Manatee (3-0) at Sarasota (2-1)
Time: 7:30 p.m.
On the air: 930-AM, WLSS, 7 p.m.
The scoop: RB Trevon Walters and WR Brodrick Yancy won't play Friday night, Manatee head coach Joe Kinnan said. Both are recovering from ankle sprains. ... Walters' backup, sophomore Johnnie Lang, is fourth in the area in rushing (292 yards). ... Manatee's defense has recovered four fumbles, including two by DL Ryan Fines. ... WR Kelvin McKnight leads the area with 20 catches. ... Manatee's last regular-season road loss against a Florida school was Oct. 31, 2008, at Venice. ... The Canes are ranked No. 1 in the state in Class 8A and are ranked nationally by MaxPreps (25th), USA Today (26th) and Rivals (26th). ... Sailors RB Justin Austin scored four TDs last week against Tallahassee Lincoln, last year's Class 7A state runner-up, and rushed for 108 yards. One of his scores came on a 95-yard kickoff return. ... Shawn Bane Jr. has 11 catches for 178 yards this season. ... The Sailors led Lincoln 21-7 at the half last week before falling 35-27.
Prediction: Manatee 35, Sarasota 21.
Southeast (0-3) at Bayshore (1-2)
Time: 7:30 p.m.
On the air: 1490-AM WPPR
The scoop: The Seminoles are a wounded team heading into this Class 5A-District 13 opener, having lost three straight games, including the program's first loss to Braden River last week. ... RB Courtney Allen ran for 170 yards in the loss to surpass Dyral McMillan as the Noles' all-time rushing leader. ... Allen needs 15 yards against Bayshore to eclipse the 3,000-yard mark for his career. ... While Southeast is struggling, the Bruins are riding high after securing head coach Elijah Freeman's first victory since taking over the Bayshore program. ... The Bruins defeated Lakewood Ranch 35-13, and the Mustangs gouged Southeast for 55 points earlier this season. ... However, RB/LB Troy Keys (MCL sprain) isn't expected to play against Southeast, while RB Dereck Williams (ankle sprain) should return after leaving the Ranch game early with an injury.
Prediction: Bayshore 28, Southeast 21.
Palmetto (1-2, 0-0 Class 7A-District 10) at North Port (1-1, 0-0)
Time: 7:30 p.m.
The scoop: The Tigers are allowing 233 yards of offense per game, fewest among area public schools. Fueling the effort is ILB Inu Metealu, who has 27 tackles and five forced fumbles. ... RB Josh Hicks not only tallied a season-best 103 yards last week, but he had four tackles as a safety. ... Jack Allison has thrown for 372 yards, tops among public-school QBs. ... It has been a crazy two weeks for the Bobcats. Their Week 2 matchup with Naples Lely was canceled, and they beat Naples Palmetto Ridge in double overtime on Sept. 12 after squandering a 27-0 lead. ... QB Brennan Simms threw for 353 yards and four TDs last week, and RB Leonard Faison had 153 receiving yards, 125 rushing yards and four TDs. ... North Port has scored 81 points in its first two games, but has allowed 87.
Prediction: Palmetto 28, North Port 21.
Lakewood Ranch (1-2) at Braden River (2-0)
Time: 7:30 p.m.
The scoop: It doesn't take a lot to ignite a fire onto this heated rivalry, but the FHSAA did just that when it put both teams in the same district, and this is the Class 7A-District 10 opener for both teams. So emotions will be flying high Friday when Braden River tries to end its three-game losing streak to the Mustangs. Nobody on Braden River has ever beaten Lakewood Ranch, but the Pirates are a surprising 2-0 after winning only one game last year. ... Lakewood Ranch started the season like gangbusters with a dominating victory over Southeast then dropped two straight. making mistakes to take themselves out of each game. ... The Pirates are hungry and for the first time in three years have a good chance to knock off the Mustangs. They've added new faces in running back Titus Humphrey, defensive back Kedarius Smith and kicker Austin Myara, who might have the strongest leg in the area. ... Marcus Balliette leads a Braden River defense that has caused 11 turnovers in two games and intercepted five passes. ... Braden River head coach Curt Bradley had former Michigan All-American and NFL defensive lineman Mark Messner address his team on Thursday. He is the University of Michigan's all time leader in tackles for loss and sacks and was a sixth-round draft choice by the Los Angeles Rams in 1989, so you can be assured he talked about defense. ... Due to injuries and a suspension, Lakewood Ranch is down to its third running back in sophomore transfer Justin Fischer, but he is a good one. Both teams have dual-threat quarterbacks in Dusty Peebles of Braden River and Lakewood Ranch's Chad Rex, so both defenses will have to be on high alert. ... Las Vegas would probably call this a pick 'em game. We can't do that, so we'll give a slight edge to Braden River because it is at home and this is the last chance for its seniors to get a win over the Mustangs. Expect a dogfight to the end, and the outcome might be decided on turnovers.
