PREPS PLUS | Friday's football preview capsules

October 7, 2011 

Braden River (1-4) at Manatee (2-2)

Time: 7:30 p.m.

On the air: 930-AM WLSS (7 p.m.)


The scoop: This is the Class 7A-District 10 opener for both teams ... The Pirates lost QB Steven Ross to another ankle injury last week, but beat Port Charlotte thanks to a three-TD performance from replacement Ryan Fischer. Ross is a game-time decision tonight. ... Braden River is last in the area in total offense (195.2 yards per game) thanks mostly to the instability at the QB position. ... The Pirates, who didn’t play a full varsity schedule until 2007, are shooting for their fourth straight playoff berth. ... The Pirates played the Canes tough during their last visit to Hawkins Stadium in 2009, losing 14-7. ... Manatee is 2-0 against Florida schools, winning by a combined score of 96-12. ... The decision to run Leon Allen north and south last week worked: He totaled 134 yards and two TDs. ... PK Nick Tankersley has 22 touchbacks on 25 kickoffs. ... Canes have three players with at least 30 tackles (Hershel Caywood, Clinton Heaven and Darius White) and three players with three sacks (Derrick Calloway, Marquis Dawsey and Blake Keller).

The score: Manatee 28, Braden River 7.

Arcadia DeSoto (2-3) at Southeast (4-1)

Time: 7:30 p.m.


The scoop: It’s the Class 5A-District 10 opener for the Seminoles, and the biggest worry is whether they will be suffering any hangover from the 48-6 shellacking they took from Manatee last week. They don’t have the luxury to feel sorry for themselves in a district that includes unbeatens Palmetto and Wauchula Hardee, so this could be labeled a must win. ... Southeast is vulnerable against teams that like to run it up the gut, but it has covered up that weakness with a high-scoring offense that forces teams to play catch-up. ... In its three losses, DeSoto managed to score only a combined 13 points and were annihilated at home by Palmetto 52-0 when the Tigers threw 5 TD passes. ... Judging from the way he played against Manatee, Brian Poole could likely see more action on offense and could be used at quarterback, where he displayed his elusiveness and a good arm against Manatee. ... This could be a trap game for the Noles.

The score: Southeast 28, DeSoto 10.

Bayshore (2-3, 0-1 Class 5A-District 10) at Palmetto (5-0, 1-0)

Time: 7:30 p.m.

The scoop: Having lost their district opener to Wauchula Hardee two weeks ago, the Bruins’ chances of clinching their first playoff berth since 2005 will take a serious hit with a loss tonight. ... Bayshore is allowing more than 235 rushing yards per game. ...The Tigers are riding a nine-game regular-season winning streak and have allowed three points total in their past three games. ... QB Trent Miller leads the area in passing TDs (14) and is second in yards (1,002). ... LB Daqual Randall returns tonight after missing the last three games with a knee injury. He committed to Louisville over the summer. ... RB Josh Hicks is averaging 7.7 yards on 83 carries. ... Palmetto stays home until a Nov. 4 trip to Southeast.

The score: Palmetto 35, Bayshore 14.

Tarpon Springs (4-1, 1-0 Class 5A-District 7) at Lakewood Ranch (2-3, 1-0)

Time: 7:30 p.m.

The scoop: This is a key district game for the Mustangs if they hope to make the playoffs. ... Both teams are 1-0 in 6A-7 along with preseason favorite Largo. ... Tarpon Springs’ strength is Ranch’s weakness, which doesn’t bode well for the Mustangs. ... Sponges quarterback Louis Pappas, Pinellas County’s leading passer last year, has completed 48 of 81 attempts for 971 yards with 10 TDs and only one interception. He has a good corps of receivers, led by Kenyatta Merriex, who has 22 receptions for 512 yards (23.3 avg) and 3 TDs. ... Lakewood Ranch ranks last in Manatee County in pass defense, allowing 159.8 yards per game and is next to last in total defense. ... The Mustangs will try to compensate for those shortcomings by playing ball control, which hasn’t worked against the good teams. ... Tarpon Springs averages 35.4 points per game, but has allowed 5.6 yards per rush.

The score: Tarpon Springs 31, Lakewood Ranch 21.

Saint Stephen’s (0-4, 0-3 Class 2A Urban-District 6) at Moore Haven (3-2, 1-2)

Time: 7:30 p.m.

The scoop: The Falcons scored a season-high 27 points last week against Shorecrest Prep. ... Adam Vining has scored four TDs, kicked six extra points, booted two kickoffs and is among the area leaders in receptions (20). ... This marks the first of three straight district road games for the Falcons. ... Terriers’ RB Markeis Hallback rushed for three TDs and 111 yards last week against Southwest Florida Christian. Moore Haven scored 27 second-quarter points to clinch the 33-6 win. ... Moore Haven has scored 95 points in its three wins and 12 in its two losses, including a 33-6 loss at Out-of-Door Academy on Sept. 16.

The score: Moore Haven 35, Saint Stephen’s 14.

Lakeland Christian (3-2) at Cardinal Mooney (2-3)

Time: 7 p.m.

The scoop: Lakeland Christian enters this Class 3A-District 6 opener on a two-game winning streak, and the Vikings main offensive weapon comes from the backfield. ... Freshman RB T.J. Simmons has rushed for 806 yards and seven TDs. After totaling seven fumbles during the first two games, he hasn’t dropped one over the last three. ... Michael Weary (13 catches, 361 yards, seven TDs) is the team’s top receiver. ... LB Caleb Thomas has a team-best four sacks. ... The Cougars have a workhorse in RB Anthony Caiazzo, who is averaging over 25 carries per game. ... QB Sean McAdams has thrown for 622 yards, with his top target being Rick Pecorelli (23 catches). ... This is a four-team district, so tonight’s winner will be in good shape while the loser will need some help. ... Mooney’s fate lies with the defense’s ability to target and shut down Simmons.

The score: Cardinal Mooney 30, Lakeland Christian 27.

-- Herald sports reporters John Lembo, Alan Dell, Jason Dill

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