Posted: 12:38 am Tuesday, November 13th, 2012

Playoff Primer 2012: Is this Atlantic’s year? 

By Jeff Greer

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

Brisly Estime is Atlantic's difference-maker.

It’s been a decade since Atlantic won two games in the playoffs. It’s been more than three decades since Atlantic made states. The tantalizing potential the Eagles have every year makes those two factoids pretty disappointing, but the season Atlantic put together this fall has created all kinds of hope in Delray Beach. Is this the year the Eagles put it all in place and make the run everyone always says they can make?

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

ATLANTIC
Record: 8-2.
How they qualified: Winner, District 13-7A.
Average points per game: 29.5.
Average points allowed per game: 11.
Offensive yardage totals: 2,444 (1,083 rush/1,361 pass).
Offensive stars: QB Thomas Owens, RBs Tevin Spells and Marcus Gaskin, WR Adly Enoicy.
Defensive yardage totals: 1,535 (787 rush/748 pass).
Defensive stars: DB/R Brisly Estime, DT Keith Bryant.
Best win: 28-12 over Dwyer.

BOYD ANDERSON
Record: 7-2.
How they qualified: Runner-up, District 14-7A.
Average points per game: 29.2.
Average points allowed per game: 10.3.
Offensive stars: QB Greg Hankerson, OL Sandley Jean-Felix.
Defensive stars: DB Justin McDonald.
Best win: 13-6 over Miramar.

PBGametime favorite: Atlantic.
Pinkos’ prediction: Atlantic by 10.
Lazindex favorite: Boyd Anderson.

No one who knows Florida high school football would dispute the challenges that face any 7A playoff team. In each of the state rankings polls, you’ll find at least three 7A teams in the all-classes top 10, and several others in the top 25. So it shouldn’t surprise anyone that such a tough first-round matchup is the not-that-awesome reward for winning a district title. Atlantic gets the home-field advantage, but that’s about it. This is an evenly matched pairing with more talent than we can honestly assess in these primers.

The matchups to watch, while there are a few, will be Atlantic’s defensive line against Boyd Anderson’s O-line. If Atlantic’s massive ends and tackles are moving well and disrupting plays in the backfield, it’ll be a long night for any opponent. Miami commit Keith Bryant (6-2, 290) and Western Michigan commit Todney Evans (6-3, 215) are extremely tough to block, and they have help from several other big boys who don’t get as much pub but can certainly play. Those big boys will need to stay in front of Boyd Anderson quarterback Greg Hankerson, who at 5-11, 170 pounds, is a shifty dual-threat signal caller who can do everything. If you watched Texas A&M beat Alabama this past weekend, you’d be concerned about a dual-threat QB, too.

Of course the X-factor in any Atlantic game is Brisly Estime. The senior lines up everywhere — receiver, defensive back, punt returner, kick returner — and has the kind of game-breaking potential that made Glades Central’s Will Likely famous last fall. Estime wowed at summer camps, combines and 7-on-7 tournaments in the offseason, and his impact on the Eagles cannot be understated. If he gets loose on a kick or punt, he can wreak havoc. And if he’s getting loose frequently, it probably means your team is losing.