Week 8 foot­ball pre­dic­tions

Sun Sentinel Broward Edition - - SPORTS - — Wells Dusen­bury and David Furones

The high school foot­ball ac­tion in Week 8 is head­lined by a district matchup between the top two ranked teams in Class 5A, Amer­i­can Her­itage at Car­di­nal Gib­bons. Wells Dusen­bury and David Furones are pick­ing the clash between the Pa­tri­ots and Chiefs, plus nine more prime games in Broward and Palm Beach coun­ties. Furones is 37-13 on the year while Duse is a game back in the stand­ings at 36-14. All games are to­day at 7 p.m. un­less noted.

AMER­I­CAN HER­ITAGE (4-0) AT CAR­DI­NAL GIB­BONS (5-0)

Duse: Gib­bons 13, Her­itage 10 Car­di­nal Gib­bons has been wait­ing for this mo­ment all sum­mer long. Af­ter a tough 10-7 play­off loss to the Pa­tri­ots, the Chiefs are a much more vet­eran and tal­ented group, es­pe­cially on de­fense where they’ve al­lowed just 12 points all sea­son. Gib­bons QB Nik Scalzo ad­mit­ted to be­ing ner­vous last year ver­sus Her­itage, but he [and the rest of the team] aren’t any­more. Her­itage is with­out a doubt one of the top teams in the coun­try and the de­fense is fe­ro­cious, but I think Gib­bons makes just enough plays to pull off the win. DF: Her­itage 24, Gib­bons 20 Chiefs quar­ter­back Nik Scalzo saw this stel­lar de­fense twice as a sopho­more and will come in more poised. Route com­bi­na­tions out of Gib­bons’ com­plex Air-Raid of­fense could free up re­ceivers and, to an ex­tent, mit­i­gate how ef­fec­tive Pa­tri­ots five-star cor­ner­backs Pa­trick Sur­tain II and Tyson Camp­bell can be in the press man cov­er­age they spe­cial­ize in. Th­ese fac­tors will keep it close, but Her­itage, the na­tion’s fourth-ranked team (MaxPreps, USA To­day), will stop the run bet­ter than any pre­vi­ous Chiefs op­po­nent, and quar­ter­back Cam Smith, run­ning back Miles Jones and re­ceiver An­thony Schwartz make enough plays on of­fense.

WESTERN (6-0) AT PLAN­TA­TION (5-1)

Duse: Western 21, Plan­ta­tion 17 “They’ll tell the [Har­ri­son] story of tonight.” Sorry, had to throw some Hamilton in there. Western QB Har­ri­son Story has been a ma­jor key for the Wild­cats’ re­vival, throw­ing eight TD passes to just one INT, while also rush­ing for three more scores. Back­field mate Ke­shaun Clarke (589 yards rush­ing, 10 TDs) will help keep Western un­beaten. DF: Western 23, Plan­ta­tion 19 The Colonels have made great strides in coach Steve Davis’ re­turn, but I think they’re still a year away from get­ting to Mi­ra­mar and Western in District 12-8A. The Wild­cats will stack the box against Plan­ta­tion’s Wing-T, and safety Ro­bie Ruebel will have a Troy Po­la­malu-type im­pact, mak­ing plays at dif­fer­ent lev­els whether in the back­field or stick­ing with tight end Robzel Sylvester on the oc­ca­sional sur­prise deep ball. Look out for QB Har­ri­son Story find­ing Jor­dan Smith and Ke­shaun Clarke pro­vid­ing bal­ance with the run­ning game.

