FRU Men D2 2017-18
Miami RFC (1-1) vs. Jacksonville (1-2)
This game features a battle of second-placed teams with one win each, although this game will mean a lot more to Jacksonville because they already have two losses. A third loss in this three-division system could mean disaster, as you're unlikely to win your division with three losses, and finishing as the best second-placed team won't be easy, either. Miami only put up five points in their opening defeat against the Tridents, but then managed 59 against lowly Okapi last week. They gave up 39 in that game though, and you have to imagine they won't win this one if they give up that many points again. Jax have averaged 32.5 points in the two games they've actually played so far - one win was a forfeit over Fort Lauderdale last week - so the visitors have showed they can score. The big question - as it always is with Jax - is how well they will travel down to the 305. With only one other trip to South Florida scheduled this season (at Boca on March 10), I think they'll just manage to travel with enough players and desperate motivation to pull this one off.
Jacksonville 34, Miami 28
Naples (1-2) vs. Tampa Bay Krewe (1-1)
This game will tell us a lot about both of these west coast sides. Naples opened with losses to two of the better teams in the state, Tridents and Boca, before comfortably knocking off Okapi last weekend. Like Jax, Naples probably can't afford to lose another game here, especially as they have to play undefeated division foes Boca again later this season. Tampa picked up a big road win over Jacksonville to open their season, and showed in their 2016-17 season when they made the playoffs that they might once again be a team on the rise. A home loss to Orlando last week was hugely disappointing though, and I have a feeling the stink from that defeat might linger into this one.
Naples 27, Tampa Bay Krewe 15
Fort Lauderdale (1-2) vs. Orlando (2-0)
Probably the most interesting matchup of the week in my eyes. Fort Lauderdale are the biggest question mark of the season so far, having smashed Okapi, battled Boca hard and then forfeited last week against Jax. Which Knights will show up this weekend? Only they know the answer to that, and it will likely depend on who they have available for selection. Orlando, meanwhile, are off to a great start this season with wins at home vs. Jacksonville and away at Tampa, both division victories. They made the semifinals last season and a win here will be a great boost for the O-towners. I'm going with the known quantity in this one.
Orlando 24, Fort Lauderdale 15
Miami Tridents (2-0) vs. Okapi Wanderers (0-3)
Not much to say about this one, really. The Tridents don't appear to be as strong as they have been in their back-to-back state championships over the last two years, but they'll have far too much here for the young Wanderers, who might not win a game this season.
Miami Tridents 45, Okapi 5
FRU Men D3 2017-18
Palm Beach (1-0) vs. Sarasota (0-1)
Any time these two teams meet, you know you're in for a doozy. Three points separated them in last year's D3 state semi, and I can't remember the last time when both these squads weren't in the state final four. Palm Beach opened up their season with an 80-point rout of perennial whipping boys Indian River, while Sarasota had a much tougher start, losing 30-8 to defending state champs Gainesville. Palm Beach are notoriously tough at home, a place they haven't lost in nearly two years. Ironically, that defeat in April 2016 was at the hands of Sarasota, but I don't see that happening on Saturday as long as the guys in pink aren't looking too much ahead to next week's monster matchup at the Hogs.
Palm Beach 32, Sarasota 20
Gainesville (1-0) vs. Daytona (0-0)
The Hogs slapped Sarasota around by 22 points in their opener, a rematch of last year's championship match and a result that sent a statement to all D3 teams that Gville are definitely not ready to give up their state title in easy fashion. For Daytona, they will be looking to build on last year's promising campaign, in which they finishing just outside the playoffs and only lost to the Hogs by eight in their lone meeting. I would love to pick the upset in this game, but I think Gainesville are just too tough at home.
Gainesville 22, Daytona 17
Brevard (0-1) vs. Indian River (0-1)
Brevard won't be happy after losing to Pelis last week in their first game of the season, and this local rivalry matchup will be the perfect way to get their confidence back. Red Eye will leave the seemingly forever woeful Indian River with tears in their eyes. Brevard 42, Indian River 5
FRU Women D2
Fort Miami (2-0) vs. Tampa Krewe (0-2) in Naples
My boss, Charlee Velazquez, demanded I start picking the women's games this week, and he couldn't have picked a worse week of games to begin with. This one is going to be a triple-digit affair I fear, with Fort Miami looking even stronger than their superb campaign of 2016-17 that ended in the national final eight.
Fort Miami 108, Tampa Krewe 0
Orlando (1-2) vs. Indian River (0-2)
Another ass-whooping, even If Orlando already have two losses and may now struggle to reach the state championship game thanks to their early loss to Jacksonville.
Orlando 72, Indian River 5
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