(24) Champagnat Catholic (11-1) vs. Jacksonville University Christian (9-2)
Saturday at Orlando Camping World Stadium, 10 a.m.

Here’s a game that could end up being one of the better matchups of the weekend.

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Don’t let the 2A classification fool you, both of these teams are big on talent and both play a solid brand of football.

Jacksonville University Christian is a storied program with a rich football history. The Christians have won eight state championships – third most in Florida’s history – including two in the past four seasons.

University Christian deploys a balanced offensive attack, but its “money man” is senior running back Otis Anderson. Anderson, a 5-foot-8, 170-pound ball carrier that is also used as a receiver out of the backfield, leads the team in total rushing and he’s the team’s third leading receiver.

The Christians are also a battle-tested team. University Christian took on fellow state finalist (3A) Jacksonville Trinity Christian and went on a road trip to face Georgia’s Coffee High.

Without a doubt, Champagnat has a daunting task in front it. What will help the Lions win this game will be its “South Florida swagger”.

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Champagnat, which won a state championship in 2013, has been riding strong performances – three points allowed over the two previous games – by its defense. The Lions defense as a whole is going to have to stand up tall Saturday. Specifically, linebackers Donovan Georges and Jesus Machado will have to have one of the best games of their young careers.

Lions head coach Dennis Marroquin will need to get creative offensively, finding ways to create and exploit mismatches and put his athletes in the best position to succeed. This would be the perfect game to feature 6-foot-6 receiver Gregory Rousseau.

Rousseau presents a match-up problem for just about every defensive back he’d line up against and this could be his “Tommy Streeter moment” – putting on a dominating performance in one of the biggest games of the year.

It’s not going to be easy, but I think the Lions can win this game.

Bald Prediction = Champagnat wins 21-17

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