The MaxPreps Top 10 Games of the Week includes the first true test for the nation's No. 2 team since the opening week of the season.
Armwood, ranked second in this week's Xcellent 25
, has barely been challenged since its 20-17 win at No. 8 Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas) on Aug. 26. The Hawks won their next seven games by an average margin of 44 points. On Friday, they host undefeated Plant, a team that has won three state titles in the last half-decade but also a team the Hawks have beaten in six of their last nine meetings.
In other GOTW action involving Xcellent 25 teams, No. 3 Trinity (Louisville, Ky.) hosts once nationally ranked Moeller (Cincinnati), which has lost its last two games. It's Trinity's sixth game against an out-of-state opponent this season. Meanwhile, No. 24 University (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) can wrap up a district championship if it defeats undefeated Chaminade-Madonna (Hollywood, Fla.).
Two of the Ohio's best rivalry games take place on Saturday. St. Edward (Lakewood) hosts St. Ignatius (Cleveland) in the "Holy War." At Fawcett Stadium in Canton, two of the winningest programs in prep football history meet for the 121st time as McKinley (Canton) hosts Washington (Massillon).
There's another change at the top of the standings in our season-long predictions contest. Jamie DeMoney and Stephen Spiewak now share the lead after each picked eight out of 10 games correctly last week. Kevin Askeland went 5-5 to slip into third place, two games behind the pace. You can track our overall results and standings all season long by clicking here
Here's a look at this week's Top 10 games of the week along with predictions by MaxPreps staff writers and contributors Mitch Stephens, Steve Montoya, Stephen Spiewak, Kevin Askeland and Jamie DeMoney. Plant (Tampa, Fla.) at No. 2 Armwood (Seffner, Fla.)
(7-0) aims to spoil Armwood's hopes for a national title and cement
itself as one of a handful of top contenders for Florida's 8A
championship. The Panthers have revenge on their minds after being shut
out by Armwood last season, 17-0. They have failed to score offensive
points in only three games played since 2004 – all against Armwood. The
Panthers were shut out by the Hawks in 2004 and were held to a safety in
a 9-2 defeat in 2008. Though Plant has won three state titles and
reached the state finals four times in the last five seasons, this is
the first time it's been undefeated this deep into the season since
2006. It clinched its seventh consecutive district title with a 48-6
rout of Alonso (Tampa) last week. Senior quarterback James Few
17 of 21 passes for 329 yards and two touchdowns.
understatement to say Armwood has been playing dominant defense this
season. In its last five games, only one opponent has scored an
offensive touchdown and only 46 points total have been scored against
the Hawks all year. Other than a 20-17 win at nationally ranked Bishop
Gorman (Las Vegas) in August, all the Hawks' wins have been by 20 or
more points. An offense that struggled at times earlier in the season
has shown improvement since Florida commit Matt Jones
returned from a
knee injury. The 6-foot-3, 225-pounder has rushed for more than 100 yards in
back-to-back games. Mitch Stephens:
Armwood 28, Plant 17Steve Montoya:
Armwood 21, Plant 14Stephen Spiewak:
Armwood 31, Plant 10Kevin Askeland:
Armwood 42, Plant 24Jamie DeMoney:
Plant 23, Armwood 16