(1) Central (4-0) vs. (2) Booker T. Washington (3-1)
Saturday at Traz Powell Stadium, 7 p.m.

I am genuinely looking forward to watching this game.

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There’s so much to get excited about in this one.

Honestly, this game represents all that is awesome about high school football in South Florida.

How often have people debated about who the “best team in Dade County” is? But, this season we already had Booker T. play St. Thomas Aquinas and American Heritage; the Rockets and Tornadoes are strapping it up this week; both Central and Booker T. will play Northwestern; Carol City and Central will play a very important district game in a few weeks; all that means we’ll actually have a pretty good idea of who Dade’s best squad is.

Looking at this game, two things stick out.

The first is the coaching matchup. Having Tim “Ice” Harris back on the sideline has done a lot for Booker T. Washington. He’s an excellent motivator and he’s learned some more tricks of the trade as his coaching journey took a turn through the college ranks for a while.

Roland Smith is a model of consistent winning. He’s a “practice coach”, meaning he’s going to do a majority of his work, his grinding and his yelling on the practice field and will be more stoic on game day.

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Because there’s so much familiarity in these two coaching staffs, film study this week will be a big factor. Finding tendencies and discovering potential mismatches will be key for the team that ends up winning.

The other factor is Booker T.’s ability – or inability – to successfully and consistently run the football.

It goes without saying that Tornadoes sophomore quarterback Daniel Richardson is one of the best passers in South Florida, but Booker T. needs to find some balance in its offensive attack. If Richardson is catching the ball in the shotgun for 80-90 percent of the night, Central’s defensive line will be able to pin its ears back and rush the passer with no regard of a potential run.

Ultimately, I see this game being a high-scoring affair. Especially if we get good weather conditions, there’s no reason to think that both of these teams will be able to put up points – despite how talented the respective defenses are.

I think the Rockets will be able to come up with one more stop and eke out a victory in what could be an instant classic of a game.

Bald Prediction = Central wins 34-33

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