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Hillsborough: Football playoff primer
By KEITH NIEBUHR, Times Staff Writer
Published December 6, 2007
Class 2A state championship
Tampa Catholic (11-2) vs. Madison Co. (12-1)
When: 7 p.m., Saturday
Where: Citrus Bowl, Orlando
TV: Fox Sports Net
Opponent spotlight: RB Chris Thompson. A junior tailback who is blessed with tremendous speed, the 5-foot-10, 175-pound Thompson has scholarship offers from Florida and Florida State. He rushed for 297 yards and four touchdowns in last week's win over South Sumter.
Offbeat: In Madison County, Frankie Carroll is the closest thing there is to a celebrity.
He was born there.
He was raised there.
Now he's the coach for a Cowboys program that has become one of the state's elite. "Everyone in the county knows me pretty much," Carroll said. "They all want to talk about football."
Case in point: Carroll said he was approached by an elderly man while in the baking goods aisle recently at a local Winn-Dixie. The man told Carroll he once played for Madison Country, then drew up a play on a bag of sugar.
"He said, 'We scored every time on this play,' " Carroll recalled.
Class 4A state semifinal
Armwood (13-0) vs. Miami Washington (12-0)
When: 7:30 p.m., Friday
Where: Traz Powell Stadium, Miami
Opponent spotlight: WR Thearon Collier. The 5-foot-9, 163-pound senior committed to Miami in June. He also had scholarship offers from Auburn, Florida and Virginia Tech. FlaVarsity.com rates him as the state's 59th-best college prospect.
Offbeat: During the summer, Miami Booker T. Washington standout Brandon Harris and some of his teammates posted signs throughout the locker room that read "2007 State Football Champions."
Arrogant? Brash? Overconfident? Doubtful.
The Tornadoes have lost in the state semifinals each of the past four seasons (three times to Armwood, once to Plant).
"It's an unexplainable feeling when you get to the same point year after year and keep getting knocked down by the same teams," Harris told the Miami Herald. "This has got to be our year. We won't settle for nothing less than a state championship."