Posted: 12:04 am Tuesday, November 13th, 2012

Playoff Primer 2012: Repeat on the way for American Heritage? 

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.

Greg Bryant and his fellow seniors could make it four trips to state in their high school careers with a berth this fall.

Imagine: A team loses its head coach, who called the offensive plays, and four offensive linemen. It also graduates its starting linebackers and its best receiver. Think that team goes 10-0 after all that? Well, that’s the precedent American Heritage has set after three consecutive trips to the state championship game and four in the past five years. The Stallions have a system, and it’s one that works, whether critics of the school like it or not. They’re well-positioned once again to make a run at a state title, and their seniors have a chance to make school history as one of the few classes to go to state all four years of their high school careers.

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

AMERICAN HERITAGE
Record: 10-0.
How they qualified: Winner, District 7-3A.
Average points per game: 33.4.
Average points allowed per game: 4.9.
Offensive yardage totals: 2,533 (1,860 rush/673 pass).
Offensive stars: RB Greg Bryant, OL Rod Johnson, QB Marcus Davis, TE Tyler Provo.
Defensive yardage totals: 801 (269 rush/532 pass).
Defensive stars: DBs Darrion Richardson and Xavier Swinton, LB Evan Harvey.
Best win: 29-0 over Atlantic.

CHAMINADE-MADONNA
Record: 8-2.
How they qualified: Runner-up, District 8-3A.
Average points per game: 36.9.
Average points allowed per game: 16.9.
Best win: 24-16 over Gulliver Prep.

PBGametime favorite: American Heritage.
Pinkos’ prediction: American Heritage by 37.
Lazindex favorite: American Heritage.

American Heritage has played the toughest schedule we’ve seen in a while. The Stallions challenged themselves in-county, with Atlantic, Dwyer and Glades Central. They went out-of-state for a game at West Monroe (La.), and across the state to beat Seffner-Armwood. The only blemish is one that doesn’t count: A kickoff classic loss on ESPN to a very good Cocoa team.

Funny I mention Cocoa. You know who beat Cocoa in the regular season (49-3, no less)? University. Can you guess who Heritage plays if it beats Chaminade-Madonna? You guessed it — provided it beats Cardinal Newman — it’ll be University next. What a matchup. Two nationally ranked teams with Division I prospects all over the field. If both teams win, and we expect them to, American Heritage would hit the road for Round 2 at University.

But let’s focus on this game. Chaminade-Madonna came to Palm Beach County once this fall, blasting Village Academy 40-0. That’s probably not gonna happen on this trip to Delray Beach, where Heritage beat Chaminade 48-7 in the first round last fall. While the stats look nice for Chaminade, this is a very physical 3A team in American Heritage. The Stallions went toe-to-toe with two very hard-hitting groups, Atlantic and Dwyer, and beat them. That’s a good sign for Heritage, and bad one for everyone else.

Greg Bryant and Marcus Davis should have field days against Chaminade, and the main goal will be keeping them healthy for the next round. It’s a big one either way, whether it’s University or upset-minded Cardinal Newman.