Fivay (1-4) at Sunlake (8-2)
WHEN/WHERE: 7 p.m./Seahawks Stadium, 3023 Sunlake Blvd., Land O' Lakes
COACHES: Chris Taylor (Fivay), Bill Browning (Sunlake)
NEED TO KNOW: Taylor scheduled this game to get a look at his young Falcons against a good team. Junior Tyler Degan and sophomore Eric Vitale are still battling for the starting QB job and Taylor hopes one of them steps up. Fivay gave up 34 points and a ton of rushing yards to River Ridge in the spring game. "Defensively, we have to work on stopping the run. They're going to run the ball right at us – there's no secret about that," Taylor said. … The Seahawks are set to debut their spread offense for 2011, which includes new starting QB Cameron Stoltz and starting tailback Jerome Samuels, who should get more touches than last year. Browning wants his offense to prove it can take care of the football against the Falcons, as ball security has been an issue during Fall practice. TE/LB Nick Morrison (knee) has been cleared to play and has seen some full-contact action in practice, coming off surgery to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament. But Browning said he may take Morrison out if he gets a "gut feeling" that he is not ready for a full half of football yet. Varsity starters will play the first half with subs in the third quarter and JV in the fourth.
Mitchell (5-5) at Hudson (0-10)
WHERE/WHEN: Cobras Stadium, 14410 Cobra Way, Hudson
COACHES: Scott Schmitz (Mitchell), Justin Fenton (Hudson)
NEED TO KNOW: Schmitz, who returns to Mitchell following a two-year hiatus, still has some unresolved position battles, especially along both lines. The veteran coach will use the game to determine if any second-string players are capable of earning substantial varsity minutes. "If we have no one playing both ways, that would obviously make us a better football team," Schmitz said. … With almost triple the kids on the roster than in the spring, Hudson only has five players playing both ways, which means Fenton is expecting to see those kids (only playing offense or defense) excel. "They should be able to do their job," he said. Fenton wants to see how his team handles physical play. QB Will Fulmer makes his debut for the Falcons with Haydon Moyer moving to running back. Varsity is expected to play the first three quarters, with the JV finishing the final quarter.
Wesley Chapel (3-7) at South Sumter (2-8)
WHEN/WHERE: 7 p.m./South Sumter High Stadium, 706 North Main Street, Bushnell
COACHES: Ben Alford (Wesley Chapel), Inman Sherman (South Sumter)
NEED TO KNOW: The Wildcats will look to improve on a dismal 2010 season, in which they scored just 132 points in three wins. Leading the way on offense will be senior quarterback Keegan Tanner, who takes over and looks to solidify a position with leadership after the departure of sophomore QB Alex McGough. Wesley Chapel will also rely heavily on two running backs — senior Devin Piper and junior DeQuane Anderson — that give the Wildcats plenty of speed off an offensive line anchored by big offensive tackle, senior Damion Garvey. Keep an eye on Welsey Chapel's defense to be improved (averaged 24 points against per game last season) as the Wildcats are eager for the return of Angel Locicero on the defensive line (two sacks in spring game). … The Raiders also struggled last season, scoring just 130 points, but finished on a good note with a 14-7 win over Frostwood. South Sumter has a senior-laden team with 15-plus rostered, including being led by the 6-foot-3, agile QB, Ian Papenheim.
Ridgewood (2-8) at Palm Harbor University (3-7)
WHEN/WHERE: 7 p.m./Palm Harbor Stadium, 1900 Omaha St., Palm Harbor
COACHES: Kent Reed (Ridgewood), Mark Haye (Palm Harbor)
NEED TO KNOW: Ridgewood has suffered a tumultuous offseason as a multitude of graduations and four key transfers have decimated the roster. With just more than 20 players available, many Rams' players will play both ways throughout the game. Reed said his team can ill afford any injuries and will need to run its basic packages to best evaluate the talent on the field. … The Hurricanes return four offensive starters, including quarterback Billy Pavlock and favorite receiver Hunter Beam. The varsity teams are expected to play the first three quarters and the JV the fourth. Palm Harbor plays in Class 8A and will probably have three times the number of players Ridgewood will dress.
Rick Harmon, Mike Camunas, Chris Errington, Bart O'Connell