When it comes to football in south Florida, especially this time of year, you will notice that the contenders have a way of separating themselves from the pretenders.
Last week, four teams in the Top 20 in south Florida went down, paving the way for those elite programs to make their way toward the top.
Miami Central, St. Thomas Aquinas and Chaminade-Madonna, the top three programs in south Florida, and among the best in Florida, all came up with defining wins as we now head down the homestretch.
Here is the way Week 9 stacks up:
1. Miami Central Rockets (5A, 5-2). Rolled to a fifth straight win against No. 15 Miami Edison, 45-6, showcasing a defense that has been dominating. THIS WEEK: A Saturday district makeup game with North Miami Beach on Oct. 23 at Traz Powell Stadium. NEXT OPPONENT: It’s GMAC Football Week as head coach Roland Smith and his team will most likely get No. 7 Miami Northwestern.
2. Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas Raiders (7A, 7-1). In beating No. 13 Cardinal Gibbons, 39-14, head coach Roger Harriott and his team showed how impressive this team is on both sides of the ball. THIS WEEK: Another quality game when they host No. 5 Fort Lauderdale Dillard on Friday, Oct. 22 in a district contest. NEXT OPPONENT: A home district game against Nova on Oct. 29.
3. Hollywood Chaminade-Madonna Lions (3A, 5-1). After a competitive first half, head coach Dameon Jones and his team rolled to a 31-16 win against No. 12 Miami Gulliver Prep. THIS WEEK: A home game on Friday Oct. 22 against Fort Lauderdale Stranahan. NEXT OPPONENT: Another huge home game against state-rated and unbeaten 4A team, St. Petersburg Lakewood on Friday, Oct. 29.
4. Miami Killian Cougars (5A, 8-0). While their schedule may not be among the toughest around, head coach Derrick Gibson and his team continue to roll along – 49-0 – over Miami St. Brendan. THIS WEEK: A home game against Miami Southridge on Oct. 22. NEXT OPPONENT: It’s GMAC Week and the Cougars are projected to play Miami Edison.
5. Fort Lauderdale Dillard Panthers (7A, 7-0). In winning for the 26th time in the past 27 games, head coach Tyler Tate and his team rolled to a 62-0 win over Hallandale. In seven games, they have six shutouts and have outscored the opposition, 320-7. THIS WEEK: The stakes could not get higher as a district road trip against No. 2 St. Thomas Aquinas is set for Friday. NEXT OPPONENT: A Friday night home game against Plantation.
6. Homestead Broncos (7A, 6-1). In rolling to their sixth straight win, a convincing 47-6 win over previously unbeaten Doral Academy, head coach Philip Simpson’s team were running on all cylinders on both sides of the ball. THIS WEEK: An Oct. 22 home game against Miami Booker T. Washington. NEXT OPPONENT: It’s GMAC Football Week and the Broncos will be in action.
7. Miami Northwestern Bulls (6A, 6-2). Coach Max Edwards and his football team wrapped up the district title with a 49-20 win against South Miami. THIS WEEK: The Carol City Chiefs on Thursday, Oct. 21 at Traz Powell Stadium. NEXT OPPONENT: It’s GMAC Football Week and it appears that No. 1 Miami Central will be the opponent – for the second time this year.
8. Davie Western Wildcats (8A, 5-2). It’s been 14 quarters since head coach Adam Ratkevich and his defense has yielded a touchdown. Scored often in a huge win against Taravella. THIS WEEK: A home district game on Friday, Oct. 22 against Flanagan. NEXT OPPONENT: A home district game against West Broward on Oct. 29.
9. Deerfield Beach Bucks (8A, 5-2). With a district win over Coral Springs on Monday night, this team continues to roll in 8A. The game was to be played last week. THIS WEEK: It’s an away game on Friday against West Boca Raton. NEXT OPPONENT: A key district road game at Boca Raton on Oct. 29.
10. Miami Palmetto Panthers (8A, 6-1). With the 41-0 win against Miami Southridge, head coach Mike Manasco and his football team have given up just 16 points in the past five games. THIS WEEK: The much-anticipated makeup game on Friday, Oct. 22 at No. 12 Miami Gulliver Prep. NEXT OPPONENT: It’s GMAC Football Week and the Panthers could be headed for a rematch with No. 14 Christopher Columbus.
