The prep football regular season winds down next week.
But in reality, it ends Friday night as this marks the conclusion of district play.
The top two teams in each district reach the playoffs, which begin Nov. 14, and five area teams are still in contention to clinch postseason berths or win district titles.
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Here are the scenarios for the districts featuring area teams:
Class 8A-District 7
In contention: Everyone.
Scenario: Palm Harbor University's stunning comeback Oct. 17 at Riverview's Ram Bowl has turned this into a four-team scramble for two playoff spots. No one is sitting prettier than Manatee (2-0), which would win the district Friday night with a win over University and can do no worse than qualify for a three-team tiebreaker on Monday with a loss. St. Petersburg (1-1) locks up the runner-up spot with a win over the Rams (0-2) and if Manatee wins. A Manatee loss coupled with a St. Pete loss gives PHU, also nicknamed the Hurricanes, the district title and the local Hurricanes the runner-up spot. This district is matched up with District 8. Vero Beach is the likely champion out of there while Centennial and Fort Pierce Central are in contention for second place.
Tiebreaker possibilities: If Manatee loses and St. Petersburg wins, then Manatee, University and St. Pete, all of which would be 2-1, meet Monday for a tiebreaker to decide the district champion and runner-up. If Palm Harbor and St. Petersburg lose, then they, along with Riverview, would be 1-2 and meet Monday for the runner-up spot.
Class 7A-District 10
In contention: Braden River, Palmetto.
Scenario: Rarely do districts with more than three teams boil down to a bonafide district championship game during the final week, but we have one Friday night in East Manatee County, where the Pirates host the Tigers in a battle between two 3-0 teams that have waded through their district opponents thus far. While winning a championship is nice, there is more than just hardware on the line: The runner-up heads to Tarpon Springs East Lake, the champion out of District 9, for the first round of the Region 3 playoffs. The Eagles are ranked first in the state in Class 7A and reached the state semifinals last season, when they lost in overtime to Palm Beach Gardens Dwyer, the eventual state champion. The district winner stays home to host either Largo Pinellas Park or Clearwater Countryside, the latter of which defeated Palmetto 15-14 during Week 3.
Class 5A-District 13
In contention: Booker, Southeast, Wauchula Hardee, Arcadia DeSoto (clinched district title).
Scenario: Despite a pair of hard-to-swallow defeats (an overtime loss against DeSoto and the squandering of an 11-point halftime lead against Hardee), the Seminoles control their destiny as a win Friday night over Booker guarantees Southeast at least a spot in a tiebreaker. If the Noles beat the Tornadoes and Hardee loses to DeSoto, Southeast clinches second place and opens the playoffs at Cape Coral Island Coast, the District 14 champion. Booker improves to 3-1 in the district with a win and clinches a playoff berth no matter what Hardee does.
Tiebreaker possibility: If Southeast and Wauchula Hardee win, they and Booker would be 2-2 and would meet Monday in a three-way tiebreaker for second place.
Class 3A-District 6
In contention: Cardinal Mooney, Fort Myers Bishop Verot
Scenario: The two 1-0 teams in a three-team district, Mooney and Verot, have clinched playoff berths and play for the championship Friday night in Sarasota. District 6 is paired with District 5, where Clearwater Calvary Christian, St. Petersburg Admiral Farragut and St. Petersburg Catholic are all in the mix for a district championship and playoff berth.
John Lembo, Herald sports writer, can be reached at 941-745-7057. Follow him live during games on Twitter @JohnLembo1878.