THE SKINNY: This is simple: Win and you're in. Sarasota Booker has clinched the district title, and the winner of this game will be the runnerup. No questions asked. It doesn't get any more clear than that.
Purks: Robinson Niebuhr: Jesuit
Land O'Lakes (8-0) at Wharton (8-1)
THE SKINNY: These teams already have qualified for the playoffs. It's just a matter of which one gets to stay home for the first round. Wharton has the most potent offense in the district but Land O'Lakes the best defense. This will be a good one.
Purks: Wharton Niebuhr: Wharton
Jefferson (7-2) at Plant (6-2)
THE SKINNY: Make-or-break Game No.3. The same circumstances as Wharton-Land O'Lakes. Plant has the best defense and Jefferson the best offense. Does homefield advantage help the Panthers?
Purks: Jefferson Niebuhr: Jefferson
Alonso (3-5) at Sickles (2-7)
THE SKINNY: The winner makes the playoffs with what could be a losing record. And then anything can happen! The loser (or nonwinner for those sensitive types) goes home.
Purks: Alonso Niebuhr: Sickles
Hillsborough (9-0) at Gaither (5-3)
THE SKINNY: This game has no bearing whatsoever on the playoffs. There is, however, much intrigue as the Terriers go for their second straight unbeaten regular season and third in the past six seasons. Purks: Hillsborough Niebuhr: Hillsborough
Bloomingdale (3-5) at Plant City (4-4)
THE SKINNY: Playoff implications everywhere! Even this game counts for something. A Raiders win goes a long way toward not muddying up the Class 5A, District 7 waters any more. A Bulls win means the FHSAA must break out the abacus to figure out who goes where.
Purks: Plant City Niebuhr: Plant City
Chamberlain (5-3) at King (0-8)
THE SKINNY: And then there's this game. ... Chamberlain gets to work on some things before the postseason (like not getting anybody important hurt). King just tries to ... pull ... out ... one ... win.
Purks: Chamberlain Niebuhr: Chamberlain
Freedom (5-4) at TBT (0-9)
THE SKINNY: 1998. That's the last time Tech went winless for a whole season. This is the last chance for the Titans to keep that a true statement.
Purks: Freedom Niebuhr: Freedom
Newsome (3-5) at Middleton (6-3)
THE SKINNY: Middleton can clinch the runnerup position with a win. It also can probably clinch it with a loss. But then there's the possibility of tiebreakers, and it tends to get messy and confusing.
Purks: Middleton Niebuhr: Middleton
Brandon (4-5) at East Bay (5-3)
THE SKINNY: East Bay's in. We know that. And if you're an Indians fan, that's all that matters. There still seems to be a glimmer of hope for Brandon. But only if it wins. Purks: Brandon Niebuhr: East Bay
Keswick Christian (6-2) at Temple Heights (0-8)
THE SKINNY: Things just don't seem to want to turn around for Temple Heights. A loss to Bishop McLaughlin? You have to go back a looooong way to find the last time the Eagles didn't win at least one game. Try the '60s, man. Like 1968. Purks: Keswick Niebuhr: Keswick
Blake (2-6) at Leto (0-8)
THE SKINNY: Leto has scored 50 points this season. Nothing else needs to be said.
Purks: Blake Niebuhr: Blake
Sarasota Riverview (4-4) at Durant (3-6)
THE SKINNY: Both are playing for pride. That's not the most prestigious honor, but it's certainly the most noble. The winner doesn't finish in the 6A-6 basement.
Purks: Riverview Niebuhr: Riverview
Armwood (7-1) at Lake Region (1-6)
THE SKINNY: The only way Armwood loses this game is if there's a big backup on I-4 and they can't get to the ... actually, there's a chance of that, isn't there? Leave early, Hawks.
Purks: Armwood Niebuhr: Armwood
Berkeley (4-4) at Frostproof (2-5)
THE SKINNY: Battle for the Basement, Part II. The winner finishes third in 2B-6. Woo Hoo! Purks: Berkeley Niebuhr: Berkeley
Tampa Baptist (1-6) at Lakeland Christian (2-6)
THE SKINNY: The Rams like the road. Unfortunately, as last week's 26-6 loss in Celebration proved, the road doesn't like the Rams. Purks: Lakeland Chr. Niebuhr: Lakeland Chr.
Cambridge (5-4) at Winter Haven All Saints' (4-4)
THE SKINNY: With a win, the Lancers tie the school record for wins. Okay, the program's only 3-years-old, but you gotta have goals.