1. MANATEE (8-0) 50 points — Palmetto learned it is not wise to wake a sleeping giant. Manatee defensive coordinator Jim Phelan might want to send a thank-you card to the Tigers because his unit had seemed to be losing interest until they got a wake-up call from across the river.
2. PALMETTO (7-1) 36 — The Tigers are fortunate. With a district title on the line Friday against Southeast, they don’t have time to feel sorry for themselves. Head coach Dave Marino always has good things to say about his time with the Seminoles, so don’t expect any bulletin board material to surface this week.
3. SOUTHEAST (6-2) 34 — The Noles also felt the wrath of Manatee (who hasn’t?) and mended quickly. Their only focus now is to get the district title that eluded them last year when running back Courtney Allen was injured and couldn’t play in this game. These are two teams looking to heal their wounds with a victory over the other.
4, LAKEWOOD RANCH (5-3) 20 — The Mustangs hope to create a sequel to last year when they defeated Seminole Osceola to qualify for the playoffs as the district runner-up. They won this matchup on the road last year and this time are at home, which has been good to them until a talented Largo squad shut down their miracle machine.
5 BAYSHORE (3-6) 10 — Calvin Williams exceeded the dreams of head coach J.P. Gordon last week by averaging 6.68 yards per carry in rolling up 167 yards rushing to give Bayshore its biggest win of the season with its triumph over Arcadia DeSoto. After a bye this week, the Bruins take on Sarasota with a chance to end the season with two straight victories.