By Mike Ridaught
Heading into the second round of the FHSAA Football playoffs, all eight defending state champions were still alive.
That came to an end on Friday night as defending 8A state champion Miami Southridge fell at home to Miami High, 27-21. The loss ended any hopes the Spartans had of winning back-to-back state titles for the first time in school history.
Last year, Southridge posted seven straight shutouts before surrendering just 27 points in their final three playoff games, including a 14-10 win against Dr. Phillips (Orlando) in the Class 8A state championship game, en route to its first state football title since 1993.
At least one more defending state champion will go down before the 2017 season comes to an end.
American Heritage (Plantation) is the defending 5A state champion, but defending 3A state champion Trinity Christian (Jacksonville) moved up in classification to 5A, assuring one of the two won’t repeat. That also means there will be a new champion in Class 3A.
The Patriots’ 35-33 win against Ponte Vedra in last year’s 5A title game was its third in the last four years, while the Conquerors won their fourth state title with a 24-13 win against Chaminade-Madonna (Hollywood).
American Heritage, the top-ranked team in 5A, defeated Bishop Moore (Orlando), 56-27, to advance, and fifth-ranked Trinity Christian moved on with a 33-21 win at Godby (Tallahassee).
The two are on a collision course for the Class 5A state championship game at Camping World Stadium on Friday, December 8.
Here are the defending state champions who are still alive, along with this past Friday’s result, this week’s match-up (Nov. 24), & head-to-head results in 2016:
- 7A – St. Thomas Aquinas (Ft. Lauderdale) – d. West Broward, 38-7; NEXT: Regional Final vs. Doral Academy
- 6A – Miami Carol City – d. Mainland (Daytona Beach), 17-10; NEXT: Regional Final at Miami Northwestern; MCC defeated NW, 34-27, in last year’s Regional Semifinals
- 5A – American Heritage (Plantation) – d. Bishop Moore (Orlando), 56-27; NEXT: Regional Final vs. Cardinal Gibbons (Ft. Lauderdale); American Heritage defeated Cardinal Gibbons, 10-7, in last year’s Regional Semifinals
- 4A – Cocoa – d. Avon Park, 63-7; NEXT: State Semifinals vs. University (Ft. Lauderdale)
- 3A – Trinity Christian (Jacksonville) – now in Class 5A; won at Godby (Tallahassee), 33-21; NEXT: at West Florida (5A Regional Finals)
- 2A – University Christian (Jacksonville) – d. North Florida Christian (Tallahassee), 26-13; NEXT: State Semifinals at Victory Christian (Lakeland); U.C.S. won at Victory Christian, 43-13, in last year’s State Semifinals
- 1A – Pahokee – Blue Devils won their first state title since 2008 but were stripped of the title – d. Frostproof, 42-28; NEXT: State Semifinals at Madison County; Pahokee d. Madison County, 21-19, in last year’s State Semifinals