(8) Southridge (2-1) vs. (24) Carol City (1-2)
Friday at Southridge, 7:30 p.m.

Talk about a statement game.

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This may be the most intriguing matchup of week five – even though it’s not a traditional rivalry game nor is it a district game.

In this game you have a pair of teams that have relatively underachieved up to this point of the season. And a loss in this game will only further propel those thoughts and make the losing team question whether or not it can reach the pinnacle of its goals this season.

Southridge continues to be an enigma. The Spartans have one of the most impressive collections of talent in the country, yet they’ve left a bit to be desired in terms of their overall performance.

Losing to Class 4A Booker T. Washington this past week made sense to those familiar with the way South Florida high school football works – but on the surface, there’s no reason why an 8A team would only put up six points in that game.

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Carol City comes into this game in a much better place than it was a couple of weeks ago. After losing its first two games, the Chiefs surprised everyone not doing the “Tomahawk Chop” when they went to Lakeland and took down the Dreadnaughts for the second straight year.

I still think the matchup between these teams still favors Southridge. Carol City’s offense has a tendency to stall, especially when they get away from featuring their talented duo of running backs – Camron Davis and Nayquan Wright.

Defensively, the Chiefs are golden – as they’ve become the “Dark Side Defense South” under the direction of former Miramar head coach Damon Cogdell.

But I think it’ll be Southridge’s defense that makes the game-changing or even game-clinching play and gives the Spartans a close victory in a very big game.

Bald Prediction = Southridge wins 16-14

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