Football playoffs heat up as semifinals begin

Moore Haven, Pahokee, Glades Central and Glades Day are all still in the thick of the playoffs as the regional semifinals kick off on Nov. 16. While Moore Haven and Pahokee enjoyed first-round byes last week, Glades Central and Glades Day fought for their right to remain in the championship hunt.

• The Glades Central Raiders steamrolled the 7-1 Coral Springs Charter Panthers on Nov. 9, 55-10. The Raiders scored early and often; in fact, Glades Central scored 48 points in the first half alone. The regional quarterfinal match-up was essentially over at halftime. Now, the Raiders will be making the trip to Miami to face the 5-5 Booker T. Washington Tornadoes at Traz Powell Stadium on Nov. 16.

Lake Okeechobee News/Richard Marion
The Glades Day offense lines up on the Lions’ 1-yard line. Quarterback Anthony McPhee would score on a quarterback sneak on this play.

• The Glades Day Gators outscored the First Baptist Academy Lions 49-39 in their match-up in Belle Glade on Nov. 9. The win means the Gators will move on to face the St. John Neumann Celtics on Nov. 16. The two teams look evenly matched on paper, and it could come down to which team can make that one extra play on the field. The winner moves on to the regional final.

•The Pahokee Blue Devils will be hosting the Wildwood Wildcats on Nov. 16. Wildwood barely survived its playoff game against Frostproof on Nov. 9, winning after Frostproof came up inches short on a two-point conversion that would’ve given them the lead in the final seconds of the game. Pahokee should be well rested after their bye but will need to shake off the bad mojo that comes with losing the Muck Bowl against rival Glades Central in the last game of the regular season. Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m. in Pahokee.

• The Moore Haven Terriers will get another crack at the Champagnat Catholic High School Lions on Nov. 16. The Lions ended both the Terriers’ playoff run and undefeated season last year. The Lions would go on to win a state championship after defeating Moore Haven. The Terriers were also dealing with a surprise injury to their starting quarterback John Cox in the days leading up to the playoff game last year. But now, coming off a bye week, Moore Haven should be well rested and ready to give the Lions their best shot. The Terriers have found ways to win all year, and you have to imagine they’re going to pull out all the stops during the regional semifinal. Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m. in Moore Haven.

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