1. MANATEE (9-0) 50 points Its time for the Canes to go into cruise control and heal up their wounded. There dont figure to be any major challenges until at least the second week of the playoffs. In the meantime, we can debate if their offense, which averages 50-plus points per game, is the best to come out of Manatee County since Herbert Hoover was president.
2. SOUTHEAST (8-2) 40 While everyone was talking about the Palmetto-Manatee game, the Noles waited patiently for their revenge. They got it last Friday and showed they were a hungrier, more physical team than the Tigers. It was particularly gratifying for quarterback Myles Braxton-Johnson, who proved he can play big in big games.
3. PALMETTO (7-2) 30 After stringing together seven straight victories, the Tigers got a double dose of humility from Manatee and then Southeast. Fortunately for them, they will have a chance to show they learned something when they get into the playoffs, though it will be on the road.
4. LAKEWOOD RANCH (5-4) 20 The Mustangs miracle train ran out of track last week, but you have to admire the grit showed by these kids, who took their fans on a joyride. They didnt quite reach their destination, but you can bet tickets for the future will be in high demand.
5. BAYSHORE (3-6) 10 The Bruins got their best victory of the season two weeks ago against Arcadia DeSoto and will try to duplicate that feat in the season finale against Sarasota, which Bayshore beat 49-32 last year to finish its first .500 campaign under J.P. Gordon.
Voting: 10 points for first, 8 for second, 6 for third, 4 for fourth and 2 for fifth.
Voters: Alan Dell, John Lembo, Jason Dill, Timothy R. Wolfrum, Vin Mannix.
Alan Dell, Herald sports writer