Manatee (7-0, 1-0 Class 8A-District 7) at St. Petersburg (5-1, 1-0)
Time: 7:30 p.m.
The scoop: The Hurricanes clinch the district title if they win and Riverview defeats Palm Harbor University, while the Green Devils clinch if they win and Palm Harbor beats the Rams. ... Manatee has 16 sacks this year, including a team-best seven by DL Daniel Doyle. ... The Hurricanes are allowing 8.9 points per game, and the defense has allowed two TDs in the past four games. (One of Palmetto's TDs last week came on a kickoff return.) ... RBs Johnnie Lang and Trevon Walters have teamed for 1,415 rushing yards and 19 TDs. ... The Hurricanes beat the Green Devils 21-7 in Bradenton during the second round of the 2009 Class 5A playoffs. ... St. Petersburg likes to run, having attempted 49 passes and 184 runs this year. ... RB Deangelo Reaves has rushed for 682 yards and 10 TDs and has rushed for at least 113 yards in five games. ... When the Green Devils do throw, they turn to Robert Tribolet, who has completed 20 of 44 attempts for 323 yards, four TDs and one INT. His top target is Lionel Hart (five catches, 117 yards, two TDs). ... The Green Devils have allowed 23 points and have recorded two shutouts. ... LB Riley Barr has eight sacks.
Prediction: Manatee 35, St. Petersburg 7.
Southeast (1-5, 1-0 Class 5A-District 13) at Arcadia DeSoto (2-5, 0-2)
Time: 7:30 p.m.
The scoop: This has been one of the most disappointing seasons in the storied history of Southeast football, but the Seminoles can alleviate all their misery. They are 1-0 in 5A-13 and only one of two undefeated teams in district play, along with Wauchula Hardee. They control their own destiny for the postseason. ... Southeast has shown improvement in two of its past three games, defeating Bayshore 41-27 and losing last week 28-21 to Riverview. ... The offense continues to center around Courtney Allen, who needs 342 rushing yards to move into the No. 2 spot in Manatee County career rushing yards. ... Kadarrius Carley leads the area with 27.1 yards per catch and has four touchdown receptions in eight catches. ... The Bulldogs have lost four straight and have given up 156 points during that stretch (39 per game). ... This game offers a good opportunity for Southeast to get its offense on track, build confidence and get ready for its final two district games, which will determine their postseason fate.
Prediction: Southeast 28, DeSoto 14.
Palmetto (3-3, 1-0 Class 7A-District 10) at Lakewood Ranch (4-2, 2-0)
Time: 7:30 p.m.
The scoop: A victory by Lakewood Ranch would put the Mustangs in the driver's seat to win the Class 7A-District 10 championship with only one game left against Sarasota. ... A win by Palmetto would make the Tigers the only unbeaten team in district play and give them control of their destiny. ... Palmetto has one of the most electrifying runners in the state in Josh Hicks, who is averaging 8.1 yards per carry with 13 TDS to lead area public school runners. ... Lakewood Ranch's Chad Rex is one of the area's best dual-threat quarterbacks. ... The Mustangs have been getting good production out of running back Justin Fischer and are looking for a breakout game from A'Shawn Angel. ... The outcome figures to come down to whether Lakewood Ranch can handle Palmetto's edge in speed and athleticism and whether Rex can be productive against the best defense he will have faced up until this game. ... The Mustangs have won three straight and averaged 34.3 points per game during that streak, but they have allowed 25 per game and rank last in the area in pass defense. ... Palmetto's three losses are to Venice, St. Petersburg Lakewood and Manatee, which are a combined 16-3. ... The Tigers are a threat to throw with quarterback Jack Allison, who has completed 49 of 98 passes for 680 yards and five TDs with five picks. But they would prefer to just hand it off to Hicks. ... Palmetto ranks first in Manatee County in pass defense, allowing 91.9 yds per game and is second in total defense (212.4 per game). Ranch is averaging 356 offensive yards per game, so something has to give.
Prediction: Palmetto 38, Lakewood Ranch 21.
Wauchula Hardee(5-1, 1-0 Class 5A-District 13)at Bayshore (2-5, 1-1)
On the air: 1490-AM WPPR
Time: 7:30 p.m.
