Week 9 HS football previews, rankings

Week 9 HS football previews, rankings

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Week 9 HS football previews, rankings

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Game of the Week

Dunbar can gain a leg up in the race for a postseason berth if it can knock off Immokalee Friday at home in The News-Press Game of the Week.

Dunbar can gain a leg up in the race for a postseason berth if it can knock off Immokalee Friday at home in The News-Press Game of the Week.

Immokalee (4-3, 2-0) at Dunbar (5-2, 1-1)

Time: 7:30 p.m.

What to watch for — Immokalee: This is a District 5A-12 game. This matchup has serious playoff implications as the Indians have a chance to clinch a playoff berth with a win. Immokalee is in the midst of quite a turnaround under first-year coach Rodelin Anthony. The Indians have won three in a row since dropping three straight. The losses were by three to Clewiston, by one to Barron Collier and 60-42 to Collier County rival Naples. Coming off a 67-14 rout of Mariner, the team is averaging 42 points per game led by junior RB Fred Green. Quarterback Nathaniel Betancourt is also a huge weapon. Dunbar: This is a must-win game for the Tigers, who can clinch at least a spot in a three-team playoff with a victory. A 27-24 loss to Lely last month put Dunbar behind the 8-ball in the playoff chase. Since dropping a second straight game to South Fort Myers, the Tigers have pitched shutouts against Island Coast and Cypress Lake while scoring 76 points. The defense has four shutouts on the year, but all eyes will be on the offense. If RBs Keanu Young and Lajuan Preston, who have combined for over 1,200 yards, can get going early Dunbar could be tough to stop.

The News-Press’ pick: Dunbar 28, Immokalee 27

Game previews

South Fort Myers (7-0) at Naples (7-0)

Time: 7:30 p.m.

What to watch for — South: This non-district matchup will determine supremacy in Southwest Florida, with the winner heading toward an undefeated regular season. The Wolfpack are coming off a 42-13 victory against Riverdale. Senior QB Maurice Flournoy gives the offense a pass-run option. He has completed 38-of-73 passes for 523 yards and four TDs with one interception. He also has rushed for 208 yards. Senior RB E’Quan Dorris has rushed 90 times for 706 yards and eight TDs, averaging 7.8 yards per carry. RB Riley Ware has rushed 74 times for 392 yards and eight TDs, and WR Jeshuan Jones leads the team in receiving with 20 catches for 369 yards and three TDs. Naples: The Golden Eagles are coming off a 30-3 victory against Palmetto Ridge and have defeated their seven opponents by a combined score of 341-144. “I like it,” Naples coach Bill Kramer said of this matchup. “I think they’re good on both sides of the ball. They have improved dramatically as the season has gone on.” Naples has, too, under the guidance of QB Jordan Persad-Tirone, who has completed 46-of-85 passes for 869 yards and 12 touchdowns with three interceptions. Junior WR Wooby Theork has caught 15 passes for 370 yards and five TDs. Senior RB Marcelino Charles leads the ground game with 80 carries for 823 yards and eight TDs. He has help from senior Patrick Pierre, who has 50 carries for 435 yards and six TDs.

The News-Press’ pick: Naples 21, South Fort Myers 14

Charlotte (6-0, 3-0) at Cape Coral (1-6, 1-2)

Time: 7 p.m.

What to watch for – Charlotte: This is a District 6A-10 game. The Tarpons, 24-21 winners over North Fort Myers last Friday, face a Seahawks team that gives up 33 points per game. Charlotte’s win over the Red Knights was its lowest margin of victory this season. The Tarpons average 44 points per game. Running back Maleek Williams, an Arkansas commit, has gained 826 yards over six games and has scored 13 touchdowns, but he gained just 87 yards against North. Cape: The Seahawks, scoring just over 11 points per game, dropped their second straight game on Friday in a 49-7 loss to Island Coast. Senior Isaac Washington has been one of the team’s lone bright spots, rushing for a team-high 869 yards and five touchdowns. He’s been held under 100 yards for two straight games.

The News-Press’ pick: Charlotte 48, Cape Coral 7

Lely (4-3, 2-0) at Cypress Lake (3-5, 0-3)

Time: 7:30 p.m.

