High School Football Picks (Playoff Edition – Round 3)

Tampa Bay Tech and Wharton met on Week 9, with the visiting Titans coming away with a 21-12 win. The teams will meet tonight at TBT with a trip to the state final four on the line.

Tickets to the state semifinals get punched Friday night. 

The Tampa Bay area has 10 programs prepping for region final matchups. Three of these are local vs. local contests: Class 7A Wharton at Tampa Bay Tech, Class 6A Hillsborough at Jesuit and Class 3A Clearwater Central Catholic at Berkeley Prep. 

Adding a little extra excitement to tonight’s slate? 

All three of the all-Tampa Bay clashes are rematches between district foes. Significant time has passed between each of those games, however. Tampa Bay Tech picked up a 21-12 win at Wharton on Oct. 22, Jesuit went to Hillsborough on Sept. 17 and beat the Terriers 28-7, and Berkeley Prep and CCC opened their 2021 campaigns against one another on Aug. 27, with the Buccaneers winning 35-21. 

The Tampa Beacon covered two of the three games and links to both recaps are below. 

The three all-Tampa Bay battles guarantee that the area will have a minimum of three teams on the doorstep of a state championship game. The best-case scenario gives the area seven state semifinalists. Hitting that number will be no easy accomplishment, and nor should it be at this point in the game. Teams are three wins away from hoisting championship trophies. Fortunate district placements and early round matchups can allow lesser teams to reach unexpected heights. 

The herd’s already been thinned. After tonight, the real top contenders will remain. 

We’ve still got a nice batch of seven games to choose from and here are tonight’s picks. 

ERIC HORCHY 

CLASS 7A 

Wharton (9-2) at Tampa Bay Tech (12-0) 

CLASS 6A 

Hillsborough (10-2) at Jesuit (12-0) 

CLASS 5A 

Sebring (8-3) at Clearwater (11-1) 

CLASS 4A 

Clewiston (8-2) at Lakewood (10-2) 

CLASS 3A 

Clearwater Central Catholic (8-3) at Berkeley Prep (10-0) 

CLASS 2A 

REG. 2: Zephyrhills Christian (9-2) at Orlando Christian (9-1) 

REG. 3: Northside Christian (7-2) at Naples First Baptist (9-1) 

ANDY VILLAMARZO 

CLASS 7A 

Wharton (9-2) at Tampa Bay Tech (12-0) 

CLASS 6A 

Hillsborough (10-2) at Jesuit (12-0) 

CLASS 5A 

Sebring (8-3) at Clearwater (11-1) 

CLASS 4A 

Clewiston (8-2) at Lakewood (10-2) 

CLASS 3A 

Clearwater Central Catholic (8-3) at Berkeley Prep (10-0) 

CLASS 2A 

REG. 2: Zephyrhills Christian (9-2) at Orlando Christian (9-1) 

REG. 3: Northside Christian (7-2) at Naples First Baptist (9-1)