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Vote now: Who should be the South Florida player of the Week (11/27/2023)?

Here are 13 candidates for your voting consideration
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An instant classic, a high-scoring thriller, and a few blowouts highlighted regional finals action last weekend in South Florida football.

In a game for the ages, Miami Norland officially dethroned Miami Central with a 31-28 overtime victory. Norland (13-0) put an end to Central’s streak of four-straight state champions. The Vikings now are the top seed in the Class 2M state semifinals.

In Broward County, American Heritage won a fun-filled shootout against Cardinal Gibbons, 47-35, advancing the Patriots to the Class 2M semifinals.

Defending Class 4M state champion, Columbus, needed a fourth-quarter rally to defeat Western, 31-13. And two defending state champions won easily: Chaminade-Madonna (Class 1M) and St. Thomas Acquinas (Class 3M).

Now the table is set for the state semifinals. But before we look ahead to the respective Final Fours, it’s time to recognize the standouts in the regional finals.

SBLive Sports Florida asks you, the fans, to decide who should be the South Florida Player of the Week. Vote as often as you’d like, and spread the word.

Congratulations to last week's winner: Willis McGahee IV of Columbus.

The nominees are below:

Edward “Speedy” Bandy, RB, Columbus: The defending state champions trailed in the fourth quarter to Western, but rallied for a 31-13 victory. Bandy had 74 yards rushing and scored two touchdowns for the Explorers. Columbus faces Tampa Plant in the Class 4M state semifinals.

Zach Crothers, DE, Chaminade-Madonna: Committed to Pittsburgh, Crothers logged nine tackles, including five for a loss (and two sacks), for the Class 1M defending state champions. Next up for the Lions is Archbishop Carroll in the state semifinals. A win in the semifinals, and Chaminade will return to the state finals for a record eighth straight year.

Davion Gause, RB, Chaminade-Madonna: In the Lions’ balanced offense, Gause ran for 149 yards on nine carries and scored three touchdowns in a 40-0 rout of Cardinal Newman (West Palm Beach). The senior added 18 yards receiving, for 167 all-purpose yards.

Byron Louis, RB, American Heritage: The four-star cemented himself as one of the top junior backs in the country with his breakout performance. Louis scored five touchdowns and ran for 224 yards on 29 carries in Heritage’s 47-35 shootout win against Cardinal Gibbons. The Patriots next face Tampa Berkeley Prep at home in the Class 2M state semifinals.

Semaj Jackson, DB, American Heritage: Offense may have dominated the night in the Heritage-Gibbons game. But the defensive play of the game was turned in by Jackson, who forced a fumble with his quarterback sack after Gibbons had first-and-goal on the 9. Had Gibbons scored, it would have been a one-TD game. Jackson added seven tackles, along with two sacks.

Jordan Lyle, RB, St. Thomas Aquinas: With a 28-0 shutout of Coconut Creek, the Raiders’ advance to the Class 3M semifinals against Tampa Gaither. St. Thomas was led by Lyle, who ran for 61 yards and a touchdown. The Ohio State-commit added 48 yards in receptions, as well. St. Thomas plays host to Tampa Gaither in the Class 3M state semifinals.

Bryce Fitzgerald, DB, Columbus: Have yourself a game, Bryce Fitzgerald. In the Explorers’ 31-13 comeback win, Fitzgerald had three interceptions, including a 60-yard pick six, and the junior safety recovered a fumble. Fitzgerald is drawing college attention from Florida, Miami, Michigan and others.

Kevin Powell, DB, Monarch: Monarch’s defense stepped up in a 35-13 win against Palm Beach Central. Powell had four tackles and he broke up two passes. The Knights move on to the Class 4M semifinals as the No. 2 seed, and will play host to Mandarin.

Noah Sidan, PK, Miami Norland: Sidan’s 27-yard field goal in overtime gave the Vikings a 31-28 win over Miami Central. It was the second time this season Sidan has delivered the decisive kick in OT against Central, which had its streak of four straight state titles snapped. The Vikings play host to Jacksonville Bolles in the Class 2M semifinals.

Ethan Silva, PK, Archbishop Carroll: With two seconds left, Silva booted a 29-yard field goal that gave Archbishop Carroll a 38-35 win over True North Classical Academy. Silva also converted all five of his extra-point attempts. The Bulldogs (11-1) next face Chaminade-Madonna in the Class 1M state semifinals.

Joshua Townsend, QB, Homestead: The Broncos advanced to the Class 3M state semifinals with a 22-17 win over Miramar. Townsend was 7-for-11 for 165 yards and three touchdowns. The senior connected on a 59-yard scoring pass to Fraquan Warren, and he added a 27-yard scoring strike to Isaac Brown. He also rushed for 45 yards on five carries.

Cedric Wyche II, RB, Cardinal Gibbons: A threat in the backfield and on special teams, Wyche had 249 all-purpose yards against Heritage, rushing for 76 yards and compiling 173 yards on kickoff returns, including a 99-yard touchdown.

Ennio Yapoor, QB, Norland: Arguably the best quarterback in Miami Dade County, Yapoor threw for 204 yards against Central. The junior connected on a TD pass and ran for another score on a night he put his name in the record books. Yapoor became the all-time passing yardage leader in the county, with 11,143 yards.