Home Sports High school football: FHSAA Class 2M state tournament playoff preview

High school football: FHSAA Class 2M state tournament playoff preview

High school football: FHSAA Class 2M state tournament playoff preview

The USA TODAY Florida Network breaks down the Floridspan high school footbspanll plspanyoffs region by region. Here’s a look at what to expect in Class 2M.

Roundup:USA Todspany Network reporters brespank down the FHSAA footbspanll plspanyoffs

Region 1

Andrew Jackson's Grayson Howard (0) celebrates a stop with Tyler Fann (12) during the first quarter of a regular season football game Friday, Sept. 18, 2022 at Andrew Jackson High School football stadium in Jacksonville. The Andrew Jackson Tigers defeated the Spruce Creek Hawks 35-6.

First round

(1) Andrew Jackson vs. (8) Riverside 

(4) Ed White vs. (5) Raines

(3) Bolles vs. (6) Episcopal School of Jacksonville

(2) Bishop Kenny vs. (7) Bishop Moore

Burning question 

Is Region 1 as deep as it looks on paper?

Andrew Jackson has found different ways to win tight games — with the one common theme that it keeps winning. Bishop Kenny has been outstanding this season, including a historic win against Bolles. Raines’ lone regular-season losses were against Trinity Christian and Andrew Jackson. Bolles has played the toughest schedule in the region and beat Buchholz in Week 11. Ed White has scored at least 26 points in all but one game this fall. This bracket could play out in a lot of different ways.

Recruit to watch 

Grayson Howard (Andrew Jackson LB)

The South Carolina commit has been one of the best players in the state this season. Howard, a 6-foot-4, 220-pound senior, was averaging better than 18 tackles per game through Week 10 and also has been an impact player as a running back. 

Potential matchup we’d pay to see

Andrew Jackson vs. Bolles (regional final)

Region 2

Berkeley Prep edge rusher Keon Keeley attends the Ohio State, Wisconsin game.

First round

(1) Tampa Catholic vs. (8) King 

(4) Lakewood vs. (5) Clearwater

(3) Berkeley Prep vs. (6) Robinson

(2) Calvary Christian (Clearwater) vs. (7) Blake

Burning question 

Is this the year that Tampa Catholic breaks through?

The Crusaders haven’t played into December since 2009. This team could be the one to snap that streak. Tampa Catholic hasn’t played the same depth of schedule that Berkeley Prep or Lakewood has this season, but they know how to win and they have elite talent on both sides of the ball. And beating Jesuit in the regular season finale sends a loud message of what this team can do in the playoffs.

Recruit to watch 

Keon Keeley (Berkeley Prep EDGE)

The 6-foot-6, 242-pound Keeley is the No. 1 edge rusher in the nation on the 247Sports composite and ranked No. 3 in the state on the USA Today Florida Network top 100. Blessed with a combination of speed and power, Keeley had 11 sacks, 17.5 sacks and three forced fumbles through Week 10. 

Potential matchup we’d pay to see

Tampa Catholic vs. Lakewood (regional semifinal)

Region 3

American Heritage senior wide receiver Brandon Inniss

First round

(1) American Heritage (Plantation) vs. (8) Inlet Grove 

(4) Boynton Beach vs. (5) King’s Academy

(3) Calvary Christian (Fort Lauderdale) vs. (6) St. Andrew’s 

(2) Cardinal Gibbons vs. (7) Pine Crest

Burning question 

Can anyone stop an American Heritage-Cardinal Gibbons rematch?

American Heritage and Cardinal Gibbons clearly have been the two best teams in the region this fall. Heritage’s lone loss was against Chaminade-Madonna. Gibbon’s lone loss was when it was shorthanded against Heritage. A rematch would be at Heritage, but it should be closer than the 21-2 Patriots win on Oct. 1. 

Recruits to watch 

Brandon Inniss and Mark Fletcher Jr. (American Heritage WR and RB)

How many times has one Florida program boasted a pair of skill position players who happen to be Ohio State commits? Inniss is the top-ranked receiver on the USA Today top 100; Fletcher is No. 30 overall. Fletcher has scored 14 total touchdowns; Inniss has scored 13 times. Good luck stopping one, much less both. 

Potential matchup we’d pay to see

American Heritage vs. Cardinal Gibbons (regional final)

Region 4

Miami Central takes the field during the Class 5A state championship game against Merritt Island at DRV PNK Stadium, Fort Lauderdale, FL  Dec. 17, 2021.

First round

(1) Miami Central vs. (8) St. Brendan

(4) Miami Northwestern vs. (5) Gulliver Prep

(3) Miami Norland vs. (6) Miami Jackson

(2) Booker T. Washington (Miami) vs. (7) Carol City

Burning question 

Can anyone beat Miami Central?

Let’s just go with the most obvious question. Central has won three consecutive state titles and sent a message to the rest of the state by beating IMG in Week 1. The Rockets haven’t lost against an in-state team since the 2020 season opener. Oh yeah, they’ve also gone undefeated despite playing the second-toughest schedule in the state this season. 

Recruit to watch 

Rueben Bain (Miami Central EDGE)

Ranked No. 23 on the USA Today Florida Network top 100, the 6-foot-3, 250-pound Bain has narrowed his list to Alabama, Auburn, Florida State, Louisville, Miami and Oklahoma. Bain has been one of the most productive and dominant players in the state the past two seasons. 

Potential matchup we’d pay to see

Miami Central vs. Booker T. Washington (regional final)


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