The playoff picture still wasn’t cleared up, but Braden River survived its trip to Palmetto, while Manatee took care of business in Hillsborough County.
Those two teams, Southeast’s tumble to Wauchula Hardee and Saint Stephen’s highlight this week’s Numbers Game.
So let’s take a look back at the Week 9 digits, while glancing at some playoff possibilities in Week 10:
Average margin of victory, in points, for Braden River in the last three seasons against Palmetto following the Pirates’ 35-0 victory on Friday. Last year’s score was the same, which saw Braden River win a district title and helped Palmetto miss the playoffs for the first time under head coach Dave Marino. In 2014, the Pirates posted a 38-14 victory in a district-title clincher. Braden River quarterback Louis Colosimo has 760 passing yards in the last two games, throwing for 291 and three touchdowns against Palmetto. He also tossed his first interception this season, where he has 129 passing attempts. Meanwhile, the Tigers are in a must-win scenario at home on Friday against Venice to force a potential three-way tiebreaker or automatic entry with a win and a Braden River loss.
Manatee senior A.J. Colagiovanni’s quarterback rating, using the college formula, in last Friday’s 49-14 rout of Riverview. Colagiovanni feasted on the Sharks’ secondary with six touchdown passes. He was efficient, too, in tossing a touchdown on 40 percent of his completions. The victory now means Manatee can punch a playoff ticket with a win at Lithia Newsome this week. The Hurricanes haven’t missed the postseason since 2008. They’ll need help — Sarasota Riverview must lose Friday against one-win Tampa Alonso — to claim the program’s seventh straight district championship.
Average yards per carry for Southeast’s running game in a 20-10 loss to Wauchula Hardee on Friday. That’s largely due to Hardee sacking Seminoles quarterback Alex Taylor nine times. Now the Noles must defeat Sarasota Booker to get into the playoffs as a district runner-up. Southeast is 1-2 in the last three years against the Tornadoes, but the Noles defeated Booker on the road last year to earn a playoff berth. This year’s game is at Paul Maechtle Field at John Kiker Memorial Stadium.
Saint Stephen’s winning percentage under head coach Tod Creneti since becoming a Florida High School Athletic Association independent football school. The Falcons last played in a FHSAA district in 2012 and have rolled since that decision. They made the Sunshine State Athletic Conference’s Florida Bowl last season and won the program’s first division title two weeks ago. That means a home opener in the SSAC playoffs this Friday. Creneti’s tenure began in 2011, when the team went 0-10. The Falcons have a .548 all-time winning percentage under Creneti, and the rebuilding process turned the corner in his third season with their first winning year since football was relaunched at the school in 2006.
The last time the area didn’t have at least one home game to begin the FHSAA playoffs. There’s a distinct possibility that will happen this year with Braden River and Manatee needing help for a shot at a home playoff game in the first round. Those home games go to district champions, and Southeast’s loss to Hardee on Friday gave the Wildcats the 5A-11 title. Palmetto needs to defeat unbeaten Venice and have Braden River lose to secure a district championship. Bayshore and Lakewood Ranch have already been eliminated from playoff contention. Meanwhile, Cardinal Mooney can grab a home playoff game and district title this Friday by defeating rival Clearwater Central Catholic in Sarasota.