Posted: 10:33 pm Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011

Playoff Primer 2011: Martin County tries to pull another upset, this time over Fort Pierce Central 

By Matt Porter

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

In the opening round, Fort Pierce Central dismantled a two-win team in a home game that saw plenty of backups get action. Now the Cobras get a Martin County squad that stunned powerful Punta Gorda-Charlotte on the road. Do the Tigers have another upset in them?

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

MARTIN COUNTY
Record: 8-3.
How they qualified: Runner-up in District 12-7A.
First round: Beat Punta Gorda-Charlotte 14-10 in the regional quarterfinals.
Points scored/allowed: 24.9/16
Yards gained rush/pass: 161/90.5
Yards allowed rush/pass: 171.8/100.5
Offensive stars: RB Reshawd Fyne (686 rushing yards, 5 TD), WR Justin Simmons (492 receiving yards, 6 TD)
Defensive stars: DB Justin Simmons (71 tackles, 4 INT), DB Treyvon Johnson (4 INT, 5 sacks), Joey Pessolano (98 tackles, 11 tackles for loss)
Common opponents with Fort Pierce Central: Lost to Fort Pierce Central 27-0 on Oct. 21; beat Viera 27-14; lost to Vero Beach 42-14.

FORT PIERCE CENTRAL
Record: 8-1.
First round: Beat Port Charlotte 56-7 in the regional quarterfinals.
How they qualified: Winner of District 12-7A.
Points scored/allowed: 43/13.8
Yards gained rush/pass: 225.6/153.1
Yards allowed rush/pass: 148.6/93.9
Offensive stars: QB Marcus Sigmon (62.7% completion percentage, 1,308 passing yards, 17 TD, 6 INT, 4 rushing TD), RB Marcus Levy (1,182 rushing yards, 16 TD)
Defensive stars: LB Freedom Whitfield (81 tackles, 3 INT), DE Rashawn Shaw (9 sacks, 12 tackles for loss), DB Joe Figueroa (6 INT).
Common opponents with Martin County: Beat Martin County 27-0 on Oct. 21; beat Viera 56-3; lost 35-28 to Vero Beach.
Note: all stats for regular season

If Martin County has another shocker in the works, it’ll be even more impressive than the one it pulled off last week. The Tigers scored twice in the final seven minutes to grab a 14-10 win over Charlotte. Fort Pierce Central is a different but familiar animal. The Cobras demolished the Tigers 27-0 in the regular season behind Marcus Levy’s 281 yards and three touchdowns.

If the Tigers are to advance, it’ll make two weeks in a row they’ve pulled of a signature win in the program’s 86-year history.

TCPalm asks the pressing questions:

So can Martin County tackle Levy this time? Can they avoid the turnovers — three in all — that proved costly against the Cobras? Or will the nearly point-a-minute Fort Pierce Central offense — the Cobras average a whopping 43 points per game — be too much for the Tigers?

Can Martin County quarterback Nolan Mullen, who was terrific on the Tigers’ game-winning drive against Charlotte, play well against Central? He was just 5-of-19 for 55 yards in the first meeting.

Then there’s this little bit of history. Martin County last won two playoff games in a season in 1988, Fort Pierce Central in 1994. One drought will end Friday.

The bet here is Fort Pierce Central, but the bet last week was Charlotte. Martin County has designs on ruining both.