Posted: 2:08 pm Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011

Playoff Primer 2011: Glades Central hits the road to play Merritt Island 

By Jeff Greer

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

This will be a slight step up in competition from last week for Glades Central, which shut out Titusville-Astronaut. Merritt Island beat Astronaut 21-0 in an important district game at the end of October. But this is still a coast win for Glades Central, provided the Raiders take care of their usual business. Even with star middle linebacker Jatavis Brown or safety Crevon LeBlanc, Glades Central wreaked havoc on Astronaut, turning turnovers into points.

Like I’ve said a few times already: The only that can beat Glades Central in these first two rounds is Glades Central.

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

GLADES CENTRAL AT MERRITT ISLAND

MERRITT ISLAND
Record: 9-2.
In the regional quarters: Defeated Boynton Beach 34-13.
Average points for/against: 20.6/10.2
Yards gained per game: N/A
Players to watch: RB Josh Studstill, QB Vinnie Smith

GLADES CENTRAL
Record: 11-0
In the regional quarters: Defeated Titusville-Astronaut 33-0
Average points for/against: 43.6/6.1
Yards gained per game: 147.3 rush/152.2 pass
Players to watch: ATH Will Likely (676 rushing yards, 519 receiving yards, 19 TDs, 7 INTs), WR Jaime Wilson (728 receiving yards, 18 TDs), QB Tanner Redish (63.1% completion rate, 24 TDs, 7 INTs), LB Dominique Gibson, LB Don’Kevious Johnson

Glades Central has had the area’s most balanced offense this season, mixing a steady dose of passing in with a thunder-and-lightning rushing attack. Tanner Redish has adjusted well to the speed of his teammates and had a big game with Jaime Wilson last week. Will Likely is a dynamic player out of the backfield, and when defenses have to adjust from Likely to big Aaron Baker, it’s no fun.

As long as Will Likely and Jaime Wilson are on offense and special teams and guys like Dominique Gibson are making big defensive plays, Glades Central will be grooving. The Raiders just can’t afford to look past Merritt Island in anticipation of the potential region final against Miami Norland, which would be an epic showdown.