CLASS 7A-REGION 3St. Petersburg Northeast (7-3)at Manatee (10-0)
Time: 7:30 p.m.
On the air: 930-AM, WLSS
The scoop: The Florida High School Athletic Association's decision to punish Clearwater Countryside for the use of an ineligible player was a big assist to the Vikings, whose loss to Countryside was ruled a forfeit in Northeast's favor. The Vikings are a balanced lot, averaging more than 195 yards passing and 165 yards rushing per game, and are paced by sophomore QB Ryan Davis (1,953 passing yards, 17 TDs). Davis has thrown 17 INTs this season, however. LB Auggie Sanchez leads Northeast in tackles (160) and sacks (3.3) and has received offers from FIU, Marshall, Middle Tennessee, South Alabama and Youngstown State, according to Rivals. The Hurricanes haven't disappointed this season, outscoring opponents 502-122, and take a 10-0 record into the playoffs for the second time in three years. They are ranked tops in the nation by USA Today, ESPN and MaxPreps. QB Cord Sandberg has turned in another sparkling season; the senior has thrown for 24 TDs and one INT while accounting for 2,353 yards of offense. RB Trevon Walters has chugged for 924 yards and 14 TDs, and the Canes' vaunted defensive line -- Derrick Calloway, DeMarcus Christmas, Marquis Dawsey and Blake Keller -- has teamed for 19 sacks and 40 quarterback hurries. Manatee hasn't lost a playoff game at home since 2005.
Coach: Mike Jalazo, 2nd season at Northeast, 11-9
District: District 9 runner-up
Players to watch: Davis, so., QB; Sanchez, sr., LB; Keith Harrington, jr., RB; Donterio Fowler, jr., RB.
Coach: Joe Kinnan, 28th season at Manatee, 276-70
District: District 10 champion
Players to watch: Sandberg, sr., QB, Walters, jr., RB; Marquel Hines, jr., WR, Keller, sr., DL; Dawsey, sr., DL; Calloway, sr., DL; Christmas, jr., DL; Willie Smith, sr., DB.
Prediction: Manatee 42, St. Petersburg Northeast 7
-- John Lembo,Herald sports writer