MERRITT ISLAND(4-0) AT COCOA(3-0)
Cocoa, the defending 3A state champion, has continued winning and is currently ranked #1 in 2A. They host Merritt Island who is ranked #11 in 3A.
Cocoa junior RB Chevelle Buie leads the way offensively with 358 rushing yards (10+ average) and 73 yards receiving (also team leader). Buie, after a sensational sophomore season, is a proven big time RB that can hurt you between the tackles or on the edge. Frank Berry and A.J. Lee are more options in the running game. QB Matt Younger will continue to try and make the most of his opportunities, he has thrown for 300+ and ran for 100+ through three games. The Tigers get it done up front with a powerful, quick OL headlined by South Carolina commit Ronald Patrick and Josh Woods.
Defensively, Grady Redding has been everywhere with a team leading 39 tackles. Rashawde Myles is a DL who will get up the field and wreak havoc. Talented, rangy S E.J. Johnson is the captain of a solid secondary. The Mustang's are fairly balanced with QB Colton Clary (19-26, 319 yards in the air) and RB's T.J. Frederick (57-364) and Ben Smith (43-249). Clary has added over 100 on the ground, his favorite WR is Sebastian Jordan (13-228). They have put up 28+ in all four games thus far.
Merritt Island has faced a somewhat soft schedule thus far, this will clearly be a big step up in competition. There should be plenty of running in this one, but Buie is the game-breaker. Cocoa is at home as well.
Cocoa 31, Merritt Island 21
ATLANTIC(2-1) AT DWYER(2-1)
One thing that can be said about Palm Beach County this year is that the top teams will have all played each other. Dwyer has already played both Muck teams and area powers (beat Pahokee, lost to Glades Central), while Atlantic has played Pahokee (lost 13-7). Both teams enter at 2-1 and are loaded with raw talent.
Almost every position presents an interesting battle(Atlantic vs. Dwyer). QB's Mark Leal and Jacoby Brissett. RB's Donnell Kirkwood and Matt Elam. WR's James Louis and Robert Clark/Nick O'Leary. Despite that skill position talent, the game will be won in the trenches and Dwyer's Curt Maggitt might be the most disruptive player on the field. Michael Flueizard and Gerald Christian are other members of a very stiff front 7.
Atlantic is going to need to find a way to rush the ball effectively, it can't all be on Leal's shoulders. Defensively, their talented trio of LB's will need to play their best game. In the end, Dwyer is at home and are a little more consistent offensively, that is enough to win.
Dwyer 24, Atlantic 20