NEED TO KNOW: Wesley Chapel quarterback and safety Anthony Rawson is out for the game and possibly the season with a stress fracture in his left shin. But that doesn't mean the Wildcats, whose 15-game win streak was snapped last week at Pasco, are in much danger of losing consecutive regular-season games for the first time since 2000. Junior Chad Hatfield will start at quarterback, with senior Nigel Bryant possibly taking Rawson's place in the secondary.
FRANK PASTOR'S PICK: Wesley Chapel.
BOB PUTNAM'S PICK: Wesley Chapel.
STEVE LEE'S PICK: Wesley Chapel.
HUDSON (5-2) AT SPRINGSTEAD (6-0)
WHERE: Booster Stadium.
SERIES: Springstead leads 12-1.
NEED TO KNOW: Bright House Network picked a good week to televise both teams. The Cobras have won three in a row and are in a tie for first place in Class 3A, District 9. The Eagles are 6-0 for the first time since 1996, which is the last time they made the playoffs. Springstead has owned this series, winning 11 straight. But Hudson has already snapped one longtime losing streak, beating Pasco earlier this season for the first time in 25 years.
PASTOR'S PICK: Hudson.
PUTNAM'S PICK: Springstead.
LEE'S PICK: Springstead.
OCALA FOREST (4-2) AT LAND O'LAKES (3-3)
WHERE: Gator Stadium.
SERIES: Land O'Lakes leads 2-1.
NEED TO KNOW: Land O'Lakes beat Forest twice last season, including a 29-7 playoff win. The Gators face, arguably, their toughest challenge barring a playoff game in trying to stop one of the state's premier running backs. The Wildcats' Roosevelt Ross has 1,334 rushing yards and 16 touchdowns. Land O'Lakes, which last week clinched a district title and eighth straight playoff berth, is led by power runner Scott Mays and quarterback Joe Weatherford, who gets better each game. Weatherford's primary targets are Develin Robinson and Caz Piurowski.
PASTOR'S PICK: Land O'Lakes.
PUTNAM'S PICK: Ocala Forest.
LEE'S PICK: Ocala Forest.
OCALA WEST PORT (1-5) AT MITCHELL (4-2)
WHERE: Mustang Stadium.
SERIES: West Port leads 1-0.
NEED TO KNOW: West Port quarterback Mike Barnes has passed for 562 yards with four touchdowns and four interceptions. Mitchell counters with D.J. Crosby, who has seven interceptions, but coach Scott Schmitz said his team must tackle better than in last week's loss to district rival Land O'Lakes. The Mustangs should get back to their winning ways and remain a favorite to make the playoffs, albeit as the 4A-7 runner-up to Land O'Lakes. Look for Spencer Brown (570 rushing yards, school-record 13 touchdowns) to have a big game.
PASTOR'S PICK: Mitchell.
PUTNAM'S PICK: Mitchell.
LEE'S PICK: Mitchell.
PASCO (4-2) AT ZEPHYRHILLS (3-3)
WHERE: Bulldog stadium
SERIES: Pasco leads 32-14.
OUTLOOK: The 47th edition of the nine-mile rivalry has plenty of plots. Both teams have one district loss and cannot afford another in what has become a four-team race. Pasco has been on a roll, winning four straight, including the past three by a combined nine points. Zephyrhills has won three of its past four. There's added incentive for the Bulldogs, who can help coach Tom Fisher reach the 100-win plateau with a victory over the Pirates.
PASTOR'S PICK: Pasco.
PUTNAM'S PICK: Pasco.
LEE'S PICK: Pasco.
RIDGEWOOD (1-5) AT DUNNELLON (2-4)
WHERE: Tigers Stadium.
SERIES: Dunnellon leads 1-0.
OUTLOOK: Dunnellon is not the 5-2 juggernaut that handed Ridgewood a 46-7 shellacking last season. Still, the 2003 state semifinalist should have more than enough firepower to handle the Rams. Ridgewood will get a boost from the return of tailback/defensive end Mike Galizia, last season's county rushing leader, and wide receiver/cornerback Justin Pena, who come off four-game suspensions for violating school rules. Tailback David Williams is out with a wrist injury.
PASTOR'S PICK: Dunnellon.
PUTNAM'S PICK: Dunnellon.
LEE'S PICK: Dunnellon.
ST. PETERSBURG CATHOLIC (4-1) AT RIVER RIDGE (2-5)
WHERE: James Valentine Stadium.
SERIES: St. Petersburg Catholic leads 1-0.
OUTLOOK: The Royal Knights snapped a three-game winning streak last week against struggling Ridgewood and could use a confidence boost with another win. But that is not likely to happen this week against a team that last week all but clinched a district title. St. Petersburg Catholic has a well-balanced attack with Jock Sanders' running (307 yards) and the passing tandem of Billy Tapp and Andrew Harris. Mike Gregory remains River Ridge's starter at quarterback with backup Phil Petrini seeing more time of late catching and running the ball.
PASTOR'S PICK: St. Petersburg Catholic.
PUTNAM'S PICK: St. Petersburg Catholic.
LEE'S PICK: St. Petersburg Catholic.
All games at 7:30 p.m.
PICKS SO FAR
Picks/ Last wk./ All
Lee/ 3-2/ 16-5
Putnam/ 2-3/ 14-7
Pastor/ 3-2/ 13-8
- Compiled by Frank Pastor, Bob Putnam and Steve Lee.