Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Competition Tough to Beat

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Competition Tough to Beat

Article excerpt

Byline: Chase Goodbread, Times-Union sports writer

Competition is supposed to get tougher each round when it comes to the state football playoffs.

Around here, it won't.

The five area teams left will face opponents this week in third-round, regional championship action which pose as big a challenge as they will face the rest of the postseason.

For those teams -- White, Columbia, St. Augustine, Bolles and Trinity Christian -- no stretch on the playoff road will be any tougher than this week's schedule. White's 6A region final opponent, Orlando Edgewater, has drilled its two playoff opponents by 21 points or more. The Eagles (11-1) have a legitimate chance to keep the 6A title in the Orlando area for the second year in a row (Apopka won 6A last year), and have blown out six opponents in a row. The Miami area once had automatic-favorite status to win the 6A title, but the trophy hasn't spent a day south of Melbourne in three years.

In 4A, Columbia tangles with defending state champion Tallahassee Lincoln, and it's at Lincoln. The Tigers are 0-3 against Lincoln in the last two years, including a 35-17 regional final game last season.

In 3A, St. Augustine faces a Daytona Beach Seabreeze team which has blistered virtually every defense it has faced this year. The Sandcrabs (11-1) are averaging 46.5 points per game behind star QB Xavier Lee and have scored 98 points in two playoff games.

Like Columbia, Bolles faces a defending state champion which ousted it from the playoffs last season (Madison County). The Cowboys have allowed just 46 points total in 10 games this year, including a 6-0 shutout over South Georgia powerhouse Valdosta. Look for the Bolles-Madison winner to win next week and face the Pace-Chaminade winner for the 2A title in Tallahassee.

The Trinity Christian-Gainesville P.K. Yonge clash has this perk for the winner: Tallahassee NFC won't be looming in the next round. The four-time defending state champs lost to Jay last week, and while Jay is no breather, NFC's loss is a relief for any Class A team still alive.

So how many of the five will reach the state finals in Tallahassee? …

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