What to watch for – Lely: This is a District 5A-12 game. The Trojans, who are back after their bye week, have split their last four games, although they’ve lost by a combined nine points, including a 42-34 setback to Naples. The Trojans are scoring over 34 points per game, including three games over 40 points. Quarterback Jacquez Carter was 12 of 24 for 177 yards and one touchdown against the Golden Eagles. Cypress Lake: The Panthers have lost three straight games, including Friday’s 35-0 setback to Dunbar, which was their third shutout of the season. Offensively, the Panthers have struggled at times, scoring over 20 points once over the course of their eight games. Cypress Lake has gone 2-1 in home games this season. Last week, the team turned the ball over five times, losing three fumbles and throwing two interceptions.

The News-Press’ pick: Lely 50, Cypress Lake 21

Port Charlotte (6-0, 3-0) at Island Coast (1-7, 1-2)

Time: 7:30 p.m.

What to watch for — Port Charlotte: This is a District 6A-10 team. The undefeated Pirates, who continue to receive votes but haven’t cracked the top 10 in the AP Class 6A poll, are on a collision course with rival Charlotte for the district championship. Port Charlotte will have to take care of business against an Island Coast team that has struggled all season to set up next week’s de facto district championship game in Punta Gorda. The Pirates defense has shown a few chinks in its armor the last two games, giving up 34 points to North Fort Myers and 21 to Ida Baker. Facing a Gators defense prone to mistakes this week could get them back on track. Island Coast:  The Gators snapped a 12-game losing streak which dated back to last season with a 49-7 win over Cape Coral last week. They’ll look to finish out the season on a high note with a tough game this week and a winnable rivalry game at Ida Baker next week. Senior RB Jerry Cambric posted his first 100-yard game of the season last week and will need to be on his game to set up some third down-and-manageable situations.

The News-Press’ pick: Port Charlotte 52, Island Coast 7

Island Coast gets first win of season

Ida Baker (2-6, 0-3) at North Fort Myers (3-3, 1-2)

Time: 7:30 p.m.

What to watch for – Baker: This is a District 6A-10 game. The Bulldogs have dropped their last three games, including two straight in which they allowed over 50 points. This begins a stretch of two straight district games to end the season. Junior quarterback Toby Noland has passed for 1,821 yards and 14 touchdowns to just four interceptions over eight games. Senior receiver Luke Endsley has caught 69 passes for 1,051 yards and eight touchdowns. He has 1,587 all-purpose yards on the season. They’re allowing a district-high 36 points per game. North: The Red Knights have dropped two straight games by a combined seven points, both against district foes who are expected to move on to the postseason. Last Friday’s 24-21 loss to Charlotte was a gut punch, considering North Fort Myers led at half and dominated in stretches. The Red Knights have three games remaining, though none have playoff implications. North Fort Myers, however, has averaged 29 points in its last four games. The Red Knights feature a balanced offense that has put up over 360 yards per game.

The News-Press’ pick: North Fort Myers 42, Ida Baker 14

Fort Myers (4-3) at Clewiston (4-2)

Time: 7:30 p.m.

What to watch for — Fort Myers: This is a non-district game. The rivalry was resurrected after nearly three decades last year when the Green Wave held on for a 12-7 win at Edison Stadium. The Greenies have blown out District 6A-11 competition the last two weeks by a score of 86-14. Senior RB Darrian Felix has rushed for 280 yards and five touchdowns since returning from an elbow injury last last month. Senior Matt McQuinn leads the team in tackles with 79 on a defense surrendering a little more than 13 points per game. Clewiston: Coming off a 5-5 2015 season without a playoff appearance, the Tigers are back on track under coach Pete Walker. With a de facto District 4A-7 championship game against Belle Glade Glades Central coming up next week, Clewiston needs to make sure it isn’t looking past the Greenies.

The News-Press’ pick: Fort Myers 24, Clewiston 21

Fort Myers runs over Estero

Mariner (3-5) at East Lee County (3-4)

Time: 7 p.m.

What to watch for — Mariner: The Tritons were taken down 67-14 by Immokalee last week and trailed 53-7 at halftime. Chance Reiter scored on a 43-yard run in the second quarter and ran for 70 yards on 14 carries. Mariner has dropped three straight games after a 3-2 start, running up against the meat of its schedule against North Fort Myers, Lely and Immokalee. Reiter will need some help from quarterback Hunter Rees to relieve pressure on the Tritons defense. East Lee: The Jaguars trailed Lehigh 21-13 at halftime last week, but were outscored 24-0 in the second half to fall 45-13. East Lee will need a lot of help to advance to postseason play from the Lightning, but it has been a breakthrough campaign nonetheless. Lothario Adderly scored on a 70-yard run last week, but he was limited otherwise by Lehigh, and Cortavius Lee was also a point of emphasis to stop on the ground. The duo should find it a bit easier against a Mariner defense that has allowed 122 points the past two weeks.