The scoop: This is a huge district game as the playoff picture becomes clearer following Friday's action. ... Hardee's strength is its traditional ball-control offense mixed with a stout defense that has only allowed more than 10 points once in five victories. ... The Wildcats defeated Booker 14-3 for their lone district win and have only lost to Fort Meade (18-6) this season. ... Hardee averages more than 210 rushing yards a game and is coming off a collective 398-yard rushing performance in a 54-0 rout of Avon Park last week. Senior Timmy Steedley (408 yards) and junior Keyonte Holley (374 yards) lead the ground game. ... Bayshore's defense, which is allowing 178.6 rushing yards per game, has to stand tall against Hardee's veer offense. ... The Bruins need quick defensive sets by disrupting the possession game that the Wildcats like to employ if they hope to get themselves back into the playoff mix. ... Bayshore is one game back in the loss column to Hardee and Southeast, and an additional loss with only Booker remaining on the schedule could spell a missed postseason berth.
Prediction: Wauchula Hardee 21, Bayshore 14.
IMG Academy (7-0) at Jacksonville Trinity Christian Academy (5-1)
Time: 7:30 p.m.
The scoop: The Ascenders return to the road with another long trip. ... The last away game witnessed IMG take down Miami Monsignor Pace 35-7. ... RB Bo Scarbrough is the only area rusher to crack the 1,000-yard barrier this fall, and he's doing it with a 10.6-yard average to pair with 15 rushing TDs. ... QB Michael O'Connor is coming off a season-high three-TD passing game, proving that the Ascenders have a balanced offense. ... This is Trinity Christian's homecoming game, and the Conquerors will look to redeem themselves after Tallahassee Godby destroyed them 42-6 last week. ... That defeat snapped a streak of 13 wins dating to last fall. ... Sophomore RB Jalin Buie (780 rushing yards) is the Conquerors' go-to offensive weapon and has several Division I offers already, with Louisville, South Carolina, Auburn, Tennessee and Penn State reportedly showing interest.
Prediction: IMG 35, Jacksonville Trinity Christian 14.
Bradenton Christian(3-4, 1-3 Class 2A-District 5)at Tampa Carrollwood Day (4-3, 2-1)
Time: 4 p.m.
The scoop: The Panthers are a wounded team, searching for the right footing as the season winds down. ... With three games remaining, and just two district meetings, BCS is still mathematically alive in the playoff race. ... Those odds, however, are bleak as the Panthers need to win out in the district, beginning Friday, and hope for some help to force a three-way tiebreaker. ... This team hasn't won since mid-September and is riding a four-game losing streak. ... WR/RB Sinclair Laskett (foot) has been injured recently, with the effects showing in an offense that's been shut out twice in those four losses. ... QB Joey Giardina ranks third among area passers with 772 yards and has elevated himself as the Panthers' top ball carrier with 438 rushing yards. ... Carrollwood Day has a balanced attack, but the rushing game is quite potent with junior Willie Parker (741 rushing yards, 9.62 YPC) and junior Elias Earley (593 rushing yards, 8.47 YPC) leading the Patriots.
Prediction: Tampa Carrollwood Day 42, BCS 14.
Out-of-Door Academy(1-5, 0-1 Class 3A-District 6)at Cardinal Mooney (4-1, 0-0)
Time: 7 p.m.
On the air: 1220-AM, 106.9-FM WSRQ.
The scoop: The Thunder and Cougars are heading in different directions in this rivalry between Sarasota County private schools. ... ODA, which has yet to beat Cardinal Mooney in four tries, hasn't scored since Sept. 20 and has dropped its past two games by a combined score of 105-0. ... The Cougars, meanwhile, are coming off a hard-fought 14-12 victory at St. Petersburg Catholic that has them on the precipice of clinching a winning record and a playoff berth, their first of each since 2008. ... Cardinal Mooney would clinch a playoff berth in this three-team district with a victory because Fort Myers Bishop Verot already has beaten the Thunder. The Cougars and Vikings meet Nov. 1 in Fort Myers. ... Cougars RB DeMardre Patterson, a former ODA player, would appear to be poised for a big game. Patterson, who averages 4.9 yards per carry, will face a Thunder defense that allows 221.4 rushing yards per game.
Prediction: Cardinal Mooney 49, Out-of-Door Academy 0.