11. Plantation American Heritage Patriots (5A, 3-3). Coach Pat Surtain and his team will continue to make a push to defend their 5A title – with a 43-7 district win at Jensen Beach. THIS WEEK: An Oct. 22 district game at Boynton Beach. NEXT OPPONENT: A home district game on Oct. 29 against Stranahan.
12. Miami Gulliver Prep Raiders (4A, 5-1). For the first time in nearly three years, head coach Earl Sims and his football team lost in the regular season – to No. 3 Chaminade-Madonna, 31-16 on the road. THIS WEEK: Another major challenge when they play host to No. 10 Miami Palmetto on Oct. 22. NEXT OPPONENT: An away game on Oct. 29 at West Palm Beach Cardinal Newman.
13. Fort Lauderdale Cardinal Gibbons Chiefs (4A, 5-2). It wasn’t the outcome that head coach Matt Dubuc and his team had hoped for, but the 39-14 loss to No. 2 St. Thomas Aquinas continued to get this team better, learning down the homestretch. THIS WEEK: It gets no easier as a Saturday makeup trip to Florida’s No. 1 team, Venice, at 1:30 p.m. NEXT OPPONENT: A Friday, Oct. 29 game at Pembroke Pines Flanagan.
14. Miami Christopher Columbus Explorers (8A, 4-3). Coach Dave Dunn and his team are playing solid football, winning for the third straight time, 49-0, over Coral Reef. THIS WEEK: A home district game on Thursday, Oct. 21 against South Dade. NEXT OPPONENT: It’s GMAC Football Week and it looks like a rematch with No. 10 Miami Palmetto.
15. Miami Edison Red Raiders (3A, 3-3). It’s been a tough two weeks – with state-rated programs making things tough on head coach Luther Campbell and his football team. THIS WEEK: A home game against 2A Dade Christian on Oct. 22. NEXT OPPONENT: It’s GMAC Football Week and the opponent could very well be unbeaten No. 4 Miami Killian.
16. Hialeah Champagnat Catholic Lions (2A, 5-2). It wasn’t pretty, but head coach Hector Clavijo and his team will certainly take the 28-23 win over North Palm Beach Benjamin. THIS WEEK: An away game against Miami International Academy on Oct. 22. NEXT OPPONENT: At press time, the Lions had no game scheduled for next week.
17. Florida Christian Patriots (3A, 7-0). In winning for the seventh straight time in the regular season, head coach Joe Burmeister and his team got by Somerset Silver Palms, 32-10. THIS WEEK: At press time, the Lions had no game scheduled for this week. NEXT OPPONENT: A key home game on Friday, Oct. 29 against unbeaten Miami Ransom Everglades.
18. Miami LaSalle Royal Lions (4A, 7-0). After seven straight wins to start the season, head coach Helder Valle and his team enjoyed the week off. THIS WEEK: A home game against Fort Lauderdale Pine Crest on Oct. 22. NEXT OPPONENT: A home game on Oct. 29 against North Broward Prep.
19. Miramar Patriots (7A, 5-2). Coach A.J. Scott and his football team continued to make a solid push – as they all but wrapped up the district title with a 41-0 win against McArthur. THIS WEEK: As of press time, an opponent was not schedule for this week. NEXT OPPONENT: A home district game against Miramar Everglades on Friday, Oct. 29.
20. Miami Dr. Krop Lightning (8A, 5-1). Coach Tom Caporale and his football team have slid under the radar this season, and with last week’s 34-24 win over Miami High, they wrapped up a district title for the first time this decade. The enter the Top 20 for the first time this season. THIS WEEK: A Thursday away game against Miami Norland. NEXT OPPONENT: At press time, there was not a game scheduled.
ALSO KEEP AN EYE ON: Booker T. Washington (4A, 4-3), Coconut Creek (6A, 5-2), Cypress Bay (8A, 4-2), Doral Academy (7A, 6-1), Fort Lauderdale Stranahan (5A, 5-2), Hialeah Goleman (Independent, 5-2), Hollywood Avant Garde Academy (2A, 5-0), Hollywood South Broward (7A, 6-1), Miami-Dade Christian (2A, 4-3), Miami Ransom Everglades (Independent, 7-0), Plantation Colonels (6A, 4-1), Somerset Academy Pembroke Pines (4A, 3-2), Westland Hialeah (Independent, 5-1).
TRACKING POSITIONS: Keeping An Eye On The Football Talent In Miami-Dade & Broward Counties Year Round. https://larryblustein.com/prospects/tracking-south-florida-prospects