The News-Press’ pick: East Lee 32, Mariner 13

LaBelle (3-5, 2-3) at Avon Park (7-0, 4-0)

Time: 7:30 p.m.

What to watch for — LaBelle: This is a District 4A-6 game. The Cowboys, who beat Lake Placid 28-21 last week, face an uphill climb against one of the top teams in the classification. Junior QB Tyler Burton played his best game of the season against Lake Placid, completing 66 percent of his passes for 123 yards and a touchdown. He’ll need to be sharp on third down to extend drives and keep the ball out of Avon Park’s hands. Avon Park: The undefeated Red Devils have been a buzz saw this season, outscoring opponents 313-16. The defense is unforgiving as its forced 18 turnovers and registered 19 sacks, led by senior defensive end Ahmaad Smith’s seven. Avon Park is nearly 2 to 1 run to pass and its top running backs — Montrae Brawell and Moise Satine — have combined for 1,414 yards and 12 touchdowns.

The News-Press’ pick: Avon Park 48, LaBelle 7

Gateway Charter (1-6, 0-4) at Bishop Verot (4-4, 3-1)

Time: 7 p.m.

What to watch for — Gateway: This is a District 4A-6 matchup. The Griffins were defeated 52-0 by Lakeland Teneroc last week. In four district games this season, Gateway has allowed nearly 50 points per game. Last week, penalties were a big problem as 18 flags for 168 yards were 53 more yards more than their offense gained. Verot: The Vikings are coming off of a 36-13 road victory against Mulberry a week ago, which puts them in a tie with Teneroc for second place in 4A-6 behind unbeaten Avon Park. With a victory this week, a showdown with the Titans on Oct. 28 will determine a playoff berth. Korey Beese continued a strong season at quarterback by tossing three touchdown passes last week, including two to favorite target Deven Thompkins. Look for this duo to connect often this week.

The News-Press’ pick: Bishop Verot 48, Gateway Charter 13

Canterbury (5-1) at Lake Placid (2-5)

Time: 7 p.m.

What to watch for — Canterbury: Under first-year head coach Derrick Crudup, the Cougars have been one of the pleasant surprises in Southwest Florida and are currently on a five-game winning streak. Danny Cunningham has been a stalwart on both sides of the ball, but he and his Canterbury team will see a step up in size and depth this week on the road. Lake Placid: The Dragons have faced Southwest Florida teams in District 4A-6 all year, and last week were dropped by LaBelle 28-21. Tay Williams and Katwan Ward will have to be contained on the ground as the Dragons only threw three passes against the Cowboys. Williams went for over 150 yards and two rushing touchdowns.

The News-Press’ pick: Lake Placid 25, Canterbury 21

ECS (0-7, 0-4) at SFCA (3-4, 1-3)

Time: 7 p.m.

What to watch for — ECS: This is a District 2A-7 matchup. The Sentinels fell to Community School of Naples 47-7 last week. It has been a tough year for ECS on both sides of the ball, but in the loss last week, Jimmy Mera found his footing, going over 100 yards and scoring the lone Sentinels touchdown. Mera and Corey Massey in the backfield could give the King’s defense problems if they can sustain drives. SFCA: The King’s survived a shootout with Marco Island Academy last week, winning 39-28. Chase Reed’s 72-yard touchdown pass to Max Rippl late in the fourth quarter sealed the victory.  It capped a wild night that saw 10 fumbles and nine interceptions, including five picks for the King’s. Finishing off games has been an issue for the King’s, as they have been competitive in most games this year.

The News-Press’ pick: SFCA 36, ECS 15

Lee County Fab 5

Lehigh, which beat rival East Lee County last week, is No. 5 in the Lee County Fab 5. The Lightning control their own destiny in the chase for a playoff berth when they face Estero next week.

Lehigh, which beat rival East Lee County last week, is No. 5 in the Lee County Fab 5. The Lightning control their own destiny in the chase for a playoff berth when they face Estero next week.

1. South Fort Myers (7-0): Win or lose against undefeated Naples, the Wolfpack will still be the top team in Lee County after Friday.

2. Fort Myers (4-3): A road trip to Clewiston provides a strong test for the Green Wave.

3. Dunbar (5-2): A loss to Immokalee on Friday means the Tigers will be sitting home during the playoffs.

4. North Fort Myers (3-3): With wins in two of their last three games the Red Knights can post their first winning season since 2006.

5. Lehigh (4-3): On bye this week, the Lightning have two weeks to prepare for a must-win district game at Estero.

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