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It’s playoff time: Only the strong will survive

Akilah Laster | 11/21/2013, 9 a.m.

The first round of playoffs typically pose the region’s top two of the strongest districts versus the top two of the weaker districts.

The outcomes are predictable and usually blowouts. The phrase “any given Sunday”— or in this case Friday — has little or no value. The winners are all ‘who we thought they were’ to reference Dennis Green.

Let’s start with Class 4A Booker T. Washington who is having an unprecedented and still undefeated season. They defeated Glades Central 40-18 last Saturday at Traz Powell. The Tornados celebrated the return of senior quarterback and Florida State University commit Treon Harris, who has been out since mid-October with a groin injury.

Harris and the Tornados (11-0) will need to be at their best this Friday when they head to Broward to face University School (9-2) who is also a Top 25 nationally-ranked team.

While Carol City’s playoff run was short-lived at the hands of their quarterfinal opponent Dillard High School, the Chiefs (7-4) gave new life to a struggling program that will undoubtedly be of interest to future high school players. But Dillard’s 28-19 win over the Chiefs will likely be their last as they face district 16’s bad boys the Central Rockets (9-1) in the regional semifinals this Friday at Traz. The Rockets blasted Boynton Beach (9-2) 55-37.

One of the most anticipated rematches is the 8A regional semifinal match between the Cougars and Buccaneers Friday at Tropical Park.

South Dade (10-1) will try to rewrite the script where their playoff run was squelched by Killian (7-4) during last season’s semifinal in a 24-point shutout. Both Killian and South Dade expectantly won their quarterfinal battles: Killian over Belen Jesuit 21-3; South Dade over Southwest 42-7.

South Dade is fueled by revenge and their quarterback Kahlil Render is undoubtedly motivated to make up for his district performance where he threw four interceptions. Killian is hard-pressed to prove themselves a title-contending team after being counted out early with four early losses this season.

This week’s face-offs will test the will of every team.