By Times staff writers
Published November 28, 2003
HOW THEY GOT HERE: Hillsborough defeated Lakeland 41-14 and Winter Springs 26-20; Durant defeated Chamberlain 10-7 and Osceola 27-13.
THE SKINNY: If Durant were to line up in front of a mirror, they'd see Hillsborough staring back at it. These teams are about as equal as two teams can get both in their styles and offensive and defensive numbers. The big question is can homefield advantage override the fact Hillsborough has been in position to advance to the state semifinals and Durant hasn't? The Cougars seem to be taking things in stride, but you can bet Earl Garcia will have his Terriers revved up tonight.
Purks: Hills. Readling: Durant Nipps: Durant
Countryside (10-2) at Armwood (12-0)
HOW THEY GOT HERE: Countryside defeated Alonso 34-15 and Bradenton Bayshore 25-7; Armwood defeated Dunedin 28-10 and Fort Myers 20-12.
THE SKINNY: Interesting note: Armwood averaged close to 51 points per game during the regular season but has yet to score that many in its first two playoff games combined. Everyone knew the Hawks would experience a jump in competition when the regular season ended. And now that it has gotten through two tougher games, Armwood should be in game shape again. Countryside is going to pass and pass a lot.
Purks: Arm. Readling: Arm. Nipps: Arm.
Jefferson (10-2) at Sarasota Booker (12-0)
HOW THEY GOT HERE: Jefferson defeated Pasco 69-22 and Englewood Lemon Bay 28-20; Booker defeated Sebring 49-7 and Robinson 51-0.
THE SKINNY: The most points Booker has given up in any game this season is 29. Jefferson gave up 35 once, but that was to Armwood. Their other high game is 28 points allowed to Hillsborough, who, by the way, is still alive, too. Basically, the point we're trying to get across here is both teams have good defenses. That means the one with the better offense should provide the difference. This is Booker's furthest run into the playoffs since 1999, when it lost, that's right, in this game. In fact, Booker never has been past the region final. Experience might help the Dragons tonight.