius Corbett (390 yards). The Crusaders have come on as of late winning five straight after starting the season 0-2.
Series history: Jesuit has won 12 straight over TC including a 35-20 win a year ago.
Prediction: Jesuit 30, Tampa Catholic 17
Clearwater (8-1) at East Lake (7-0) – Thursday
Here’s a matchup between two district champions in 6A-9 Clearwater and 7A-10 East Lake. The Tornadoes will host Port Charlotte next week in the region quarterfinal while East Lake will host Durant in the same round.
Clearwater has senior quarterback Austin Day (14 touchdowns) under center with junior back Jarius Williams (eight touchdowns) and senior wideout Jacquez Jones (10 scores). On defense, senior Tramar Reece has done it all with a team-best eight sacks along with 35 tackles (9 for a loss).
For East Lake, senior quarterback Tyler Rupe (14 touchdowns) has been solid and so have seniors Bryce Miller (11 receiving touchdowns) and Xavier Jackson (six rushing scores). Jake Castle and Jakob Rosiek each have three sacks for this defense.
Series history: Clearwater has won all 12 matchups between the two teams all-time.
Prediction: Clearwater 33, East Lake 23
St. Petersburg (7-1) at Boca Ciega (5-2)
This is a matchup between two playoff teams in 7A-10 runner-up St. Pete and 6A-9 runner-up Boca Ciega. The Green Devils will travel to Tampa Bay Tech next week in a region quarterfinal while Boca Ciega will play at undefeated Charlotte.
St. Pete has senior quarterback Austyn Causey (16 touchdowns) and Georgia commit, senior receiver Matthew Landers (6 scores). Senior Larrie McCall leads the defense with eight sacks while junior Anthony Johnson Jr. has five interceptions.
The Pirates live and die by the ground game with three-headed rotation Dsoni Ross (12 touchdowns), David Dawson (7 touchdowns) and Osby Green (five touchdowns). Defensively, Daiquan Fenner has a team-best 72 tackles, Landrick Johnson has six sacks and Sam Thompson has three picks.
Series history: St. Pete has won eight straight dating back to 2008 while outscoring Boca Ciega 133-35 over the last three.
Prediction: St. Pete 38, Boca Ciega 27
Lakewood (5-3) at Northeast (6-2)
After an 0-3 start, Lakewood has rattled five straight wins and a playoff berth. They’ll host Jefferson next Friday in the 5A region quarterfinals. Northeast finished third in 6A-9 keeping them out of the postseason.
For the Spartans, junior athlete Troyvon Johnson has 10 touchdowns (5 rushing, 4 passing, 1 receiving). Junior back Cornell Battles leads the backfield with eight scores while sophomore Javon Moorer has three. Seniors Mataeo and Matthew Dickens each have five sacks.
Northeast has a big-time star on offense in senior back Shaquan Johnson. He has 21 touchdowns on 234 carries and 1,642 yards. Junior Alex Boyles leads the defense with six sacks while senior Keith Jackson has two interceptions, four fumble recoveries and two forced fumbles.
Series history: Lakewood has won four straight dating back to 2009 while averaging just over 40 points per game.
Prediction: Lakewood 35, Northeast 20
Berkeley Prep (6-2) at Steinbrenner (5-3)
For the Buccaneers, this is a tune-up game for next week’s home Class 3A region semifinal vs. First Academy. Steinbrenner is not going to the playoffs, despite some strong efforts this season.
Berkeley Prep features four-year starter and senior workhorse Gordon Stetson (1,253 yards, 15 touchdowns) along with Jakob Hines, Joshua Youngblood and Zach Mathis. Under center, Davis Koetter has been steady with 10 touchdown passes. Defensively, seniors Zack Mayes (4 interceptions) and Ryan Montgomery (3 interceptions) have been very active every week.
For Steinbrenner, senior wideout Brent Bitter has done it all with seven touchdown grabs. Sophomore running back Josh Harris has three scores on the ground and junior quarterback Colin Wray (10 touchdowns) has flashed at times. On defense, senior Zach Schachter has a team-best 4.5 sacks and Bitter has two picks.
Series history: The Warriors won the first-ever meeting last season, 42-35.
Prediction: Berkeley Prep 23, Steinbrenner 14
Other games to keep an eye on:
Northside Christian (8-1) at Trenton (7-1)
Plant City (5-3) at Freedom (3-6)
All Saints’ Academy (6-3) at Fort Myers Canterbury (6-2)
Booker (4-5) at Venice (8-0)
Palmetto (6-3) at Charlotte (8-0)
Ambassador Christian (0-7) at Bayshore Christian (6-2)
2016 season prediction record: 31-4
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.