Posted: 4:20 pm Thursday, November 17th, 2011

Playoff Primer 2011: Fort Pierce Central should cruise against Port Charlotte 

By Matt Porter

There are 16 playoff games on Friday involving teams from our area. In the buildup to the games, we’ll break down every matchup.

Port Charlotte’s first playoff opponent in nearly a decade happens to be against one of the better offenses seen on the Treasure Coast in recent years: Fort Pierce Central.

Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. General admission is $8; reserved seating is $9.

Record: 2-8
How they qualified: Runner-up in District 11-7A.
Average points per game: 10.5.
Average points allowed per game: 22.8.
Offensive stars: QB Zach Wheeler (499 passing yards), RB Chase Russell (218 rushing yards).
Defensive stars: DB Robert Kubond.
Common opponents with Fort Pierce Central: None.

Record: 7-1
How they qualified: Winner of District 12-7A.
Average points per game: 41.4
Average points allowed per game: 14.6.
Offensive yardage totals: 235.4 rush, 138.9 pass per game.
Offensive stars: QB Marcus Sigmon (59.7% completion percentage, 1,052 passing yards, 13 TD, 5 INT), RB Marcus Levy (1,095 rushing yards, 14 TD)
Defensive yardage totals: 162.1 rush, 96 pass per game.
Defensive stars: LB Freedom Whitfield, LB Stacey Noble, DE Rashawn Shaw.
Common opponents with Port Charlotte: None.

Josh Shaffer’s first year as Fort Pierce Central coach has been a stellar one. Shaffer’s Cobras went unbeaten in District 12-7A and closed the season with a win over Hardee, a tough out-of-area opponent.

He’s been able to rely on quick and physical junior Marcus Levy and senior quarterback Marcus Sigmon, the top-rated QB on the Treasure Coast, to run a devastatingly effective pistol spread.

The defense features middle linebacker Freedom Whitfield and strong-side ‘backer Stacey Noble. Sophomore Rashawn Shaw (6-3, 215), an offseason transfer from Fort Pierce Westwood, has a team-high six sacks at defensive end.

Port Charlotte’s wins came against two of their three district opponents. That allowed them to clinch their first playoff spot since 2002. In their other eight games, the Pirates have been outscored 231-70. Their season-high for points in a game is 25.