Playoff and regular-season high school football predictions in Broward and Palm Beach counties

Adam Lichtenstein, South Florida Sun Sentinel
·6 min read

It’s a strange time in high school football, as some private-school teams are in the playoffs while the public-school teams are halfway through their four-game regular season.

Despite the confusing scheduling, the season continues on with several solid games on the slate.

Due to schedule changes, only five games I picked were played last week. I went 4-1, and I am 35-10 so far this season. All games start at 7 p.m. on Friday unless otherwise noted.

Palm Bay (1-6) at American Heritage (5-2), 7:30 p.m.

The Patriots are in a championship drought. After winning titles in 2013, 2014, 2016 and 2017, Heritage starts its next title crusade this week. The Patriots, coming off a loss to St. Thomas Aquinas, should not have much of an issue this week. Melbourne Palm Bay has had a rough season, and it’s doubtful the Pirates will pose much of a threat. American Heritage 48, Palm Bay 7.

Clewiston (6-1) at Cardinal Gibbons (3-1), 7:30 p.m.

Cardinal Gibbons had a week off following its loss to American Heritage, giving the Chiefs time to rest and regroup before starting their playoff run. Clewiston likely won’t be an easy first-round matchup. The Tigers have won four straight since losing to Calvary Christian. Cardinal Gibbons' defense should be good enough to keep Clewiston in check, though. The Chiefs have given up an average of 12 points per game and only gave up 20 points once — in their loss to Heritage. Cardinal Gibbons 28, Clewiston 14.

Glades Central (2-0) vs. Pahokee (1-1), Saturday, 7 p.m., Wellington High

The Raiders come into this year’s Muck Bowl with as much momentum as anyone in the county. Glades Central has won its first two games 87-6 and is firing on all cylinders. The passing game is good, the running game is good and the defense is good. The Blue Devils will have their hands full trying to keep the Raiders in check as they look to defend their Muck Bowl trophy. Glades Central 35, Pahokee 27.

Stoneman Douglas (2-0) at Hallandale (2-0)

Hallandale has done just enough to win in its first two games, picking up an 8-0 win over Piper and a 14-7 victory over South Broward. The defense, led by standouts like Alfonzo Allen, Gaethan Bernadel, Jaylin Marshall and Jakob Gamble, may be among the best public-school defenses in the county. But the offense will need to do better to keep up with teams like Stoneman Douglas and other strong teams. The Eagles have also played strong defense this season, allowing nine points through two games. But Hallandale has a better defense than either team they have faced yet. Expect a close, low-scoring game. Stoneman Douglas 17, Hallandale 14.

Dwyer (2-0) vs. Palm Beach Lakes (0-2), Saturday, 2 p.m., Jupiter High

Dwyer had an uncharacteristic losing season under McKinley Rolle last year, but the Panthers have already guaranteed themselves at least a .500 record in the regular season. Dwyer has two solid wins to start the year, including a victory over Palm Beach Gardens last week. The Gators picked up a close win over Palm Beach Lakes in their first game, and the Rams lost a close one to Forest Hill last week. Lakes has gotten good performance from running back Antonio Outler, a Super 11 pick who has rushed for 242 yards and three scores through two games, but they will need to put together a more complete performance to get a win this week. Dwyer 21, Palm Beach Lakes 17.

Palm Glades Prep (0-5) at Calvary Christian (5-0), 7:30 p.m.

Calvary Christian has rolled through pretty much its whole schedule, shutting out every team it has faced aside from Clewiston. The Eagles are coming off a 36-0 win over King’s Academy, and this week’s game should not be more difficult. Miami Palm Glades Prep is 0-5 and ranked 554th in the state by MaxPreps. Calvary Christian should win this game relatively easily. Calvary Christian 45, Palm Glades Prep 7.

American Heritage-Delray (2-3) at Avon Park (3-4), 7:30 p.m.

The Stallions have had an up-and-down season, splitting their first two games, losing two in a row and then ending the regular season with a win over Cardinal Newman. Sophomore quarterback Dylan Rizk has had some struggles in his first season as the starter, completing close to 64 percent of his passes but throwing eight interceptions against eight touchdowns. Heritage-Delray has gotten a boost from the running game, with junior Trey Rainey rushing for 424 yards, sophomore Cam Cannon running for 241 and Rizk adding 247. Avon Park has lost three of its last four and is rated 402nd in the state by MaxPreps. American Heritage-Delray 35, Avon Park 20.

Saint John Paul II Academy (5-2) at Cardinal Newman (4-3)

This playoff game is a matchup of two private schools having solid seasons and a rematch of a regular-season game. Cardinal Newman won the regular-season game 25-12, but the Eagles have won their three games since by a combined score of 135-20. The Crusaders will have to watch out for defensive end Trevor Dick, who has 32 tackles and 13 sacks through seven games. I think Saint John Paul II comes back and gets some revenge for the early-season loss in what should be a good game. Saint John Paul II Academy 21, Cardinal Newman 20.

Benjamin (2-3) at Miami Edison (2-1), 3:30 p.m., Traz Powell Stadium

The Buccaneers moved onto the next round of the playoffs after picking up a win over Westminster Christian, and their reward is to play Miami Edison at Traz Powell. Edison is ranked 33rd in the state by MaxPreps and has wins over Homestead and Miami Norland with its only loss being a 14-0 defeat to Miami Central. Benjamin has a chance in this game but it would be an upset. Miami Edison 28, Benjamin 17.

Atlantic (1-1) vs. Boca Raton (2-0), 6 p.m., Boca Raton High

Atlantic is coming off a loss to TRU Prep Academy, which isn’t too much of a blemish but might be enough to make the Eagles mad coming into this rivalry game. The Bobcats have a pair of solid wins against Boynton Beach and Olympic Heights, allowing only nine total points. But Atlantic is a much tougher team, and I think the Bobcats will get their first loss this week. Atlantic 32, Boca Raton 20.

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