Game of the Week
Naples (9-1) at Fort Myers (9-2)
Time: 7:30 p.m.
What to watch for –Naples: The Golden Eagles cruised past Estero 58-0 in their opening round Region 6A-3 game. They are on a nine-game winning streak and according to head coach Bill Kramer “aren’t taking Fort Myers lightly.” Naples enters as the favorite and is ranked No. 5 overall in Class 6A. Quarterback Kieran DiGiorno has 1,224 yards with 17 touchdowns on just three interceptions this season. Feature back and Tennessee commit Carlin Fils-aime leads the team with 26 touchdowns and has accumulated 1,435 all-purpose yards. Senior kicker Jerry Nunez has 54 touchbacks on the season with a 58-yard average and senior Chris Riley averages 44 yards per punt. Fort Myers: The Green Wave dispatched Palmetto Ridge 42-14 in their Region 6A-3 quarterfinal matchup. The Greenies are averaging nearly 200 rushing yards per game and have scored an average of 36.5 points per game over their last two while giving up just two touchdowns. Matt McQuinn leads Fort Myers on defense with 105 tackles, while senior Zach Lecius has 8.5 sacks. The Green Wave haven’t faced a talented two-way opponent like Naples since Charlotte in Week 5. Fort Myers last played Naples in 2011 in the same postseason round, losing 41-0.
The News-Press’ pick: Naples 34, Fort Myers 21
Immokalee (6-5) at Dunbar (8-2)
Time: 7:30 p.m.
What to watch for — Immokalee: This is a Region 5A-3 semifinal game. The Indians are back in the region semifinals after a year’s absence and last got to a region final in 2012. Winners of four of their last five games, the Indians get another shot at Dunbar after losing 21-13 in a de facto District 5A-12 championship game last month. In that game Dunbar sacked quarterback Mac Joseph eight times and returned an interception for a touchdown for the game-winning score. Joseph, who has accounted for more than 1,000 yards combined on the ground and through the air, has become more comfortable in the spread offense each week. However, the offense struggled last week in a first-round victory over Lemon Bay, amassing only 108 total yards. The defense was opportunistic and came up with two scoop-and-scores to advance. Coach Dale More expects a bit more consistency this week. Dunbar: The Tigers, who are 3-10 in state playoff games, are also struggling to find consistency on the offensive side of the ball. Ranked 10th in 5A in scoring defense, the unit, which notched nine sacks against Bradenton Southeast last week, has mostly covered for an offense that continually shoots itself in the foot. The Tigers fumbled eight times, losing five, last week and wasn’t able to sustain many drives. While the key will be holding onto the football, sophomore running back and Immokalee transfer Abraham Alce will have to be at his best. In the teams’ last meeting he went for 157 yards and two touchdowns.
The News-Press’ pick: Dunbar 14, Immokalee 7
Dade Christian (9-1) at First Baptist (10-1)
Time: 7:30 p.m.
What to watch for — Dade Christian: The Crusaders advanced to tonight’s Region 2A-4 final with a 49-11 win last week against Community School of Naples. The efficiency of sophomore quarterback Alec Carr has led them to this point. Carr has 1,649 passing yards with a 67 percent completion rating and has thrown 17 touchdowns against just five interceptions. Look for the Crusaders to air it out against the First Baptist defense with Carr under center. First Baptist: The Lions defeated Village Academy last week 31-16 to advance to the school’s fourth-straight Region 2A-4 final. First Baptist has advanced to the state semifinals only once in the last three seasons and has dropped the previous two. In order to return, they will have to run the ball. In 2012, the Lions won behind the running of Jonah Bueltel, who rushed for 1,794 yards with 26 touchdowns that season. This year, First Baptist has a similar running back in senior Dylan Cibelli, who became the first Lions running back since Bueltel to score 20 touchdowns with a three-touchdown performance in last week’s win. Look for Cibelli to be a key factor in tonight’s game like Bueltel before him.
The News-Press’ pick: First Baptist 35, Dade Christian 31