Posted: 12:27 pm Thursday, November 17th, 2011

Playoff Primer 2011: Jupiter Christian must stop Dade Christian’s star playmaker 

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.

Jupiter Christian’s missed opportunities at the end of their overtime loss to Glades Day caused the Eagles to finish second in District 7-2A. Unlike their rivals to the west, which will enjoy a home game against a district runner-up, Jupiter Christian must hop on the bus for a road game against a powerhouse.

It’s not that the Eagles mind the travel. They do it all the time. It’s what they find when they’ll get there that will cause them headaches.

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

Record: 8-2
How they qualified: Runner-up in District 7-2A.
Average points per game: 39.9
Average points allowed per game: 13.9
Offensive stars: QB Kedric Bostic(58% completion percentage, 1,439 passing yards, 16 TD, 3 INT, 831 rushing yards, 14 TD) WR Austin Talbott (667 receiving yards, 7 TD)
Defensive yardage totals: 137.5 pass, 86.1 rush per game.
Defensive stars: DB Isaiah Nelson LB Ryan Marsh.
Common opponents with Dade Christian: None. Dade Christian beat St. Andrew’s 49-21 on Nov. 11.

Record: 8-1
How they qualified: Winner of District 8-2A.
Average points per game: 33.2
Average points allowed per game: 11.0.
Offensive yardage totals: 192.2 rush, 94.8 pass per game.
Offensive stars: QB Bilal Marshall (60.5% completion percentage, 853 passing yards, 12 TD, 4 INT, 475 rushing yards, 2 TD)
Defensive yardage totals: 54.1 rush, 83.4 pass per game.
Defensive stars: WR/DB Ryan Janivon
Common opponents with Jupiter Christian: None. Dade Christian beat St. Andrew’s 49-21 on Nov. 11.

Dade Christian’s only loss of the season was to Immokalee, one of the state’s better 5A teams. That was in their first game. After a Week 2 game against Gulliver Prep was canceled, the Crusaders have rolled off eight straight wins (and put up 35 points or more in each). Aside from a Sept. 24 loss to Glades Day, Jupiter Christian lost 27-7 to Treasure Coast, an 8A school. Aside from that loss, the Eagles have scored 24 or more in every game and hit 40 points or more seven times.

This is a battle of two of the state’s best quarterback prospects, and a rare time when Kedric Bostic isn’t far-and-away the best quarterback on the field. Marshall, a Kansas commit and the top-rated QB in Dade County, mirrors Bostic, a future UCF Knight. Both are about the same size (6-3, 180 pounds), have excellent mobility, are accurate throwers and threats on the ground. Bostic has put up 2,270 yards of total offense and 30 touchdowns, while Marshall has 1,328 and 14. The sideline stat-keepers will be busy.

Dade Christian likes to run and distributes carries evenly. Marshall leads the team in yards, but 6-foot, 200-pound senior Daniel Rhoden, an offseason transfer, has the most touchdowns (6). Junior Andrew Florvil has the most attempts (55). Mario Stedmen (11.2 yards per carry) is a big-play threat.

Senior Terrance Alls, Dade Christian’s leading receiver, and junior Gary Sampson have returned from early-season injuries to be Marshall’s top targets. Junior tight end Arron Batten (6-2, 200) has turned three catches into 123 yards and three touchdowns. Wake Forest commit Ryan Janivon (5-11, 185) who is mainly a contributor in the secondary, may be used on offense.

Jupiter Christian will bring the same creative schemes into Hialeah. Plenty of tricks. Expect Talbott and Nelson (297 yards, 4 TD) to get the ball in the flat and 40 yards deep. The challenge for the Eagles, as it is when they face Taylor and Glades Day, will be stopping a premier playmaker like Marshall. If they can’t stop him, they’ll have to outscore him. If they do that, they should get another shot at Taylor in the regional semifinals, where Taylor has sent them home for the season two years in a row.