Editor’s note: Programs are ranked based on how they are performing against their own schedules, not based on hypothetical head-to-head matchups.
Voting points breakdown: 10 for first, 8 for second, 6 for third, 4 for fourth, 2 for fifth, 1 for sixth.
(Last week, school, record, points with first-place votes in parentheses)
T-1. (t-1) Braden River, 1-0, 54 points (3)
The Pirates didn’t get a chance to play the traditional East Bradenton power, Southeast, due to Hurricane Hermine wiping out Friday’s football schedule across Manatee County. And neither school chose to postpone the game until the Labor Day weekend without having much practice time to prepare.
This week: vs. Cape Coral Ida Baker, 7:30 p.m.
T-1. (t-1) Manatee, 1-1, 54 (3)
The maligned Hurricanes defense showed up and were stout. A week after giving up a program-record 78 points, Manatee’s defense answered the bell when the Canes limited rival Palmetto to 141 total yards of offense in a 7-3 victory. That continued the Canes’ winning streak in the Green Bridge War series to eight games, but the latest victory wasn’t a blowout to impress voters in making Manatee a definitive choice atop this week’s Power Poll rankings.
This week: at Venice, 7:30 p.m.
3. (3) Palmetto, 1-1, 40
A fake punt called on the field by Sarasota High transfer Josh Booker keyed the lone touchdown the Tigers allowed on Monday in the postponed rivalry game against Manatee. However, it also proved to be the winning score as Palmetto’s offense was slowed to 2.3 average yards per play on its last 39 offensive plays in the game.
This week: vs. Southeast, 7:30 p.m.
4. (4) Southeast, 0-1, 20
The Seminoles had their crack at one of this week’s No. 1-ranked teams, but Mother Nature had a different idea. Hurricane Hermine’s heavy rains forced the cancellation of Southeast’s battle with Braden River. Of course, head coach Rashad West and his players were given a full week to prepare for county foe Palmetto, a luxury the Tigers won’t have coming off Monday’s loss at Manatee.
This week: at Palmetto, 7:30 p.m.
5. (5) Lakewood Ranch, 0-1, 16
A contest between the bottom two public school programs in the weekly Power Poll was canceled after Hurricane Hermine popped up late last week. Now the Mustangs get a familiar opponent: Sarasota Riverview, who breezed past Lakewood Ranch in the Kickoff Classic just a few weeks ago. That game, though, saw starters only play for a half.
This week: at Sarasota Riverview, 7:30 p.m.
6. (6) Bayshore, 0-1, 6
The Bruins get a second straight bye week following Hurricane Hermine forcing the cancellation of last week’s tilt with Lakewood Ranch. And that’s good news for the Bruins, because they get an extra week to prepare for their district opener against county rival Southeast. So this week’s time away from the gridiron could prove as a useful scouting week in Palmetto when Southeast faces the Tigers on Friday.
This week: Off
1. (1) IMG Academy, 2-0, 60 (6)
Kellen Mond didn’t just set a program record in throwing for 433 yards during IMG’s win against Centennial in Mission Viejo, Calif. — the quarterback’s performance against the Corona, Calif., school was the Ascenders’ first ever 300-yard passing game. Kevin Wright deserves just as much credit for the win, though. The head coach’s call to go for two and the win with 12 seconds left let IMG leave California with a win in regulation.
This week: vs. Tulsa (Okla.) Booker T. Washington, 8 p.m. on Saturday in Shreveport, La.
2. (2) Cardinal Mooney, 1-0, 44
The Cougars were off this weekend and not because of Hurricane Hermine. Mooney has its bye week out of the way and it’s given them two weeks to prepare for perhaps its toughest non-district test of the year in Tampa. Berkeley Prep won six games last year, but opened this season with a loss to Clearwater Central Catholic before having its Week 2 game canceled for rain.
This week: at Tampa Berkeley Prep, 7 p.m.
3. (3) Saint Stephen’s, 1-1, 40
The Falcons avenged last year’s loss to Lakeland Santa Fe Catholic in the Sunshine State Athletic Conference championship game by blowing out Santa Fe Catholic, 41-6, on Saturday in Bradenton. Quarterback Fred Billy got back on track with three rushing touchdowns in the win. The early-season schedule stays tough Friday, though, when SSES travels to Clearwater to face Calvary Christian.
This week: at Clearwater Calvary Christian, 7 p.m.
4. (4) Out-of-Door Academy, 1-1, 24
Out-of-Door became the first team in the area to win a district or division game with its 40-12 blowout of St. Petersburg Keswick Christian on Saturday. The Thunder have found a balanced ground game early this season and have three players — quarterback Gus Mahler, running back Dakota Dickerson and athlete Jason Fineberg — with at least 69 rushing yards. Fineberg, who plays both running back and wide receiver, broke out with 45 yards and three touchdowns in its Sunshine State Athletic Conference Coral Bay division opener.
This week: vs. Auburndale Jordan Christian Prep, 7 p.m.
5. (5) Bradenton Christian, 0-1, 12
The Panthers’ planned game against Shorecrest Prep in St. Petersburg from Friday is the one Manatee County game left to be rescheduled. The game was slated to be BCS’ first Sunshine State Athletic Conference Coral Bay division game and needs to be made up because of playoff implications. The week off has given Bradenton Christian some time to regroup, though, after allowing 426 total yards to Fort Myers Southwest Florida Christian Academy to open the season.
This week: at Zephyrhills Christian, 7 p.m.
Voters: Herald sports reporters Jason Dill, David Wilson, Alan Dell; sports correspondent Chad Brockhoff; sports editor Mark Lawrence; Sunday news editor Alan Bellittera.
Jason Dill and David Wilson