Posted: 12:42 am Tuesday, November 13th, 2012
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.
A season ago, Martin County beat Charlotte 14-10 in an exciting first-round matchup. But that Martin County team, armed with two Division I prospects and a loaded senior class, expected to win that game. This time around, Martin County’s in different shape, a group that needed a three-way tiebreaker to qualify for the playoffs and arrives in the postseason on a three-game losing streak. Charlotte, on the other hand, recovered from a late-season losing slump with an emphatic regular-season finale victory, and enters the rematch with Martin County a slight favorite.
Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. General admission is $8; reserved seating is $9.
How they qualified: Runner-up, District 12-7A.
Average points per game: 18.7.
Average points allowed per game: 24.9.
Offensive yardage totals: 2,709 (1,690 rush/1,019 pass).
Offensive stars: RB Dan Fillhaber.
Defensive yardage totals: 3,121 (1,905 rush/1,216 pass).
Best win: 35-0 over Clewiston.
PUNTA GORDA CHARLOTTE
How they qualified: Winner, District 11-7A.
Average points per game: 32.5.
Average points allowed per game: 18.6.
Offensive stars: RB Clyde Newton.
Best win: 24-21 over Venice.
PBGametime favorite: Charlotte.
Pinkos’ prediction: Charlotte by 28.
Lazindex favorite: Charlotte.
This is a tough order for Martin County for two reasons: The Tigers are playing a team hungry for revenge from last year’s playoffs, and they’re also facing one of the best running backs in Florida. Martin County allows more than 190 rushing yards a game, and Charlotte senior Clyde Newton, who’s verbally committed to play at Indiana, averages 178 a game. He gets 8.3 yards per carry and has 20 touchdowns to his name. That’s a bad combination.
Martin County hopes to counter Newton’s impact with its own tough runner, Dan Fillhaber. The sophomore back has popped off a few times this fall, including 137 yards against Viera two Fridays ago, and three consecutive 100-yard performances in September. If the Tigers can get him going, perhaps we’d see a shootout similar to Martin County’s 30-24 win over Port St. Lucie. After all, Charlotte has been vulnerable at times to the run, too.