Class 1M Championship Game
Clearwater Central Catholic (12-1) vs. Chaminade-Madonna (12-0)
When, where: 7 p.m., Thursday, Gene Cox Stadium (Tallahassee)
Clearwater Central Catholic
Averages: Scoring 34.9 points per game, allowing 14.8 points per game
Statistical leaders: QB Jershaun Newton (So., 115-172, 1,880 yards, 20 TDs), RB Lenwood Sapp (Sr., 1,177 yards, 13 TDs), WR Nate Johnson III (Sr., 47 catches, 827 yards, 7 TDs), S Andy Jaffe (Sr., 92 tackles, 2 INT)
Postseason: Beat Indian Rocks Christian 63-12 (regional semifinal), beat Carrollwood Day 21-11 (regional final), beat University Christian 34-29 (state semifinal)
Signature wins: Tampa Catholic 28-14 (Sept. 9), Sebring 16-10 (Sept. 23), Jesuit 23-21 (Oct. 7)
Recruit to watch: QB Jershuan Newton. Nate Johnson is committed to Boston College and is the team’s leading receiver, but Newton’s recruiting has steadily picking up since the spring. The 6-foot, 205-pound dual threat quarterback’s offers include Florida State, Illinois, Ole Miss, Pittsburgh and West Virginia.
Averages: Scoring 50.8 points per game, allowing 10.5 points per game
Statistical leaders: QB Cedrick Bailey Jr. (Jr., 182-260, 2,981 yards, 42 TDs), RB Davion Gause (Sr., 956 yards, 17 TDs), WR Jeremiah Smith (Jr., 51 catches, 960 yards, 18 TD), S Jeno Junius (Jr., 110 tackles, 16.5 TFL)
Postseason: Beat Avant Garde 48-0 (regional semifinal), beat Cardinal Newman 49-16 (regional final), beat True North Classical 56-0 (state semifinal)
Signature wins: St. John’s (DC) 35-28 (Aug. 27), Dillard 49-28 (Sept. 2), Miami Northwestern 42-14 (Sept. 10), Plantation-American Heritage 42-34 (Sept. 16)
Recruit to watch: WR Jeremiah Smith. Considered one of the nation’s premier players in the class of 2024, the 6-foot-3, 185-pound Smith has been a dominant force this season with 18 touchdowns. He has offers from most of the Power 5 programs in the nation, including Alabama, Miami, Ohio State and USC.
Inside the matchup
Chaminade-Madonna is looking for its second consecutive state title and has not played a game decided by less than 28 points since beating American Heritage 42-34 on Sept. 16. Clearwater Central Catholic has won 11 in a row with its lone loss coming by 3 points at Trinity Catholic (Class 1S state finalist) on Sept. 2. Chaminade has outscored its past eight opponents by a combined score of 442-22 with six wins coming by shutout. Only two teams – IMG White and University Christian – have scored more than two touchdowns against Clearwater Central Catholic in its past seven games.