#5 KATHLEEN RED DEVILS (9-0) at #7 LAKELAND DREADNAUGHTS (6-2)
When: Friday, October 30, 2015, 7:30 P.M.
Where: Bryant Stadium, 1125 N Florida Avenue, Lakeland, FL 33805
TV: BHSN (Channel 47 and HD 1147)
Coaches: KATHLEEN- Irving Strickland (59-37, 9th Season) LAKELAND- Bill Castle (392-84, 40th Season)
How they match up:
Kathleen and Lakeland meet with a district title on the line for the third straight season. The Red Devils would win the Class 7A District 7 championship with a win and complete and undefeated regular season. The Red Devils are led by a loaded defensive front four of senior Justin Andrews, senior Francisco Nelson, senior Carnell Hargove, and sophomore Jaaron Jackson. Senior quarterback Jules St. Ge and senior running back Izayah Riettie have both been instant hits in their first year at new positions. St. Ge has thrown for 943 yards (10 TD, 1 INT) and rushed for 533 more (3 TD) while taking a leadership role. The pastor’s son Riettie has been a gift from above for Red Devils head coach Irving Strickland. Riettie has been on fire since missing some time with a shoulder injury. He ran for 313 yards and 3 touchdowns in last week’s 31-26 win at South Fork, and has 850 rush yards (10 TD) for the season. Senior Marquis Zimmerman (21 Rec, 349 Yds, 4 TD) is St. Ge’s top target.
The Dreadnaughts have won 21 of the last 22 games in this rivalry, and their 22-season playoff streak is on the line Friday night. Lakeland’s offense features 4-star junior running back A.J. Davis, an explosive senior running back with offers from schools like Florida, Florida State, Auburn, Clemson, and Ohio State. Davis is a consistent contributor with 1047 rushing yards (9 TD) so far this season. Lakeland junior quarterback Holden Hotchkiss has a pair of talented receivers to throw to in junior James Robinson and senior Tariq Young. FIU commit Matt Kramer anchors a strong defensive line, while leading tackler Danquaris Longs isn’t big but is certainly a big hitter.
Three Facts to know:
1. TEN IS A MAGIC NUMBER- The Red Devils have a chance to finish the regular season at 10-0 for the first time since 1969. Kathleen also went undefeated in in the regular season in 2003, but only played nine games that year before heading into the playoffs.
2. KING OF THE CASTLE- Bill Castle is in his 40th year as Lakeland’s head coach. He has close to 400 wins to look back on, but he points to the game against Kathleen in his second season (1977) as the game that put the program on the map. The Dreadnaughts came from behind to win, 9-7, which turned the tide of the rivalry with Lakeland winning 10 of 11 games over Kathleen.
3. PLAYOFF SCENARIOS- All 4 teams in Class 7A District 7 are still alive for playoff spots. How things shake out depend on the Kathleen/Lakeland and Winter Haven/Bartow games. If Kathleen wins, the Red Devils clinch the district title. If Kathleen wins and Bartow wins, Bartow would be district runner-up. If Kathleen wins and Winter Haven wins, there would be a 3-team playoff on Monday for the district runner-up spot between Lakeland, Bartow, and Winter Haven. If Lakeland wins and Bartow wins, there would be a 3-way playoff between Lakeland, Bartow, and Kathleen for two playoff spots. If Lakeland wins and Winter Haven wins, Lakeland wins the district title and Kathleen is the runner up.