Posted: 2:52 pm Wednesday, November 17th, 2010

Playoff Primer 2010: Can Fort Pierce Westwood make a Class 3A run? 

By Jeff Greer

There are 18 playoff games across every class involving teams from our area. This week, Matt and I will break down every matchup.

Let’s head north and survey Fort Pierce Westwood’s first-round matchup against Southwest Ranches-Archbishop McCarthy. Westwood made waves this year with its stifling defense, strong offensive and defensive lines and the playmaking ability of QB Travares Copeland and do-everything athlete Wonderful Terry. The Panthers have a good shot at making a run, so let’s break down their first challenge.

Archbishop McCarthy is 8-1, and the Mavericks present the second tough opponent in two weeks for Westwood, which topped Fort Pierce Central in Showdown 31 last week. That was a closely fought, hard-earned 22-21 win, and it should carry over well into the playoffs. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. Admission is $7.

BY THE NUMBERS

ftpiercewestwoodhelmetFORT PIERCE WESTWOOD
Record: 9-0
How they qualified: Won District 13-3A
Average points per game: 25.7
Average points allowed per game: 10.3
Offensive yardage totals: 2,601 (1,376 rushing, 1,275 passing)
Offensive stars: QB Travares Copeland (1,045 passing yards, 13 touchdowns, 4 interceptions, 48.1% completion rate, 214 rushing yards, 2 touchdowns), ATH Wonderful Terry (343 receiving yards, 7 touchdowns, 173 rushing yards, 2 rushing touchdowns, 167 passing yards, 2 touchdowns), RB Cameron Toombs (558 rushing yards, 5 touchdowns), WR Everette Jackson (16 catches, 404 receiving yards, 2 touchdowns)
Defensive stars: DT Demetris Anderson (49 tackles, 1 fumble recovery), DL Nathaniel Morris (60 tackles, 4 sacks), DE Wonderful Monds (41 tackles, 2 sacks, 1 interception), LB Addophous Gordon (66 tackles, 1 interception)
Common opponents with Archbishop McCarthy: None.

mccarthy1ARCHBISHOP MCCARTHY
Record: 8-1
How they qualified: District 14-3A runner-up to Hallandale
Average points per game: 31.3
Average points allowed per game: 8.3
Offensive yardage totals: 2,324 (1,367 passing, 957 rushing)
Offensive stars: QB Michael Armiento (1,330 passing yards, 10 touchdowns, 2 interceptions, 68.7% completion rate, 329 rushing yards, 4 touchdowns), RB Daniel Rhoden (406 rushing yards, 1 touchdown), WR Jamal Dowels (23 catches, 291 receiving yards), WR Michael Pearce (15 catches, 250 yards, 2 touchdowns)
Defensive stars: DB Bryant Gross (major reason why McCarthy has only given up 674 passing yards)
Special team star: K Marshall Morgan (8 for 9 on FG attempts)
Area opponents: Beat Wellington, 34-14; beat Olympic Heights, 23-7.

In Westwood’s thrilling 22-21 win over archrival Fort Pierce Central, quarterback Travares Copeland (lip) suffered a nasty injury in the opening moments of the Central game and originally thought he’d miss one or even two weeks. But he told me Monday night that the injury has healed quickly and he might actually play (update, Fri., 10:00 a.m.: Copeland has been ruled out for tonight’s game).

Sure, the Panthers managed to win without their star signal caller, but don’t think that can be a regular habit. Copeland is the key to a long run in the 3A playoffs. It’s a difficult field, but Westwood has the line depth and the athletes to compete for a state title.

Now, about Archbishop McCarthy. The Mavericks start games and second halves very well — they haven’t allowed a point in the first quarter this season, and they’ve only given up 13 in the third quarter. They defend the pass well, allowing 74.9 passing yards a contest.

Perhaps the best path to a Westwood victory is to get pressure on McCarthy QB Michael Armiento. As a team, McCarthy doesn’t make a lot of mistakes. If the Miami Herald‘s stats are correct, McCarthy only commits about four penalties a game and has only turned the ball over six times. So, that means Demetris Anderson, Wonderful Monds and Nathaniel Morris have to get into the backfield and disrupt Armiento and company.

For the prediction of this and every first-round playoff game, click here.