Prediction: Braden River 21, Lakewood Ranch 20
IMG Academy (3-0) at Ocala Trinity Catholic (3-0)
Time: 7 p.m.
The scoop: IMG is coming off a sparkling, 299-yard rushing performance from RB Bo Scarbrough. The prized Alabama recruit added four TDs. The Ascenders' offense, with 384 total yards per game, ranks second to Manatee among area teams in total offense. ... IMG's defense isn't shabby, either; the Ascenders have allowed just 220.3 total yards per game. ... Particularly, the run defense (82.7 yards per game) is difficult to navigate for the opposition. ... Trinity Catholic, a perennial playoff team, leans more on the run than the pass, having run the ball 97 times against 39 passes. ... Leading the rushing attack is sophomore Johnnie Taylor, who is averaging 6.92 yards per game on the ground. ... Taylor has cracked the 100-yard barrier in all three games, while scoring three TDs so far this fall.
Prediction: IMG 28, Ocala Trinity Catholic 14.
Bradenton Christian (3-0, 1-0 Class 2A-District 5) at St. Petersburg Canterbury (3-0, 1-0)
Time: 7 p.m.
The scoop: The Panthers resume district play after exacting revenge in a 46-43 nail-biter against Imagine School of North Port. ... QB Joey Giardina completed 18 of 21 passes for 281 yards and three touchdowns in the victory against the Sharks, who spoiled BCS' homecoming the previous year with a 40-38 win. ... Canterbury boasts a talented playmaker in RB/LB Sammy Faucette. The senior racked up a team-leading 145 total tackles with 599 rushing yards, 179 receiving yards and 273 kick return yards last year. ... Last week, Cantebury rolled over district foe Keswick Christian 47-7.
Prediction: BCS 28, Canterbury 21.
Community School of Naples (3-0) at Saint Stephen's (1-2)
Time: 7 p.m., at Palma Sola Park
The scoop: This is the Gulf Atlantic Conference opener for each team. The new conference is designed for teams who chose to play this season independent of a district. ... Seahawks QB Drew Tomaini has thrown for 602 yards and eight TDs and hasn't been picked off in 69 attempts. ... George Schmelzle (11 catches, 177 yards) is Tomaini's top target. ... Ford Ott has rushed for four TDs and 161 yards on 28 carries. ... The Falcons were blanked last week in Winter Park after scoring 64 points in Week 2 against Citrus Park Christian. ... Jordan Murrell leads the team in rushing with 164 yards and three TDs.
Prediction: Community School of Naples 21, Saint Stephen's 7.
Tampa Citrus Park Christian (0-2) at Out-of-Door Academy (0-3)
Time: 7 p.m.
The scoop: Something has to give in this battle of winless teams. ... Citrus Park Christian has scored just 12 points in two lopsided results, which included a 64-6 thumping at the hands of Saint Stephen's in Week 2. ... ODA has suffered a string of misfortune with QB Nate Strawderman transferring to Lakewood Ranch and Jimmy Kuebler, who battled Strawderman for the QB job, opting to leave the team to focus on baseball. ... The Thunder's offense was limited in last week's game at Class 5A Booker. ... ODA will look to snag a victory before its district opener against Fort Myers Bishop Verot in two weeks.
Prediction: ODA 21, Tampa Citrus Park Christian 14.
Avon Park (0-3)at Cardinal Mooney (2-0)
Time: 7 p.m.
On the air: 1220-AM, 106.9-FM WSRQ
The scoop: The Red Devils have gone through a gauntlet familiar to the Cougars. Avon Park has lost to central Florida powers Fort Meade and Frostproof, teams that were in Cardinal Mooney's district for the past two years, by a combined score of 96-12. ... The Red Devils' other loss, 10-7 to Mulberry, came on a 49-yard field goal with 29 seconds remaining. ... Avon Park did not complete a pass during last week's 48-0 loss to Fort Meade. Christian Suarez led the rushing attack with 48 yards on 14 carries. ... The Cougars lead all area schools in total defense, allowing 154.5 yards per game. LB Clark Horne led the way with eight tackles last week during a 44-7 victory over Lake Placid. Freshman Vince Sellers has two interceptions this season. ... Cardinal Mooney welcomed back senior RB Demardre Patterson from an illness last week. Patterson rushed for 189 yards and three touchdowns on 20 carries.
Prediction: Cardinal Mooney 35, Avon Park 12.
-- Capsules by John Lembo, Alan Dell, Jason Dill and Timothy R. Wolfrum, Herald staff writers