PALM BEACH CEN­TRAL (3-2) AT SEMI­NOLE RIDGE (6-0)

Duse: Cen­tral 17, Ridge 14 Ri­valry show­down at Semi­nole Ridge as the Hawks all but se­cure the district ti­tle with a win. Palm Beach Cen­tral has played a very tough sched­ule and is bet­ter than the record in­di­cates. Akeem Dent and Tre Jack­son have been sen­sa­tional in the sec­ondary and should limit Ridge’s big-play abil­ity. DF: Cen­tral 24, Ridge 23 The Hawks come in 3-0 in games set­tled by 4 points or fewer, but this is the matchup where it catches up to them. Quar­ter­back Nick Atkins can find re­ceivers Bryan Robin­son and Fornoris Roberts. The Bron­cos will keep Ridge’s strong ground game some­what in check, and it helps to have Akeem Dent, the na­tion’s top-ranked 2019 cor­ner­back, on the back end. They get a key district win.

PALM BEACH LAKES (2-4) AT OLYMPIC HEIGHTS (3-2)

Duse: Heights 20, Lakes 14 The Lions missed out on a play­off spot last year af­ter fall­ing to Lakes in the district fi­nale and they haven’t for­got­ten that. While the Rams’ de­fense has been strong this year, the of­fense has strug­gled to put up points. I think Olympic Heights RB Reis Clark is the dif­fer­ence-maker as the Lions take one step closer to the district ti­tle. DF: Lakes 17, Heights 13 How could I af­ter Duse’s riv­et­ing piece on the Lions and coach Baz Al­fred? I just see the Rams as bet­ter than their record in­di­cates, hav­ing played Dwyer, Ridge and Pa­ho­kee tight. That de­fense comes out hun­gry for this one. Colorado State com­mit Teja Young leaves his foot­print on this one.

NOVA AT COOPER CITY (2-3)

Duse: Ti­tans have been red-hot this sea­son, win­ning four of their five games by dou­ble dig­its. Nova 31-27.

DF: The Cow­boys come in hot af­ter down­ing South Broward, but the Shaun Peter­son Show will be tough to stop. Nova 24-21.

ARCH­BISHOP MCCARTHY (2-4) AT BOYD AN­DER­SON (2-3)

Duse: McCarthy’s bat­tled against a tough sched­ule and I think it pays div­i­dends here. McCarthy 14-9.

DF: I like both de­fenses to have a strong show­ing but ex­pect Mav­er­icks RB Ja­cob Bap­tiste to get loose a cou­ple of times to make the dif­fer­ence. McCarthy 16-12.

CO­CONUT CREEK (3-1) AT BLANCHE ELY (2-3), SATUR­DAY 7 P.M.

Duse: Cougars’ de­fense has been strong and should carry them to win No. 4. Creek 17-14.

DF: I like Creek coach Gerald Cox’s re­bound thus far in his sec­ond sea­son, but af­ter tak­ing it on the chin against Cham­i­nade-Madonna and Mi­ami Cen­tral, the Tigers come out with a dif­fer­ent mo­ti­va­tion. Ely 23-17.

DWYER (4-2) AT FOR­EST HILL (5-0)

Duse: Big­gest game in school his­tory for the un­beaten Fal­cons, but Dwyer’s looks to have turned it around af­ter its up­set loss to Heights. Dwyer 28-20.

DF: The Fal­cons have been a great story with this start, but Dwyer will ap­proach the re­main­der of the sea­son with a killer in­stinct af­ter loss to Heights. Dwyer 27-17.

FORT PIERCE WEST­WOOD (4-1) AT SUN­COAST (4-2)

Duse: Sun­coast dual-threat QB Ryan Lantz has been great this sea­son and I think Charg­ers clinch their third con­sec­u­tive district ti­tle. Sun­coast 21-17.

DF: Charg­ers, com­ing in hot win­ners of four straight, clinch District 15-5A on the night they honor Devin Hester. There may even be a key spe­cial teams re­turn in his honor. Sun­coast 24-20.

JUPITER (0-5) AT WELLING­TON (2-4)

Duse: Welling­ton’s down to its third-string QB. Does Jupiter fi­nally snap its 31-game los­ing skid? Not this week. Welling­ton 20-14.

DF: A chance for the War­riors to end the drought. Not ready to call it just yet. Welling­ton 21-16.

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