Class 8A-Region 2 quarterfinalVero Beach (9-1) at Manatee (10-0)
Time: 7:30 p.m.
On the air: 930-AM, WLSS, 7 p.m.
The scoop: The Indians' lone loss came to Fort Pierce Central (27-21) in what wound up being the District 8 championship game. ... Senior QB Dalton Stokes has thrown for 2,220 yards, 22 TDs and seven INTs while completing nearly 66 percent of his passes (159-for-242). He has not been picked off since Oct. 11. ... Stokes' top target is Jimmy Williamson (38 catches, 586 yards, seven TDs), but Will Dawkins (32 catches), Javonte Bagley (30) and Jason Pierre (28) have been viable options. ... Pierre has rushed for a team-best 831 yards and 13 TDs. ... Tyler Horstman (eight sacks) and Antonio Jones-Davis (7½) lead the team in sacks, and Jones-Davis has totaled a team-best 87 tackles while Horstman has 85. ... Of the Indians' nine wins, two came against teams that finished with a winning record. ... The Hurricanes are ranked No. 1 in Class 8A and are ranked nationally by MaxPreps (15th) and USA Today (20th). ... RB Trevon Walters (1,329) has surpassed the 1,000-yard plateau for the second straight year. ... QB Josh Meyer has thrown for 1,047 yards while rushing for 700. ... DL Daniel Doyle registered a team-best 11 sacks, and linemate Demarcus Christmas has 19 QB hurries. ... Nine of Manatee's opponents finished with a record of .500 or better, and six made the playoffs, including Gilman out of Baltimore, Md. ... The Canes are 15-1 in the playoffs at home since 2005. ... Winner plays either Fort Pierce Central or Riverview.
Prediction: Manatee 35, Vero Beach 14.
Class 7A-Region 3 quarterfinalPalmetto (5-5) atTarpon Springs East Lake (10-0)
Time: 7:30 p.m.
The scoop: The Tigers are in the playoffs for the fourth straight year and got past the first round the last two. ... RB/S Josh Hicks (1,087 yards, 17 TDs) is expected to play after missing last week's game at Southeast with an ankle injury. ... Quincy Washington was a more-than-adequate replacement for Hicks, rushing for 282 yards during the last two games of the regular season. ... WR Jacquill Daniels has five TDs, all during the last two games. ... The Eagles are ranked second in the state in Class 7A and recorded their first undefeated regular season. MaxPreps named them Florida's Team of the Week following last Friday's 54-0 win over St. Petersburg. ... CB Devin Abraham, the son of former Tampa Bay Buccaneer Donnie Abraham, has six INTs and has committed to USF. ... WR Artavis Scott (26 catches, 435 yard, four TDs) is headed to Clemson. ... OL Mason Cole (6-foot-5, 275 pounds) is committed to Michigan, and DE Hunter Snyder (four sacks) is going to FAU. ... The Eagles rushed for 2,193 yards and are led by Weston Fordham (893 yards, 17 TDs). ... Winner plays either Sarasota or Largo Pinellas Park.
Prediction: East Lake 35, Palmetto 21.
Class 3A-Region 3 semifinalSt. Petersburg Catholic (7-3)at Cardinal Mooney (7-2)
Time: 7 p.m.
On the air: 1220-AM/106.9-FM WSRQ
The scoop: This playoff matchup is a rematch from mid-October, when Cardinal Mooney edged St. Petersburg Catholic 14-12 on the road. ... The Cougars managed around 150 yards of total offense, while St. Pete Catholic doubled that total. ... "In the first half of that game, we didn't tackle," Mooney head coach Josh Smithers said. "We have to play the jet sweep better." Smithers added that it's a lot tougher in the postseason when facing a good football team a second time around. ... However, two starting offensive linemen (Kevin Barker and Sam McMullen) were missing in the first meeting. Also, the Cougars get WR Blair Perry and DE Jonah Schopfer back this week after the pair sat out last Friday's loss to Booker with injuries. ... RB Demardre Patterson finished third in the area with 1,296 rushing yards, an average of 6.6 per carry. ... Mooney's lone home playoff game this season is being termed a "Red Out" with fans clad in red to show support for the Cougars, who are making their first playoff appearance since 2008. ... Cardinal Mooney finished 2-0 in Class 3A-District 6, claiming its first district championship since 2006. ... Meanwhile, the Barons are riding a four-game winning streak and haven't lost since the October clash with Mooney. ... St. Pete Catholic is a run-heavy offense that features two 1,000-yard rushers (Jaquan Fuller and Tony Jones). Both players are averaging more than eight yards a carry. ... Mooney has to limit the run game, which means winning a key battle in the trenches and getting past the Barons' 6-foot-6, 275-pound lineman Reilly Gibbons (University of Miami recruit).
Prediction: Cardinal Mooney 21, St. Petersburg Catholic 17.
-- Capsules by John Lembo and Jason Dill, Herald sports writers